Beer Dinner or Dinner With Beer?

Restaurant Sign Los Angeles

Every beer geek has run into this scenario at least once:

Beer Geek: “Hey, let’s go out to Beer Bar ABC.”

Friend of Beer Geek: “I was thinking dinner would be better tonight because I’m tired of going to just drink.”

Beer Geek: “But I want my craft beer!”

OK, so my dialogue is not Oscar worthy but the point is that, at some point, compromises must be made when choosing a mutually compatible destination. So, I’m highlighting some places in Los Angeles that specialize in food and offer a decent beer selection so that both points of view can be happy.

The Oinkster
2005 Colorado Boulevard, Eagle Rock, 323 255 OINK

For the fast food geek – If you are in the mood for fast food, but you want something that tastes fresh with real ingredients, then this is the place to go. House cured pastrami. Pulled pork. Belgian frites. All excellent. They even make their own ketchup.
For the beer geek – Eagle Rock beer on tap. Plus Widmer Hefe, Stone and Fat Tire at good prices.

Mike & Anne’s
1040 Mission Street, South Pasadena, 626 799 7199

For the value food geek – Bistro fare in a calming atmosphere in South Pasadena. M&A is a family owned business that really strives to make you feel at home with hearty fare. The flat iron steak and the Mike and Anne’s burger are really good.
For the beer geek – If Craftsman is your beer, then this is the place. They always have one or two on tap. Get your 1903 lager with your meal.

Westside Tavern
10850 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, 310 470 1539

For the Westsider – When you are through shopping at the Westside Pavilion, you can duck in for one of the many salad or sandwiches that dot the menu. Or pick up a side of seasonal dishes inspired by the Farmer’s Market.
For the beer geek – Solid beer list with some nice California choices like Napa Smith, Speakeasy and Angel City.

Rustic Canyon
1119 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, 310 393 7050

For the classy food geek – You want to impress someone? Then bring them here. How about tortelloni goat cheese with fresh mint? Or the tagliatelle Bolognese parmigiano-reggiano? And that’s just the pasta.
For the beer geek – Christina Perozzi did the beer list. You WILL find something you like. Or just check their website for the next beer inspired dinner event.

Umami Burger
(3) locations to choose from across Los Angeles

For the hamburger geek – The Port and Stilton burger or the #1 or # 3 kombu.
For the beer geek – Nakhon beer brewed with Jasmine rice or go European with Czechvar or Staropremen.

Your homework assignment is get three or four beers of your favorite style and a couple of friends and compare and contrast. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be in essay form. This is a quick and easy way to pin down what your favorite characteristics are in a beer. For me, I love comparing different IPA’s to figure out which hops are used and how long the bitterness lingers on the palate. But you can do it for stouts, Belgian tripels or even fruit beers.

Your beer of the week is…Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast. This is brewed by the nomadic Mikkeller brewers at the Nøgne Ø facility. It is an oatmeal stout with 1/4 oat-based ingredients and a nice touch of gourmet coffee. You can find it in most good liquor stores and at the Library Alehouse.

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.


Sean Inman

Find more of Sean Inman's writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

Blog Comments

At Oinkster we’ve actually changed out the widmere hef, to craftsman heavenly hef as well as telegraph white and california ale on draft. We have a few other really good bottles like hair of the dog “ruth” and ellies brown ale as well.

Megan – Thanks for the tip on the LaBrea Umami. The Los Feliz and Hollywood locations are my closest Umami venues.

Inempyrean – The first three on your list are great. I still have yet to try Village Idiot but it is on my list. Maybe then I will post about it. But I was trying to get the word out on places not normally thought of when craft beer is mentioned.

what about golden state, father’s office, library alehouse, and village idiot?


Those would also be good choice, but a lot of people already know about those restaurants. Sean went off the map with a couple of his picks.

Thanks, Sean. One quick note… the Umami on La Brea south of Wilshire does not serve alcohol and does not allow customers to bring their own. That alone is worth a trip to a different beer-friendly location, because that burger just screams for a quality craft brew.

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