Steingarten LA’s dining room, awash with muted golden tones and dominated by a kaleidoscopic art piece, doesn’t immediately scream German biergarten. Its menu, however, astutely outlines the restaurant’s integral blend of hearty Old-World fare and contemporary California cuisine. More than 20 varieties of sausage—including traditional bratwursts and spicy lamb links as well as game offerings of wild boar and berry—sit beneath toppings of pickles or house mustard. Each of the 8-ounce burger patties is made from grass-fed, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef, and can be custom-built with toppings such as smoked mozzarella and applewood bacon. True to form as a German-inspired eatery, Steingarten accents their food with exhaustive drink lists, including a beer list with German, Belgian, and American craft brews on tap. Creative cocktails include a white manhattan, made from clear American whiskey, and a cocktail of the month that has been aged in a used whiskey barrel.
With a drink in hand, patrons can stroll over to Steingarten’s intimate outdoor patio flanked with high stone walls and trellis-climbing ivies. In one corner, rosy cushioned benches surround a slender fire pit that flickers subliminal messages from behind a glass enclosure. The ivy motif also manifests in wrought-metal curlicues on each door and over the beverage fridge that takes up an entire wall at the bar.
The Fat Dog is a welcoming Hollywood gastropub that exploits the canine theme both in its tasteful dÌ©cor and in its playfully named drinks and menu items. Paintings of English bulldogs hang in the dining room above black booths and long, wooden communal tables flanked by low stools. (Guests can even study the breeds of the American Kennel Association, pictured on the wallpaper in the bathrooms.) There‰Ûªs also a full bar and a pooch-friendly patio. Casual sandwiches like the braised short rib French dip and generous sirloin burger with manchego cheese pair well with the array of domestic and imported craft beers, while more sophisticated dishes like beet salad with chÌ¬vre and hazelnut vinaigrette or honey-lavender roasted chicken are a good match for the well-edited, worldly wine list. Comforting desserts like banana cream pie and crafty, canine-conscious cocktails like the ‰ÛÏChocolate Labtini‰Û� provide a sweet finish.
Located just off Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood, District 13 is a punk-rock gastropub designed to throw old Hollywood glamour off its axis. Inventive burgers and exotic sausages make up the bulk of the graffiti-splashed menu. Pheasant, rabbit, wild boar, and even alligator sausages sizzle at lunch and dinner alongside lamb, buffalo, and salmon burgers. The restaurant also offers three vegan sausages, which pair with 22 California craft beers on draft or one of the 50 international bottles hiding behind the bar.
Kings Row Gastropub ups the ante on typical pub fare with gourmet cuisine and craft beers. Begin menu endeavors with a starter of crunchy tacos barbacoa, complete with avocado salsa, cojita cheese, and grilled jalapenos ($11). The wood-grilled, dry-aged burger, smothered in onion confit, blue cheese, white cheddar, and thick bacon, recalls the days when every burger had a wood-burning stove ($15), and the duck sliders accent exotic patties with hoisin-shiitake mushrooms ($14). Sumptuous versions of hearty Old World classics abound as well, including oxtail osso bucco with turned potatoes and carrots in a red-wine bourguignonne ($19), and tagliatelle tossed with house-cured pancetta, fresh peas, parmesan, and a fried duck egg ($15).
With a partially outdoor bar and a spacious dining area and lounge, NEOMEZE is hip without being overbearing. Coalesce with its angular aesthetic sipping a cold Summer Sky martini with Skyy vodka, cucumber, strawberries, and lemon juice ($12) or a glass of the house beer, an amber bock ($7). Get your grub on with a geometric Watermelon Neo, a starter of stacked watermelon, feta sticks, and herbs ($8), or a Greek salad with Kalamata olives, feta cheese, and lemon cilantro vinaigrette ($8). Substantiate a wayward soul with the Mediterranean burger topped with red onion, feta cheese, and tzatziki on olive ciabatta ($12), or rosemary grilled-lamb lollipops with roasted cipollini onion puree and green apple slaw ($17).