Showing posts with label craft beer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label craft beer. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Street Art and Brews in Miami's Wynwood Art District

Just a few years ago, Miami's Wynwood was a warehouse district that no one ventures out to. Now, it is one of the hottest destinations in Miami filled with street art and some of the city's best breweries and restaurants.
Wynwood
Conceived by community revitalizer, the late Tony Goldman, in 2009, the idea is to bring great street art onto the walls of Wynwood's windowless warehouse buildings, and then develop the surrounding area. Today, Wynwood Walls is a colorful place that pedestrians, both locals and tourists, all enjoy.
Wynwood
I heard about Wynwood from the bartender at The Abbey (the only brewpub in Miami Beach), who told me Wynwood has a good concentration of Miami's craft breweries. If you are a beer lover, skip the beach and head to Wynwood.
I hopped on an Uber there, but stopping off first to get a different kind of brew at Panther Coffee, one of the best-known coffee shops in the city (and probably the best, as well).
Wynwood
Panther roasts their own coffee on site in small batches. Panther has two blends for the espresso, East Coast and West Coast espresso. I opted for the East Coast espresso since the tasting notes were "very creamy, round chocolate .. notes of sweet black cherry". Those all sounded good to me and resulted in a delicious cappuccino.
Wynwood
From there, I walked to J. Wakefield Brewing. I fell in love with it as soon as I got to the parking lot. Darth Vader wall!
Wynwood

Friday, January 20, 2017

City Tap House Opens in Boston's Fort Point with 60 Beers on Tap

Boston's Fort Point neighborhood just got another new spot for beer lovers. City Tap House is now open for dinner and brunch (weekday lunches start next week!) with sixty beers on tap.
City Tap
The beer list was divided by styles and they carry a lot of great beers, both local and beyond. Among the beers I tried during the opening party were Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose and Clown Shoes Chocolate Sombrero,
City Tap
If 60 beers aren't enough options for you, they also have bottled/canned beers as well as a selection of cocktails.
City Tap

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Brook Kitchen and Tap Brings Good Food and Beers to Holbrook, MA

When I got invited to try out the new The Brook Kitchen and Tap in Boston's South Shore (Holbrook, MA), I have to say I wasn't sure what to expect since I hadn't explored the South Shore much, but I was pleasantly surprised when I got there! The Brook Kitchen and Tap offers some great food at a value and a nice craft beer list to boot.

Among the things to get here are the Mango Habanero dry wings - they have a number of wet and dry sauces/rubs for the wings, but these were the ones the chef recommended for us.
The Brook Kitchen Tap
We were pretty obsessed with these wings. The mango habanero rub was superb! It packed some heat, and the sweetness and tartness added a really nice layer of flavors. We would definitely return for these!

In general the food at The Brook was not only good, but a great value as well given the price and the large portions. Take, for example, this appetizer of Crispy brussel sprouts with sriracha ranch ($8)
The Brook Kitchen Tap
Not only were the they crispy and delicious, this is perhaps the largest portion I've seen for $8!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Public School 818 (Sherman Oaks, CA)

by guest blogger @iam_robot

Every now and then we get nostalgic about school days – the carefree phase in our life, the days we found best friends for life, the naught and nonsense we committed to gain notoriety, and the many times we got caught staring our secret crushes’ (no matter how swift we were). I was lucky to be in the same school from kindergarten through high school, I always thought school was my second home.
Exterior
And this is what Bob Spivak, President & CEO of Daily Grill, had in mind when he opened the first Public School a few years ago – to relive some of the best days of our life and make Public School your home away from home. 
TheBar1
Whether it’s the menu designed as a composition book, cocktail napkins that look like lined college-rule notebook paper, the desk lamps on dining tables, or the cosine wall mural - Public School definitely elicits that nostalgic memory of a classroom.

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of checking out the latest Public School chain in Sherman Oaks. Taking over the former Sisley Italian Kitchen spot at Sepulveda and Ventura, Public School 818 will be a full service restaurant/ bar that delivers “An Education in the Art of Food and Beer”. 
PS Cocktail Yellow
Smoke
The menu is diversely American with its international influences, seasonal offerings, local flare and current trends. Naturally, drinks selection is pretty eclectic, including 20 – 30 taps of craft beers along with modern cocktails served up with house-made syrups and fresh squeezed juices. For pre-dinner cocktails, I had the Duck Thunder (watermelon, St. Germaine, Aylesbury Duck vodka) and Yellow Smoke (Fresh Pineapple Juice, serrano agave, El Silencio mezcal). Both were refreshing without being overly fruity or sweet.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bacchus Bar and Bistro (Irvine, CA)

by guest blogger @btsunoda

I recently visited Bacchus Bar and Bistro in Irvine. It is an upscale wine and craft beer bar. They also have a small kitchen where prepare a selection of appetizers, burgers and entrees. The exterior of Bacchus is deceiving because it sits in a shopping center but once you step inside, you are in an inviting and spacious area with a wine bar on one side and a retail space on the other.
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Bacchus offers over 350 bottles from around the world and has a wine bar where they can pour up to 60 different wines by the glass.
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I learned that they received the Wine Spectator award in 2014. Bacchus also offers 6 craft beers on a rotating tap along with 20 bottled craft beers. Glancing at the list of twenty, only five were from California. Belgian beers were prominently featured; there was a selection from Iceland and one from Italy.

Like their wines and craft beers, geographic diversity seems to be the desire for the focus of their cheese offerings. France topped the list with five different varieties. Holland was second with two and the US only had a single offering: Barely Buzzed from Utah. Fans of cheese from California, Oregon and Wisconsin may feel snubbed to not make the cut. Nuts, olives and various crackers and breads were also available. I was intrigued with the yuzu marmalade and the fig jam offerings as they probably go well with the crackers and breads. Some items are gluten free.

I repeated what my server said, “lobster grilled cheese” several times thinking that he had it mistaken for lobster mac & cheese. Brie and cheddar were melted with pieces of fresh lobster and served on toasted sourdough. Brie cheese added to the ‘gooey’ factor making each bite a multisensory and delicious experience.
 grilled

Monday, March 9, 2015

Cambridge Brewing Company (Cambridge, MA)

Cambridge Brewing Company was one of the first places I explored in the Kendall/Tech Square area. It was on the way to/from work and when this Angeleno first moved to Boston and started walking to work, a mile seemed soooo far. So why not stop in the middle for a brew, right?
Cambridge brewing
They have 5-6 flagship beers, but I like browing their specialty and seasonal list, of course. The first beer I had here was the Olmstead's Folly: an herbed ale with Japanese knotsweed and cranberry.

You can get a taster pours of any of the beers, too, which was what I did the last time. Sgt Pepper is their award winning Farmhouse ale with peppercorn. I also tried a Gruit (German for "herb", this refers to an old style of beer made without hops) called Grandchester Meadows. This beer was a collaboration with Mystic Brewery and Earth Eagle Brewings. The last one was Machinery of Night, a blended and barrel-aged sour - also my favorite of this round.
CBC

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pork Chop and Beers at Carson House (Beverly Hills, CA)

Sure there are an abundance of gastropubs in LA, but you can't say the same of Beverly Hills. In fact, Carson House on Wilshire Blvd may be one of the only ones offering such a big beer selection. 

I've been to Carson House once for lunch and once for dinner.
For lunch they serve sandwiches, pizza, and a few entree dishes like this roasted salmon with forbidden rice. 
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Perfect for a nice, healthy lunch.

I indulged more during dinner. We started with the Grilled watermelon salad, heirloom tomato, basil, Dutch feta, lemon vinaigrette
Watermelon salad
I really liked the combination of flavors here. The feta was not crumbled but served as a whole slice which added to the texture contrast of the salad. I thought this really distinguished the salad from the usual watermelon feta combo.

Chicken lollipops (chicken meatballs, buffalo plum glaze, blue cheese whip)
Chicken balls
These are a little spicy! Luckily the blue cheese whip is there to curb the spiciness.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Spend Summer Fridays Sipping Local Craft Beers on Thompson Hotel's Rooftop

Every Friday this summer, the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills is bringing different local craft breweries to the rooftop, dubbed the Rooftop Food Club. They'll be serving these local beers along with rotating grill menu from Caulfield's (and sometimes Seoul Sausage). Drinking beer on the rooftop with a view of Beverly Hills? Pretty chill way to spend a Friday evening!

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(Well, you can't quite get to the pool, though, as they close around 6pm or something every day. I snuck up there and took this photo but then was told to come back down to the rooftop bar).

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lucky Devils (Hollywood, CA)


Lucky Devils is one of the oldest craft beer bar in Hollywood, though I actually went to taste the wines from their newly installed wine taps. Lucky Devils was opened by former model Lucky Vanous. It was before my time but Wandering Chopsticks who came with me did remember this old Diet Coke commercial. I've never heard much about Lucky's before and wasn't sure what to expect, but to my surprise the food was actually pretty good. On this particular strip of Hollywood Blvd, Lucky's may well be one of the best options.

As I was being seated for my tasting I noticed a menu of "six courses" with multiple items listed under each and 12 wines. Oh, I need to choose, I thought, but I was quickly corrected. I was apparently getting all of them. All 10 dishes+2 fries+2 desserts+12 wines.

We started with some olive tapenade and jalapeno hummus with char-grilled bread.

Wandering Chopsticks loved the charred bread and couldn't stop eating them even though we have 10+ more courses to come.

With this first appetizer we tried three different white wines they had on tap:
 2011 Zocker Gruner Veltliner. Vibrant, crisp. Notes of stone fruit (melon).
2011 Hess Chardonnay. Slightly buttery. From Monterey's coastal valley.
2011 Acrobat Pinot Gris. Nice one. A hint of sweetness, a bit sweeter than the Zocker.

They only have wines on tap here so you may not find many wineries you know and like, but the most expensive 6oz pour is $9.50 and most is $7.50.

Short rib sliders (braised with caramelized vegetables, wild arugula, horseradish cream, Hawaiian sweet rolls) and truffle parmesan chips (it's truffle oil).

Sunday, May 5, 2013

TLT Food (Westwood)

There's another place that I wish was there when I was a Bruin: TLT Food. The food options in Westwood Village just keep getting better these days!

TLT Food is started by the guy behind The Lime Truck (hence TLT) that started in Orange County and won season 2 of The Great Food Truck Race! It is a great fast casual option, with beer and wine and free wi-fi. There are sandwiches, sliders, tacos, and fries with an Asian influence.

I had to get Blue Crab Grilled Cheese (can't say no to crab): Grilled Sourdough, Blue Crab, Cheese Blend, Scallions ($9)

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Pretty generous helping of crab meat for $9! It was mixed with mayo but pretty lightly so you still get plenty of the crab flavor. This was my friend's favorite.

Taco prices vary depending on the protein (or potato) you get, from short rib to ahi tuna. I tried the Pork Belly Adobo Taco: Braised Pork Belly, Tomatillo Salsa, Sriracha, Cilantro ($4)
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Two of the taco fillings you can actually get as toppings for fries, if you're inclined to get more carbs! They're great to share with the whole table, too. The two are 12-hour pulled pork, making up the "World Famous Carnitas Fries" and the Steak Fries. I got the Steak Fries: Marinated Steak, Asian Slaw, Homemade Wontons, Cilantro Chimichurri ($10)
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Great combination, talk about fully loaded fries. Do share, the portion is quite big. The steak was pretty tender and I really liked the cilantro chimichurri. Who needs poutine?? (Well, we still need poutine but we need this too.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

For the Downtown Beer and Wine Geeks: Buzz Wine Beer Shop

We know plenty of watering holes in Downtown LA, but where do downtowners go to buy beer and wine for their homes? Well, now they should all be going to Buzz, the new wine and beer shop on Spring Street.

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Buzz is not only about the eclectic selection of wine and beer (a fairly large collection of beers at that), they also have a tasting room in the back where you can get flights, taste beers on tap, and attend special tastings.
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I was invited to a tasting party there along with other media, wine distributors, and the wine producers. The tasting showcases some of the more interesting (some rare) wines they have at Buzz, like Eastern European wines from Blue Danube Wines, and La Clarine Farm wines from the Sierra Nevada foothills. Sierra what? It's apparently a region east of Sacramento - a growing wine region that had escaped my radar thus far.
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mohawk Bend, Echo Park's Newly Opened, Extensive Watering Hole.

If you were keeping tabs on who has the longest list of beers on tap in LA, you might want to add Mohawk Bend to the list. Opened yesterday, this bar in Echo Park carries over 70 beers on tap, all but five are dedicated to California craft beers. They have a full bar which is also all-California, and a full dining menu.

70 Beers on Tap
For owner Tony Yanow and GM Paige Reilly, this isn't their first venture in California beers. They opened Tony's Darts Away in Burbank which also has a California-only beer list, and a local brewery is in the works.

The space was a theater, more than 20 years unoccupied. As you enter, you will see the open kitchen on the left, and the bar on the right.
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