British beer and food are still undervalued here in the United States. Mostly because old ideas are sometimes hard to kick back to the dusty corners from which they sprang. Andy Black has been crusading for cask ale at Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance and now they have food partners to back them up and expand on that vision.
Snap Tin Eatery is located inside the brewery and is named for the lunch box that miners would carry their mid-day meal in England. Chef Bruno Wu has created, in consultation with Yorkshire Square, a menu that hits the British mark and really utilizes the beer.
The menu started with three appetizers at soft opening and has since expanded to the current size. Chef Wu and his Chef de Cuisine Paul Pistone both have experience in this atmosphere with Wu having lived in London for ½ a year and Pistone working at British gastropub, The Spotted Pig, in New York.
Now they have a pretzel made with wort that you can dip into beer cheese, a beef and beer gravy for poutine or a flight of Fish (and snappy thin fries) that they batter with three different beers from the Yorkshire Square menu. That last item was one of the first beer-infused recipes where I could truly taste (and see) the influence of the beer.
What struck me about the food service, as well, was the classy presentation on stark, but light-black plates. My server was extremely knowledgeable about both the food and the beer. I have usually seen the opposite, where the server may know the food, but not the beer, or vice versa.
No slight to food trucks meant, but with consistent food on site, Yorkshire Square becomes a must stop in the Torrance beer scene simply because you will be able to find not only British favorites, but a South Bay salad and spins on hamburger and chicken sandwiches as well.
Of course, I will be going back for desserts. The dark and malty beers of Yorkshire Square will pair very well, I assume, with sweets.
The Non-IPA of the Week is a style that is gaining momentum: Italian-style Pilsner. Figueroa Mountain has a companion beer to go along with their Lagerville Festival in Buellton this weekend. Lagerville is a five-way collaboration with Beachwood Brewing, Topa Topa, Eppig, and Alvarado Street Brewing. They are using Italian-grown barley and European hops to create a refreshing summer beer that has notes of “spiced grass” according to their description.
Get a pen with lots of ink because the calendar event I am proposing involves finding a time or three to visit Beer Belly – Koreatown closes at the end of the month. Beer Belly was one of the prime movers of the Los Angeles beer scene. Jimmy Han went out of his way to promote the beer of Southern California and to create a cool spot hidden from busy Western Avenue where you could enjoy great food to pair with your beer. I will remember all the One Night Stand tap take-overs fondly. Once July is done, I will have to find the best route to their Long Beach location to make up for the loss.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.