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.

1st Visit – Broxton Brewpub

Tuesday, myself and my food critic K. headed west to Westood Village to check out the latest in the Tony Yanow, Artisanal Brewers Collective brewpub, Broxton.

The corner spot has been well utilized and is my favorite of the brewpub group so far since it is split into two levels with seating nooks all around and including a patio space as well. The ceilings soar above and practically screams for a mural of sorts. The only downside might be noise levels when the UCLA crowd is bumping (if their football team can pick up a W)

The food was really good, from skirt steak to biscuits to ribs and even a sweet potato tartlet with marshmallows that was like a bit of pie. It is good enough to make me want to return to eat options like the Mac n Cheese and the Fried Chicken.

Notice that I haven’t talked about the beer. I had the GABF medal winning Scotch Ale, Skag and it was really good. Strong and malty and perfect for a fall night out on the patio. I also had a Bell Marker beer, Peachside Pale which was quite nice. But no Broxton beers yet. The two brewer set-up might have reached a limitation on how much can be brewed. So like at 6th & La Brea, expect Stalking Horse, Bluebird and Bell Marker more than Broxton beers. Granted, as said, it is the same brewers but I sort of want to see what beers pair with the particular menu and chef.

1st Visit – Bluebird Brasserie

Finally, I made my way out to the final of the three new Tony Yanow ABC brewpubs, Bluebird Brasserie.

Here is the beers drunk quick recap:

TJ’s Tripel
Comes out strong. Orange notes. Smooth. Silky.

Chapeau du Jour Amber
Woodsy. Light. Grassy. Oaty. A bit unbalanced.

Stay Gold
Light. Decent blonde. A bit bland. Could use some Belgian character.

Les Incompetents Rillo hoppy Saison
Really nice. Good hop hit. With a side order of Saison.

The space looks bigger in the website photos but this is essentially one room with a bar at the back of the space. With the sunlight coming through either open or shut windows, it is less Castle-esque and more whimsical brick arches. A Harry Potter film was playing on the TV (too many) and I felt I was watching from inside Hogwarts minus the Butterbeer.

6th & La Brea

Mark 2 off of my ABC list, first I got the preview treatment at The Stalking Horse and next is 6th & La Brea.


The beers from this teeny, squeezed into the back brewery….

…were not quite ready, so the assembled media crowd had the choice between Bell Marker or Stalking Horse beers (or both)….

…the Hoppy Couple and De Alcala were my two favorites though I think the glass was even cooler with the mall map “You Are Here” emblazoned on it.

And for the second time in less than a few weeks, I was able to hear about the ABC vision from Tony himself….

A review of the house beers and Bluebird Brasserie will be coming later.

The Bluebird is Flying

I still have not checked out the British themed Stalking Horse from the Artisanal Brewers Collective (ABC) and now they are introducing a Belgian addition to the family.

Bluebird Brasserie will open in Sherman Oakson April 2, 2018. This Belgian pub will have “beer brewed on site, themed cocktails, and a traditional menu featuring delicacies like Beer Cheese Croquettes, Moules-Frites and Liege Waffles for dessert.”

Noah Regnery will be concocting the “house beers” “while the remainder of the tap list will be replete with 10 taps of Belgian-style beers from known breweries such as The Lost Abbey, The Bruery, Allagash, Ommegang and more. A curated bottle list rounds out the beer menu with Belgian offerings such as Duvel, St. Bernardus 12, Deus, as well as some Trappist beers such as Orval, Chimay Red and Westmalle Tripel.”

But plan ahead because this new Pub/Brasserie will have limited reservations and allow in limited walk-ins for dinner only for the first two weeks of opening- starting at 5pm. Once that phase is complete they will be open from 12:00pm-12:00am on Sunday-Wednesday, and 12:00pm-2:00am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Roller Derby, Park and Beer

Looks like Tony Yanow is adding to his Burbank roots with a big development announced last month and I have been mulling over the plans for a bit now.

photo courtesy of the City of Burbank

A 2.4-acre site at 10 W. Magnolia Boulevard will become event space, Roller Rink (Yanow loves the Roller Derby), restaurant space, outdoor park space and for readers of this blog, a “craft beer pub.”

Artisanal Brewers Collective has been super busy and seemingly getting busier. This project will take a long time to get through all the permit process mumbo jumbo, then the de-construction of the site before the construction.

Questions about who will be drawn to it exist for me though. There is a big Ikea nearby and it will be neighboring the Metrolink – Burbank station but will that provide foot traffic to the space? Will the beer aspect be the draw? Or is event space that lucrative a business?

Due to the trains and the 5 freeway, there are dead ends aplenty so how do eyeballs see it and then get to it? I also foresee issues with late departures from the Metrolink parking meeting early arrivals on weeknights for coveted parking spots.

Lastly, will it be Yanow / ABC beer for sale only? Or will it be more of a Tony’s / Mohawk style with multiple taps?

Many questions to learn the answers to.

Stalking Horse

The Stalking Horse is kind of an ominous name for a new British pub themed venture but with the history of Tony Yanow in L.A. beer and with a brewer with Pizza Port experience on the resume, the former Steingarten spot could make West Pico a destination.

The brewer in question is Brandon Edwards who has returned to California after working at Columbus Brewing Co.

No specific beers have been talked about but the general starting place is “inspired by English traditions”. There will be multiple taps that will feature English style beer,and the 7-barrel system will be right behind glass for you to drink by. Brewing should be starting soon.

Taking Over in DTLA

Rolling out this month, the Artisanal Brewers Collective, a group which includes the very busy Tony Yanow (Mohawk Bend, Tony’s Darts Away), will take the reins at four DTLA bars (Library Bar, Spring Street Bar, Sixth Street Tavern, and Beelman’s Pub) under the ABC Bars division.

All had been under the control of the hospitality group that notably runs Laurel Tavern but that concept is being set to grow and the group wanted to focus on that.

This is the opening salvo for the group that has other DTLA plans as well as Westwood.

The More Yanow

Ever since Westwood Brewing went belly up and morphed into just another bar, there has been a beer sized hole at Bruin central.

That could change in 2017 as Tony Yanow of Tony’s Darts Away and Mohawk Bend is teaming with a group named the Artisanal Brewers Collective to place a beer-centric spot in the former Yamamoto space in Westwood Village.

This marks the second project for Yanow who is also in process for creating a still un-named brewpub in Sherman Oaks.

Yanow 2.0

Looks like the next chapter for former Golden Road and current Mohawk Bend and Tony’s Darts Away owner Tony Yanow will be craft beer brewpub space in the Valley.

The latest intel is that Yanow is considering a spot way out in Sherman Oaks on Ventura Boulevard. It is projected as a brewpub. Restaurant focused with a small brewery.

For sure, there will be IPA’s on the menu. Past that things get hazy like the NE.