Under the California Sun

Even though Bell Marker is looking for a new home (?), the ABC group and their New Original Breweries are expanding.

I visited under cover of press, the upcoming pizza project from Tony Yanow and crew, California Sun.

Sunset Junction has a new pizza player with a healthy side of beer.  California Sun will be opening for business of February 11th and this has vaulted into the top 3 of pizza places and I haven’t even tried the non Detroit-style pizzas yet.

This ABC Group outpost slots nicely in between the snugness of Tony’s Darts Away and the expansiveness of Mohawk Bend.  It has the vibes of both but also breaks new ground.  CalSun straddles the to-go and eating in line with a large cooler (with cans only) of a wide ranging amount of beers.  The whole layout is fun with arrows pointing the way to the order counter and a zig-zag communal table that can allow for new conversations or to stay insular.

The 12 taps will pour the typical Yanow split of IPA and Non-IPA.  Russian River was seen on both sides with Pliny the Elder and STS Pils and you will see a smattering of New Original beers on tap as well.  The cooler had a little of everything from cider, kombucha, foreign and local beers at a slightly elevated price point but if you are there to get a pizza to go, getting one or more cans won’t hurt, especially if it is something you haven’t seen or want to try.  Considering Flagship February, tall Duvel cans were sighted so that would work especially well with the food.

And the main draw will be that vegan and meat eaters (count me in the latter) will both have pizzas to choose from and some weird ones at that.  (taco pizza anyone) By the slice or whole pies on offer.  The Detroit style had a lovely light bready and carmelized cheese taste to it.  My harsh pizza judge and significant other deemed them excellent which is high praise.  She also wants to schedule a return visit which is another feather in the pizza makers cap.

33 Taps of Silver Lake

A while back I received an invite from the second 33 Taps location in Silver Lake to taste the food and check out the beer list. I finally scheduled a visit recently.

I vaguely remember wandering in and out of the Hollywood location, years ago and remarking to myself that it was a fine sports bar but that I would pick the nearby Blue Palms over it.

(FYI – The food and drink were comped but, as usual, that does not color my review)
We will focus on the beer first. As you can see from the headings there is a mixture of beer for geeks to those who eschew craft. This makes 33 Taps good for parties with a wide range of people. Especially if they are going to watch sports. The Area Code division of the beers is cute if not super helpful. The range of styles is good but beer snobs will be hating the fact that Bud and Coors is taking up space that could go to another deserving brewery. Good to see San Fernando Brewing but that is really only the small local to be found.
The decor of the space is much cleaner then when it was Good Microbrew. The seats are comfortable and the lighting is bright. TV’s are tuned to a variety of sports. (Got to see Portland eviscerated by Chicago).

The food leans toward the fried. The Fish and Chips were the clear winner of the night while other dishes were fine. The Chicken and waffles had good chicken but the batter was heavy and the waffles were a bit leaden to me.

The overall feeling is that their is a solid effort being put into it. Are they hedging their bets with non-craft people. Sure. But if you are in a group and they can’t decide and you need a fallback position, this could please more people then hitting a trendy spot.

LA Mill and not just for coffee

Here in Los Angeles we are not only blessed with great beer but great coffee too. Groundwork and Intelligentsia to name two. But a case could be made that LA Mill is the strongest of the bunch. And now they have added beer to the menu. Check out the following:
Black & Black
North Coast Old Rasputin and hand drip iced Lamill Coffee
Ozeno Yukidoke IPA
Using five times the hops of other beers, this IPA is well balanced, with smooth flavor, mellow bitterness, and citrusy tones. This hoppy IPA is surprisingly California in style.
Tama No Megumi
Bottle conditioning is the process of putting live yeast into the actual beer bottle. This process is used to continue aging the beer, even as it sits on the shelf. It can be aged for 5 years.
Coedo Beniaka
Fermented for an extended period of time, this premium lager features an aromatic sweetness in its amber tones. This truly unique beer is a rare combination of high quality malts and “Beniaka”, the roasted Kintoki sweet potato of the Kawagoe region.