Sunset Beer Company in Echo Park is the perfect hideaway for any local beer connoisseur. Located on Sunset Boulevard, this small, casual spot is part lounge, part bar and part store. Patrons can order beer on tap at the bar, or select from over 700 bottled craft beers (and wines) to take home – or better yet, enjoy in-store with a $2 corkage fee. Visitors can then sit in the outdoor patio area or in the lounge, which boasts a cozy fireplace, leather chairs, wooden benches and a bookshelf lined with books, magazines and an assortment of board games. Beers on tap range in price and style, but are almost always of the local or national craft beer variety. Customers tend to be young and engaging, and the annual Mug Club lets frequenters keep their own glass at the bar for use whenever they come through.
Carrying a wide selection of imported wines from across Spain, France, Italy, California and beyond, as well as craft beers, cordials, myriad spirits and bar snacks, Silver Lake’s House of Spirits is not your average neighborhood shop. With a bright neon sign and a long green awning, the liquor selections inside range from hard to find bottles to everyday drink options, with a few surprises thrown in. Tasty drink accompaniments for sale include chocolates, crackers, cookies, candies and of course, an array of nonalcoholic beverages. The crowded storefront is located conveniently just off Sunset Boulevard. Rows of various bottles line the walls and there are stands holding hundreds more on the aisles, making this a great place to stock up before a party.
Though it first opened in 1959 as an English pub, the Red Lion Tavern has given Los Angeles an easy way to visit the boisterous beer gardens of Munich since 1963. The diverse menu includes lunch and dinner options, and even hosts a champagne brunch. The menu's hearty emphasis on sausage, beer, and cabbage hasn’t changed much in 50 years, and today features seven kinds of sausage and extensive pretzel and schnitzel offerings, along with an extensive list of beers. Customers can also enjoy a myriad selection of salads, sandwiches, soups, seafood, pork, poultry, desserts and sides such as red cabbage or German fried potatoes. The Tavern also features weekly specials in addition to a number of coffee specialties.
Two indoor bars and an outdoor beer garden give patrons plenty of places to refill their pints—and the bartenders likewise offer plenty of opportunities to practice one's German (their native tongue). Along with dressing its wait staff in lederhosen and dirndls, the Red Lion Tavern invites Germanic bands to play live music, hangs the work of German artists upon their walls, and sends partied-out patrons home in German-engineered cabs whenever possible.
Much has changed since 1927, including the price of a chicken dinner. When Marius Taix Jr. first opened Taix, he served chicken dinners for 50 cents. Though the price may have changed, owner Raymond Taix made sure that the French country cuisine didn’t. Meals still come with a tureen of soup and freshly baked French bread, and the dinner menu of roast chicken au jus, salmon filet with champagne cream, and frog legs Provencal still honors the founder's original intentions. And though Raymond's staff is considered “vintage”—some having served more than three generations—they can still hang with the night owls, serving entrees from a late-night menu until 1 a.m. Taix also feeds cravings for late-night entertainment. Thursdays and Fridays, the restaurant hosts live music in the 312 lounge. On Sundays, the lounge also features standup comedy.
It’s a familiar bar sound—the quick whoosh of carbonation as a bartender opens a beer bottle, then the tinkling of the metal cap as she tosses it into a trash bin. It’s a sound you’ll never hear at Mohawk Bend. Upon walking into the craft-beer haven, patrons find 72 taps lined up behind the bar and nary a bottle in sight. The selection, which could change any minute, is thoughtfully curated in part by co-owner Tony Yanow, whom GQ called one of L.A.’s prominent beer gurus. The beers are almost strictly Californian in origin, not surprising given that Tony is a co-founder of Golden Road Brewing, one of the very few breweries located within city limits. Instead of supplementing these drafts with coolers of eccentrically labeled bottled brews, Tony chose to fill out his bar with six taps of wine and about 50 artisanal spirits—all Californian, of course. Like a Dionysian’s IV, the wine is drawn directly from vintners’ tanks. Bottles are once again lacking in accordance with the bar’s philosophy, which shoots for a Lilliputian carbon footprint. Mirroring the bar is an open kitchen, where chefs pull from a spread of farmer’s market ingredients while preparing meals in one of the designated vegan or nonvegan workstations. A custom-built oven cooks up pizzas such as a Salad Daze topped with avocado, lemon-dressed lettuces, zucchini, and caramelized onions. Crispy pancetta bulks up a Mohawk burger with pickled chilies, arugula, and red onions. Guests can take their plates and pints in one of four distinct dining spaces, rooms that design group Spacecraft dramatically yet respectfully converted from a former incarnation as a vaudeville theater. The 100-year-old building’s original brick walls set the scene in the Ramona Room, where a large skylight pours sun onto greenery and retro orange chairs. Out front, a marquee entices patrons with jocular messages such as “Have no fear, beer is here.”
Grill 'Em All crashed onto LA's restaurant scene as a food truck. Cooks Matthew Chernus and Ryan Harkins gained a following for their half-pound burgers, which sported names and ingredients inspired by a heavy metal lifestyle. The team's big break came when they were chosen as contestants for Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race. Matthew and Ryan won the competition, which netted them $50,000 in prize money—enough to open a brick-and-mortar version of their now-famous truck. Heavy metal posters, local artwork, and a large chalkboard menu take center stage within the diner-esque space. At an open prep station, cooks assemble some truly out-of-the-box burgers. The Dee Snider comes with peanut butter, strawberry jam, bacon, and sriracha. The Pig Champion, meanwhile, includes fried egg, Canadian bacon, and champagne hollandaise. Each burger will be cooked medium rare and beaten with guitars unless you specify otherwise.