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Beer and FOOD in the SGV/IE/NORTH OC area

Hi! Looking for a great place in the SGV/IE/North OC area that has a good selection of beers on tap and good food- preferably sans the loud sports atmosphere of yardhouse or bjs. Gastropubs are cool but nothing too pretentious.

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  1. The Back Abbey in Claremont.

    Haven in Orange.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JAB

      I second the Back Abbey in Claremont. Really great selection of European (esp. Belgian) beers (lots of good domestics too), serious burgers, moules frites, duck-fat fries, etc.

      Also in Claremont a block away is Eureka Burger, which also has a serious selection of beers on tap and good food.

      1. re: Robert Thornton

        I'm not in the area often and therefore have yet to try Eureka because then that means I'd have to skip Back Abbey.

    2. PS Looking for a menu that goes beyond just burgers

      2 Replies
      1. re: Jessattacks

        Did you look at the menu for Haven? They even offer smoked rabbit or whole roasted suckling pig (for example). See the full online website menu here http://www.havengastropub.com/orange/...

        1. re: Servorg

          Haven is cool, been there a lot (truffle fries ftw).. looking for a new place though

      2. In SGV, there's 38 Degrees (Alhambra) and Stuffed Sandwich (San Gabriel)

        3 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          Stuffed Sandwich is quite exceptional for the myriad varieties of beers.

          Though bring your own mug or pint glass unless you want your suds served in waxy Dixie cups.

          Their sandwiches are not half bad, but that's not what you came there for.

          And there's no sports bar atmosphere in sight.

          1. re: kevin

            You should also bring your own food.

            Saying their sandwiches "are not half bad" is like saying A-Rod was sort of not half bad at using HGH.

        2. In North OC you could try Taps. Their beer selection won't compare to some of these others but food is good.

          Depending on how important food is you could go to the Bruery tasting room. They usually have a food truck outside on most nights.

          Tustin Brewing Company might be too far south but they have a good selection of draft beers and nicer bar type food.

          1. Hollingshead's Deli ?

            1. A great place to drink a dozen well selected taps in SGV: Spirit House in Monterey Park. $2 off happy hour 6-8pm.

              A stupidly cheap place to drink a limited amount of taps, in a pizza parlor: Rose City Pizza, Rosemead.

              1 of the biggest bottle selection in all of LA is at Stuffed Sandwich, but they're at "only" 9 taps.

              It's very difficult to find pretentious beer drinking in SGV, but I refuse to set foot into 38 Degrees (took CRA money, still overcharging for beer, completely inedible food).

              In N. OC, you have 2 breweries (Bootlegger's, The Bruery), so you're basically all set with drinking in the back of warehouses.

              14 Replies
              1. re: TonyC

                Completely inedible food at 38 Degrees? Hardly. I think the food is pretty good for a neighborhood bar. Great burgers and good happy hour bites

                1. re: TonyC

                  CRA money ? What does CRA stand for ?

                  by the way, how cheap is Rose City ? Do they have great, artisanal beers on tap for about $4 bucks a pint.

                  and how are the pizzas besides the infamous pastrami pizza ?

                  like how's a cheese pie there ?????

                  thanks buddy.

                  1. re: kevin

                    Community Redvelopemnt Agency. alhambra+Califormia bankrolled 38 Degrees to the tune of 425K: http://www.sgvog.org/images/Alhambra_...

                    I recently had a pint of oaked arrogant bastard @ Rose City for $7 all-in, and on Thursday, they have select pints for $4. So yes, it's relatively affordable.

                    Spirit House has $2 all beers during 6-8pm HH. Rose City staff, Ohana Brewing, LA Aleworks as well as some local folks of "IPA Nationa" beer club, all drink pretty regularly at SH.

                    Have no comment on their pizzas and can only say ips is reading too deeply into the carbonara. Rose City is wildly popular in the 'nabe.

                    1. re: TonyC


                      Wow, I never would have guessed that they bankrolled that shit.

                      Good to know.

                      though 38 degrees does have a pretty good beer list, they had quite a few sours on tap too.

                      1. re: kevin

                        City of Alhambra has a very pro-active Chamber of Commerce, I am not surprised. I am sure they have recouped most if not all of the initial CRA investment with tax revenue since 38 Degrees is always busy these days.

                        If that is going to be an issue, then we should not be recommending all the cash-only places in SGV as it is highly doubtful they are paying their fair share of taxes.

                        1. re: Ernie

                          Shoot, Ernie, you have a point there.

                          1. re: Ernie

                            Anyone in the restaurant biz is practicing the dark arts of creative tax accounting.

                            Can't survive without it.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              No, it is much more difficult to hide tax liability when there are credit card records that can be easily audited. Cash records, well not so much.

                              1. re: Ernie

                                Every restaurant accepts cash, and the real way to hide revenue is not necessarily with just cash receipts.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  Right, but when you only accept cash, it is that much easier to hide revenue from the IRS

                                  1. re: Ernie

                                    Maybe easier, but not better.

                                    Restaurants nowadays that only accept cash do it b/c they cannot afford the fees, not necessarily as a tax avoidance tool.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      "Restaurants nowadays that only accept cash do it b/c they cannot afford the fees..."

                                      Just another kind of tax...from a private government instead of a public one.

                                      1. re: Servorg

                                        Someday they will just RFID our foreheads, and we'll just order, they'll cook and scan, and we'll be on our happy way.

                    2. re: TonyC

                      The tell-tale sign of Rose City Pizza is that they make a Pasta Carbonara by topping a tossed pasta with a fried egg.

                      Sort of like if one ordered "chocolate chip ice cream" and got a scoop of vanilla garnished with chocolate sprinkles.

                    3. Cha Cha's in Brea has a pretty good happy hour. A handful of beers on tap, but serviceable.