Tuesday, April 30, 2013

El Segundo Brewing Co. (El Segundo)


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This was the last of three breweries we visited a week ago. It's probably my least favorite brewery from the ones I've visited.  Despite some harsh comments I made about Angel City, I actually like Angel City better than this one.  I'm not knocking El Segundo either.  It's just that, El Segundo is all about hops.  Me, not so much.  So if you like IPAs, you'd love this place.  I like variety and other breweries give me that.  I like hoppy beer every now and again.  But I can't sit down and throw back ipa after ipa after ipa.  For that reason, and that reason alone, I'm not 100% behind this brewery.  It's outstanding, I think, for the style of beer they produce, but that just aint my style.  So if you love IPAs and are a big fan of Stone Brewing Co., these guys are right up your alley.           




Blink an eye and you might miss the place. 



This is the smallest tasting room of any brewery I have been to.  It's no bigger than the size of a bungalow.



The menu on 4.26.13



Citra, White Dog, Bluehouse, Hyperion Stout and Standard Crude.  Hyperion is delicious and Citra is solid.  The others were good too, if you like super hopped up beer.



No food trucks here.  These are your snack options.  Although, I'm pretty sure they allow you to bring in outside food. 


 
Their logo.



LA Buns (Downey)

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South LA chicken sandwich.

One of the best chicken sandwiches in all of LA. Period.  For my taste, the slaw could be spicier though.  But that's just me splitting hairs now.    



Buffalo chicken fries.

I still don't care for the fries.  I'm not sure any topping could make these fries better than your average inner-city fries.  In other words, they're mediocre.  Sorry, but the burgers and sandwiches here, deserve a better spud.  


 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Vella Pizza (Los Angeles)

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Our Neapolitan pizza - A thing of beauty.



The mobile, wood-fired pizza oven.



Toppings going on our pie.



I ordered half of the first and half of the second option on the menu.



The toppings were fresh and flavorful.  

The crust was slightly blistered around the perimeter giving it a leopard skin appearance.  It was crispy around the edges and chewy throughout.  Only thing is, it's not my preferred crust for pizza.  Ya, I like thin-crust, but this style of pizza isn't known for its structure like New York style pizza.  It's a different animal, in that respect.  Once you get beyond the outside of this pizza, the dough in the center becomes gummy almost.  The fact of the matter is, the quick cooking time, doesn't allow for the crust to crisp up how I prefer underneath.  But that's just how this style of pizza is meant to be made.  I liked it, for what it was, but I'd still take New York style pies any ole day of the week over Neapolitan.



     Business information.


Smog City Brewing Co. (Torrance)

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Their logo - I love it.



Their hours for the upcoming weeks.  Grand opening coming soon.



The facility.  

Beer through the right entryway.



Ahhhh yes.  Welcome! 

 I get so giddy walking into a new brewery.



The menu on 4.26.13.




For an additional $2, you can order a flight of all 5 so I did just that.  

My favorites were their coffee porter, sabre toothed squirrel and bourbon red.  All different in style, and all equally delicious. 


   
Inside the tasting room.  

I love drinking right next to all the tanks and barrels.  I miss that about The Bruery's new tasting room and Eagle Rock's brewery doesn't even have that feel cuzz it's so small.



The scene within minutes of opening. 

For the time being They don't have a paddle or carrying case for flights so be prepared to make a couple of trips to your table or barrel.  Space is limited so if it's full, you'll be better off ordering by the pint.  



I love the colors, the styles, the distinct and subtle flavors.

I don't remember if I've had brews from Smog City before this trip.  Their coffee porter rings a bell for me, but I could be mistaken.  In any event, I'm a big fan of what they are doing here.  After The Bruery, this is my favorite "local" brewery.  And damnit, it's right around the block from Monkish.  Slightly further down is Strand Brewing Co.  Coming soon is The Dudes Brewing Co and just up the freeway is El Segundo Brewing Co.  I'm envious of the beach cities right about now.  Breweries are opening all around me, yet here I am still hoping for our first craft-beer centered bar in South Gate.  Hurry up already, Hops & Barley Alehouse!



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Shipyard Brewing's XXXX IPA (Pugsley's Signature Series)

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Straight trash.




Pours an amber color with minimal head even with deliberate coaxing.  Looks good, smells sweet with subtle floral hops.



It's viscous with a honey sweet beginning, is low in carbonation and the alcohol is extremely forward.  It's also very malty for a DIPA.  Yes, it's a double IPA, not a quadruple.  That's the absurdity that got me into buying this crap.  I thought it was some sort of joke so I just had to try it.  I thought this was a novelty beer that went haywire with 4 x's the amount of hops but all it is, is a double IPA made with 4 different kinds of hops.  



I bought this not expecting anything good and I was right.  I had trouble finishing this bomber but with the help of spiced lemon mixed nuts, I did.  It wasn't easy.  I found it absolutely terrible.  Never again.  Blaahhh.  



Spirit House (Monterey Park)

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Drake's 1500 American Pale Ale.



What's on tap.



Shiso Mojito.



Tako fries. 

Their fries are great; Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.  The toppings here are good but the fries are superb.



One of the three different food menus we came across.




KFC wings.

I find their wings to be on the small side and not very juicy.  



Great Divide's Old Ruffian Barely Wine.  



Japanese chasu tacos.

I'll pass on the chicken wings and these tacos.  The freshly made tortilla was delicious though.



Oxtail Shepard's pie.



Shepard's pie innards.

I debated getting the burger or this pie.  The burger is a "no-brainer," as owner David put it, but I just had to try something new.  David was right.  This is good but the burger is better.



Hangar 24's Chocolate Porter.



Panang curry fries.

More delicious fries, here with a thick curry chili, if you will. 



Japanese craft beer.

I wanted to try Japanese craft beer, specifically the sweet potato lager, but it turns out that their entire menu of Japanese craft beer is only available by the bottle.  I don't have anything against bottles.  I just prefer buying bottles to bring home with me. Restaurants and bars mark up bottles by 100%-125% so I went with the better value - draft.


Asian Pears. 

When we arrived, we asked for a cocktail on their menu that featured Asian pear and Yamazaki whisky.  They were out of pear, so we ordered something else.  Sure enough, general manager and owner, David scampered out to buy the produce.  This guy goes out of his way to ensure you are having a good time.  Hats off to you, my good man.  First, I inquired about mezcal and you stocked your bar with it.  And now, you drop what you are doing to go to the supermarket?  Well done! =)   



Mezcal, habanero infused tequila, mango nectar, lime.  



The fire pit outside.

When we arrived, the place was dead like always.  By the time we left, the place was being flooded by Asians mostly and the dj was finishing his set up, all while spinning some ill shit I like to kick back and listen to.  We picked up and left once he went into Asian club-mode and started spinning some technoey bullshit.  Majority rules, right? 


     
 Recent beer event.

Shame on me for not posting this sooner.  I had ample time to post this as I came  here in March, but I've been busy with other things or just flat out lazy.  In any event, Spirit House has breweries take over their taps from time to time, so be on the lookout for that sort of thing, as they host a beer function every month.