As promised in a previous post, I am traveling through the greater Los Angeles area to review restaurants from the craft beer perspective. Today we take a drive down Ventura Boulevard to a new destination and to a BBQ place that I have been meaning to try for quite a while.
Blue Dog Beer Tavern is in a busy stretch of roadway where Ventura and Sepulveda meet near the 405. It is a converted doctor’s office that has been changed into a neighborhood hangout for denizens of Sherman Oaks.
They have a small but well curated list of beers. There is something for everyone from beer beginner to the beer snob. They are one of the few places in Los Angeles that carry Duvel Green (which is one of my favorite beers of 2009) and they also have Old Rasputin on tap and in their fish ‘n’ chips.
You can also order a flight of 4 beers for $9 if you can’t make your mind up or you can go for 8-ounce pours. I give any establishment that does this a big thumbs up because it encourages being bold without promoting overdoing it.
Their food menu has some nice touches. Panzerotti is pizza dough that is lightly fried. You’ll find the aforementioned fish ‘n’ chips as well as well priced burgers and sandwiches (including the ice cream variety)!
What really helps though is that the people that I spoke with were all knowledgeable about beer but also tried the stuff they were selling. It makes such a difference to have the people making decisions based on what is good and matches the food rather than on economics only.
Blue Dog Beer Tavern
4524 Saugus Avenue
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
11 AM – 11 PM daily
Boneyard Bistro is easy to drive by when you are concentrating on the car filled stretch of Ventura Boulevard that the Bistro calls home.
Like the Blue Dog, the tap list is small but select. Where Boneyard Bistro shines is the bottle list. From seasonals to stouts to a category named “oddballs,” this is the place to order some BBQ to share and then order up some bottles to share.
I would find a good porter or stout to match up with the burgers which are really tall and pretty good once you have wrangled them to an eatable size. I would suggest the Oskar Blues Ten Fidy or the Alaskan Brewing Smoked Porter. The fried mac ‘n’ cheese was also good. This
is comfort food with classy flair.
13539 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Monday – Thursday: 6-10 PM
Friday: 6-11 PM
Saturday & Sunday: 12 – 9 PM
Your homework for the week is to make a New “Beers” resolution. Get out of your comfort zone. Try the sour beer instead of your usual order. Until you try, you will never know. Or better yet, try a new bar. If you are on the Westside, come on over to the Verdugo Bar. If you are on the Eastside with me, then try 5th Amendment in Santa Monica. 2010 is your year to become a more adventurous craft beer drinker.
The beer of the week is perfect for New Year’s celebrating. Avec Les Bons Voeux from Brasserie Dupont is the perfect beer substitute for champagne to toast in 2010 and to say au revoir to 2009. It is a saison with a high ABV of around 9.5%. It is nice and bubbly with that trademark Belgian yeast aroma.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.