Main Street Wine Cellar—a community wine bar that garnered a mention in the Los Angeles Times—satisfies hybrid meal aficionados with an inventive weekend brunch menu. Eggetarians can calm cravings by noshing on an omelette loaded with gourmet aged white cheddar, chorizo, and avocado ($9), and eye-candy connoisseurs ogle the eatery's collection of local artwork and optometrist-shaped Pez dispensers. Feast on grilled sandwiches, such as the garden bagel slathered with hummus and assorted veggies, or the monte cristo stuffed with smoked ham, gruyere, and jelly ($7). Grazers can nibble on creamy Aussie-style yogurt with granola and berries ($9), steel-cut oatmeal infused with lavender, buttermilk, and brown sugar ($5), or Naia's fresh-fruit smoothie ($7).
Upon collecting more than 2,000 bottles of wine, certified sommelier Rick Reich had a startling realization: he could not possibly drink them all by himself. Brix Brews & NY Deli was born as a place where Rick could invite customers to be his guests and sip on his extensive collection. Rick has come to call his restaurant his "living room," a place where he spends his time sharing company, drink, and food. It's here in his "living room" where guests will not only find a huge collection of more than 1,500 wines—they'll also find 21 craft brews on tap, alongside more than 50 bottles, one for each instance of tickling in the average rugby scrum.
And as the latter half of the restaurant's name implies, these drinks will never be alone. Weekend brunch, lunch, and dinner hint at the grilled sausage on a pretzel bun with sauerkraut; the pastrami-based fughedaboudit sandwich; and crisp margherita pizzas topped with fresh garlic, basil, and tomatoes. Food for the mind joins in the fun, too, with a jam-packed calendar of live music and trivia.
Founder of Cali Bike Tours Elizabeth Williams doesn't just advocate a healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle; she lives it. As a triathlete and passionate cyclist, Elizabeth shares her pedaling skills with fellow riders on tours through Long Beach designed to take in breathtaking views and historical sites without disturbing sunbathing ghosts. Her Velo Vino tour pairs sightseeing with sipping at local wineries, and according to Wine Enthusiast Magazine, " At each stop . . . founder Elizabeth Williams encourages you to not only sample a mix of imported and regional wines, but chat with each establishment’s sommelier or wine director, too." Other 2- or 2.5-hour tours meander along a bike path that cuts directly through the beach, or point digesters of culture toward local art exhibits and restaurants.
Joe Jost’s first opened during Prohibition as a law-abiding establishment where patrons could simply purchase sundries or get a shave and a haircut. But once Prohibition was repealed, Joe immediately started serving beers. Then the Barbering Commission showed up, telling Joe he’d have to choose between cutting hair and pouring pints—Joe chose beers. Before long, booths replaced the barber chairs, and since then, Joe Jost’s has evolved into a beloved neighborhood tavern. The menu hasn’t changed much: over the past 90-ish years, servers have dished out more than 7 million pickled eggs and 1.8 million pounds of fresh-roasted Marmion’s peanuts. Oversized schooners of beer more than ably wash down the salty snacks, and also pair well with the selection of liverwurst sandwiches or the Joe’s special, a family-recipe Polish sausage sliced down the middle and piled with Swiss cheese, mustard, and a pickle between two slices of rye bread. In the back room, pool tables sit surrounded by vintage ads, decades of old photographs, and the heads of bucks who got stuck trying to get in without ID.
A warm breeze wafts over the iron chairs and benches gathered under palm trees. Lights glow on the airy porches of the buildings across the courtyard. Inside, guests clink wineglasses under a spiral of white string lights, surrounded by bistro tables topped with floral arrangements and tall wooden wine racks. CA Wine Room's outdoor and indoor seating immerses visitors in an intimate atmosphere inspired by the state's coastal and Spanish roots.
CA Wine Room's wine director, Noah Buffet, extends this local focus to his menu: he features only California wines and specializes in smaller batches from family wineries. The selection spans cabernets, chardonnays, and zinfandels from the coast of Mendocino County, Napa Valley, and the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, and there's a handful of California craft beers on tap as well. Live music often complements drinking here: guest musicians, including pianists, monkeys with accordions, and folk bands, play each Thursday, and the lounge hosts live jazz every Saturday night.
Gallons of craft beer from the States and beyond flow from taps at Brix at the Shore. Always changing, the ales, stouts, and sakes efficiently slake thirst and inspire new and experienced beer fans alike to pair a glass with one of the deli-style specialties. Appetizers, including soft pretzels served with jalapeño-honey mustard, pave palates for the arrival of pizzas, deli sandwiches, and kobe- and Angus-beef burgers. The menu transports eaters to the East Coast—not just because it unfolds into a giant wind sail, but also because its dishes express a whimsical sense of New York City nostalgia. The Fuhgeddaboudit pastrami sandwich, The Mitzvah corned-beef sandwich, and the Verklempt—an Angus patty on challah with pastrami, swiss, and slaw—keep Big Apple cravers happy while firmly planted on Golden State soil.