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Where to dineLA if You Want Good Beer

July 17, 2017

By Katie Bain, July 17, 2017

Los Angeles, home to nearly four million, is one of the country’s true culinary melting pots. Here, food cultures from around the world flavorfully collide in sidewalk stands, food trucks, unassuming holes in the wall, and opulent dining rooms, making L.A. one of the most exciting cities in the world in which to go out to eat.

Choosing a restaurant can thus be overwhelming, and eating out on the regular gets pricey. This is why dineLA – a two week event during which restaurants across the city offer specially priced lunch and dinner menus – is a blessed affair.

This year, more than 300 restaurants throughout Los Angeles, from the beach to the concrete jungle, are participating. Tickets are not required, although reservations are recommended. The craft beer scene in Los Angeles has, in the last few years, become as prolific as the local food world, making dineLA an excellent opportunity to tip back a few pints while you eat.

Here are ten of the best dineLA options for beer lovers.

Mikkeller DTLA

Copenhagen-based microbrew sensation Mikkeller landed in Los Angeles early this year and has since become one of the city’s buzziest beer drinking destinations. The ultra-chic bar/restaurant – located inside a sprawling, 7,600-square-foot former Discount Tire Center in downtown Los Angeles – is living up to the hype for dineLA week with eclectic food options including rabbit burgers, and a peach, onion, brie and arugula flatbread.

The real draw on the ultra-reasonable $29 dinner menu, however, is the Mikkeller SD Beer (it’s brewed in San Diego, hence the “SD”) that’s included with every meal.

SpagoThere's the master, Wolfgang Puck, smelling his art.

Spago

If you’re going to splurge on dinner in Los Angeles, do it at Spago. This ultra-posh Wolfgang Puck-owned Beverly Hills institution is offering a dineLA dinner menu for a cool $125 per person. Selections include smoked salmon mousse, charred octopus, wagyu beef and shaved truffles. Also, there’s beer. Spago’s happily inventive list includes craft selections out of Japan, Barcelona, Portland, San Diego and Milwaukee. Yes, they serve Miller High Life, which is, after all “the champagne of beers.”

The Hart & The Hunter

Located inside West Hollywood’s Pali Hotel, the consistently buzzed about The Hart & The Hunter serves delightfully unfussy takes on new American fare in a chic (but cozy!) dining room. The dineLA week dinner menu here is set at $39 and offers comfort foods including hanger steak, BBQ shrimp and “Hoosier Fried” pork tenderloin, which will all surely go down easy with any one of the selections from the petite but mighty beer list.

SoCal selections here include Ballast Point’s Manta Ray Double IPA (a 2016 gold winner at the European Beer Star Awards), Modern Times’ unabashedly hoppy Blazing World and Saint Archer White Ale. (All three of thse are made just down the coast in San Diego.) There’s also Gnomegang, a Belgian Strong Pale Ale from New York’s Brewery Ommegang and an across the Atlantic-made saison from Belgium’s St. Feuillien.

Use any one of these to wash down The Hart & The Hunter’s most famous menu item, the butter biscuits. They’re included with every dineLA dinner.

The Federal

The $29 dineLA week menu at this North Hollywood bar and restaurant includes a 12 oz. draft of the locally made Boomtown or Fed Red, in addition to burgers, shrimp, short ribs, a kale and grilled peach salad, and a host of appetizers and desserts. Come in for an early dinner (the dineLA dinner menu starts at 6pm), and cross over with The Federal’s happy hour, which offers $2 off beer every day from 3-6pm. Located in a historic bank building, The Federal’s robust beer list includes selections from California breweries including Mother Earth, Modern Times, Arrogant Brewing and many more.

Casa Vega

Casa Vega is everything you want a Mexican restaurant in the Valley to be: dark, authentic, reliably delicious. Located in Sherman Oaks, Casa Vega has been a neighborhood fixture since 1956 and remains owned by the Vega family. The dineLA menu here offers a bit of everything – guacamole, fajitas, enchiladas, tacos, chile rellenos and churros – all of which will go well paired with one of Casa Vega’s famous Michelada De La Vega, made of Modela Especial, pressed cucumber juice and a secret blend of spices.

This ramen and burger shop pulls all of its beer selections from Japan, and the list goes far beyond Kirin and Sapporo.”

Bacaro LA

Located in downtown Los Angeles near the USC campus, Bacaro LA is distinguishing itself as one of the few dineLA restaurants offering an open bar on the prix fixe price. (Huzzah!) $29 will get you two food items (think gnocchi, tripolini and other Mediterranean-inspired small plates to share), plus as many glasses of Bacaro’s house-made golden pilsner as you can drink in 90 minutes.

Tam O’Shanter

Built in 1922, Tam O’Shanter is Los Angeles’ oldest restaurant operated by the same family in the same location and has been repping its Scottish roots hard for nearly a century. Located in L.A.’s eastside Atwater Village neighborhood, Tam O’Shanter is doing what it does best for dineLA week: meat. The $39 dinner menu is offering prime rib served with mash potatoes and gravy or duck confit with arugala salad, lentil and plums. Either of these (as well as the pan-seared salmon) will pair well with drafts including Maui Brewing Company’s Lahaina Town Brown and Great Divide’s Oak Age Yeti, both of which appear on the long list of drafts. There’s also a delightfully eclectic of nationally and internationally sourced bottles.

Plan Check

Sometimes you just want a damn hamburger. Plan Check offers just that at four locations across the city, from Santa Monica to Sawtelle to Fairfax to downtown. The $29 dineLA dinner menu includes a Blended Truffle Burger that comes with a host of mushrooms, along with short ribs and a miso-glazed salmon that also pair quite well with the sprawling selection of local drafts, from North Coast to Modern Times to Three Weavers to Santa Monica Brew Works. The bottled options are just as abundant, and the spicy mac and cheese (available on both the lunch and dinner prix fixe menus) is a must. Happy hour at the Santa Monica and Fairfax locations extends from 12-7pm, and offers $5 drafts. Just sayin’.

K Ramen.Burger.Beer

This ramen and burger shop located adjacent to the Glendale mall pulls all of its beer selections from Japan, and the list goes far beyond Kirin and Sapporo. There’s a Wasabi Ale craft from Niigita, a white ale and espresso stout from Ibaraki’s Hitichano Nest and a sweet potato amber out of Coedo. Pair any one of these with selections from K Ramen.Burger.Beer’s $39 dineLA dinner menu, which features chicken wings, burgers, a shrimp sandwich and, of course, several varieties of ramen.

Connie and Ted’s

Located in West Hollywood on a bustling section of Santa Monica Blvd., Connie and Ted’s is L.A.’s go to spot for upscale seafood and a fun/casual atmosphere. Their $39 dineLA dinner menu offers many options, from calamari to oysters to fish and chips and lobster rolls. Pair your selections with one of Connie and Ted’s 24 draft craft beers, a list that rotates on the regular and is known to include a healthy selection of hyper-local brews. Taps are $5 during happy hour, which runs from 4-7pm on weekdays. Coordinate your dinner to overlap and make your dining out deal even sweeter.

AB InBev is an investor in October through its venture capital arm, ZX Ventures
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