Brewery Art WALK, Vizzi TRUCK, & WorldFare BUStaurant

Saturday was the day that I should have been at school taking graduation pictures and picking up my cap and gown for my grad school graduation. However, that was not what I was doing. Instead I was looking forward to another school on Saturday. I was going to be attending an Italian Wine Class at Cube Marketplace. Minty and I knew we’d be attending this and set off to the Brewery Art Walk before the class. It was perfect weekend weather and it was magical to wander into and out of lofts to look at people’s collections in this art colony area.

Everything was lovely and then I stumbled into a place that I have been wanting to visit for years. I found the second Hipcooks location in the Brewery Arts District. I fell in love with their large communal tables, wood stump cutting boards, and cute aprons. I have a list of their upcoming classes and will definitely return for a class. By the way, I am so in love with their colander light fixtures.

After walking in to this cute kitchen my hunger started to grow and I was in the market for some food. Thankfully, just outside the art walk was the Vizzi truck. Minty told me that she read on Twitter that the World Fare was gonna come, however, they were nowhere in sight. Vizzi was not a second choice by any means and we ordered food. They only launched a few weeks ago and we were blown away by the fancy TV screens on the truck. I ordered the Balsamic BBQ Braised Wagyu Sliders and Minty had the Black Skillet Jidori Chicken Sliders. Both sandwiches were served atop Pimento-Spiced and Yakima salted Popcorn. Popcorn is one of my favorite food and I loved this fun side dish. I think I love that popcorn is such an uncouth thing to eat, it always feels as though it is being shoveled into your mouth and I feel like I can it unbelievable quantities. Minty and I subscribe to the school of “Sharing is Caring” so I gave her one of my beef sliders in exchange for one of her chicken ones. I liked hers better and she could sense it, so she asked me if I wanted to switch one more chicken for beef. I apologetically nodded and was happy as can be. These were good sliders  and the popcorn was a wonderful surprise. If I had one complaint it would be the buns. I am a bit of a bread snob and this tasted similar to King’s Hawaiian rolls, so I am guessing that is what they use. Not bad, but not up to par with the rest of the slider.

It seemed almost immediately after we ordered, the famed World Fare Bus arrived. They were welcomed by a line and a camera crew for promotional purposes. It took a while for them to park and set up and so we waited, plus we had to digest.  This BusTaurant is famous for Bunny Chows, “Originally a South African street worker food; a hollowed out loaf of bread with filled with chicken curry, Chef Andi has taken the concept to a new level as a portable easy-to-eat medium for serving different flavors from around the world.” It is a very cool concept and we liked the second story, even if the steps were rather scary. We were already a bit full and ordered the Bunny Chow combo to share with Chicken Curry and Short Ribs and added in the Truffle Mac n Cheese Balls. We were first given the wrong order (photographed below) but we can’t complain because it was delivered to us after we were told to take a seat upstairs. The upstairs was beautiful but unfortunately there were no seats, so we stood.

We had the order corrected and we both dug in to sample. I liked this brioche bun much better and the chicken curry was good with my favorite golden raisins, athough, the short rib was pretty watery and it soaked right through the bread. Our meal came with a perfect cookie. However, for me, the item that was the clear winner was the truffle mac n cheese balls. They were perfection and reached a level that the ones at Fred 62 just can’t match. After these two lunches at mobile eateries, I was stuffed and prepared for wine class. They are both trucks I would try again, but that mac n cheese ball is something I would drive miles and wait in line for. Anyway walk, truck, and bus on and I will tell you about the wine class in the very near future.


LA Weekly’s Gold Standard Event 2010: Part Deux

The second annual Gold Standard event proved a far better event than the year before. Logistics were murky but food, for the most part, was a success. Often times when I read Mr. Gold’s reviews, I find myself trying to discredit him. Mostly, because I am jealous and deep down I’d like to regard him as a deeply flawed food critic. But then I go and I taste what he finds most thrilling in LA and I’m usually filled with a monstrous love for what I am consuming. And then the guilt sets in – Did I really just devour all that food? Yes, I often do. And yesterday at the Gold Standard event, I did. Nap anyone?

For me, one of the few failures of the event was the price point. Carina and I were sulking on Friday because we were not going to be able to go because we are ‘po and, well, building an empire that sadly brings us no revenue is debilitating. The tickets were $60 for general admission and $80 for VIP. These girls of modest means could just not afford this one, however, there was a crazy turn of events. Our friend Dan, of a Drink.Eat.Play. and the man whom we credit most of our social life to, had an extra ticket and asked me to come along. I was suddenly able to go. I was elated!

I woke up Sunday morning and everything seemed so right. I was up and out early. I got there before traffic backed up on Wilshire Blvd, parked right in front, met up with Dan, met up with another posse of friends, and waited no time at will call. I pinched myself. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m incapable of being on-time and that “without a hitch” is not a common occurrence in the crazy UG melodrama life. There’s always an issue. I overlooked my recent good luck and jumped on the elevator and tried to enter the shindig. The bad Josie Ju-Ju luck returned, and we were told that the event was delayed 30 minutes due to some health department issue. A little disappointed, we returned downstairs and had some soda pop and fries at Johnny Rocket’s. We then toured the Peterson Auto Museum for a bit and got back in line. The line moved briskly. The first line was very congested, so like any regular foodie of the uncouth variety, we started with the middle line – the wine section. There was nothing particularly noteworthy about my wine so we forged forward.

The venue was great. It was a 4-5 story building and the event was on the top floor of the parking structure in a tent. People parked on the bottom floors and the event was on the top floor parking structure level. I loved the idea! Uncouth, indeed.

Now on to the food. Below were some of the food highlights.

Kogi’s Vegan Tacos: Without a doubt, this was my favorite dish of the day. It was a tofu taco wrapped in a sesame leaf topped with a beautiful vibrant green salsa that had subtle Korean undertones but that most definitely resonated with more Mexican influences. Truth be told, the hype had been so big that I had been avoiding Kogi. Now that I’ve had it, I embarrassingly admit that I have been truly missing out. This truck is special.

Mozza’s Ricotta Crostone with Peperonata: Perhaps the first one to run out of food was Mozza. People were elbowing to get to the front and I know why. It was my second favorite dish of the day. Nancy was at the helm of the line carefully assembling each crostini. She’s not a fast paced woman, but she does put a lot of energy into each bite.  I appreciate it and apparently, so does everyone else.

Border Grill’s Avocado and Quinoa Fried Tacos with Pickled Onions: Our Twitter bestie, Hot Pink Monolos, was cooking at the Border Grill Truck where they were making excellent tacos. The fried (or baked – I wasn’t sure) quinoa gave the avocado a nice crunchy and interesting texture which was paired nicely some deep red pickled onions.

Upstair’s Braised Kurobuta with Crispy Leeks and Beet Risotto Cake: I was turned on to this dish by a group of westsiders I was with. The minute I took the first bite of my pork, I wanted more. The pork was only further accentuated by the beet risotto and crispy fried leeks. Fully aware that at an event like this resources are limited, I’d say this one was very nicely done.

Ludo Bite’s Melon Chiccaron Soup with Cornishon Sorbet: The culinary masters of branding and Twitter, as well as my favorite man and woman duo, Ludo and Krissy, were strongly representing on Sunday. His soup was excellent. Sipping his soup tasted just like it did in his restaurant. I can assure you that having personally made the cornishon sorbet in Ludo’s kitchen before, it was perfect.

Bistro LQ’s Wild Harring: Ok, so there’s been a lot of hype about Bistro LQ. Ever since he served me a violet infused foie gras and violet martini at his place in South Pasadena, Bistro K, I have been a dedicated patron of Chef Quenioux. The fusion of his French culinary background and his love for local Latin ingredients always makes for an interesting meal. It was an honor to have Chef Quenioux’s food and Chef Ludo’s food within walking distance. Only at the Gold Standard could you get both.

Drink of the Hour: New Belgium’s Seasonal, Mighty Arrow: It was just f-in good. This brew was bold, ethereal and had a great finish. I pounded it in one swig. Damn, I’m an animal.

Another crowd pleaser was Sona, but I was unable to try it. And lastly, the bacon covered doughnuts fared well with the crowd. Maybe it’s just me but, is anyone else sick of bacon?! I preferred the strawberry shortcake doughnuts to the bacon. Yes, I tried both. But I only tried ’em both because I love you. You see what I do for you.

I know we described the body heat at last year’s Gold Standard event as “as hot as a bikram yoga studio,” but I really didn’t have many complaints this year. It seems like the LA Weekly took the suggestion and this year’s event was outdoor.  The brisk cool breeze couldn’t have felt better on the warm Sunday afternoon. Thanks for listening LA Weekly.

While the event did have its logistics problems, nothing was too detrimental to detract from the delicious food. The main logistics concern was the line congestion, which our good friend of The Delicious Life had a simple solution for. She suggested that instead of there being two food lines back to back, there should be a food line and a wine line back to back. The food lines were far more congested than the wine lines and this solution would allow for more passing room in between aisles. She’s a smart cookie.

I thought hell, I ate good food, connected with some old friends, and drank all the wine I could drink. Not a bad time for a modest UG like myself.

The Dim Sum Truck takes it to the Streets

I love me some dim sum! In fact, as I am typing this, the closest book to my bed is the Dim Sum of All Things. It is because of my love of dim sum that I was so bummed that I missed the Dim Sum Truck sampling in the VIP section at the LA Street Food Fest last week. I was busy volunteering, waiting in line, and searching for a missed Josie that I never got to try any. Thankfully, Minty forwarded me an e-mail that they would be doing a private sampling of the truck only a day before the official launch. I emailed the proprietor, Alex, and asked if I could tag along. He agreed and I set out on Sunday to the TLofts to see this new truck that was surrounded by bloggers, Yelpers, and street food enthusiasts. The first dish I tried was the the mixed Pork & Shrimp Shu Mai dumplings and the Shrimp Har Gow dumplings. Both were quite good and something where I would normally have to drive all the way to San Gabriel to buy a decent version of these dumplings.

The buns were the next dish that I saw people eating along with dessert. There was a Baked BBQ Pork bun and a Steamed Chicken and Mushroom bun. I am normally more of a dumpling girl, but after sampling the gingery chicken I waited in the small line to get a bun plate for myself. The next few plates I tried were all caught by special sightings. Jenny, who I first met at ramen on the night of my first car accident, would suddenly point at the truck with big eyes when a new dish would emerge and we would all run over to stand in line. Everyone’s eyes got big and we all indulged in the new plates. We got some Lotus Wrapped Sticky Rice and Turnip Cake before we dug into the desserts. The Egg Tart and Lotus Sesame Balls were just sweet enough and utterly delicate, and according to Minty the tart was torched just before serving.

I really enjoyed this sampling, Alex, and the truck concept. Talking to some folks at the event I learned that Alex is an entrepreneur in his early twenties and that he is from San Jose, California. I may be biased as I also meet this profile, although I am from 20 miles west of San Jose (Santa Cruz), but I was impressed. I am very excited about what he is trying to do in terms of sharing Dim Sum with all of LA. For me, living in Pasadena gives me close proximity to very good dim sum but not all of LA (the West side) is that fortunate. I have long been a fan of dim sum in carts and being able to grab whatever appeals to you and the genius of dim sum in a truck is that it can now travel further and share it’s deliciousness with a much larger group of people. The truck is now official launched so you know the drill: follow it on Twitter and tell me what the full menu, which includes lunchboxes and Peking Duck Tacos, is like.

Super Bowl: Food Ballin-This is how we Roll-Part II

On Super Bowl Sunday it was hot dogs that were the first 1/2 of the game and it was egg rolls that were the half time of our big food ballin day. We were recently put in contact with Diana of Diane’s Eggrolls through a mutual friend. Diane is a girl with a business and culinary background that is trying to combine both into a new business. She has come up with fun imaginative egg rolls that she hopes to sell at art walks, farmers markets, and more. She was kind enough to let us come to her house and try her creations on Sunday and we brought or Food Ballin Captain, Minty, along to try them out. What do we mean by imaginative: cheeseburger, breakfast, pizza, mango, banana and more. She had several options for us sitting on the counter that had been removed from the freezer and were ready to fry. She asked us to choose a few and separate the sweet ones because they would be fried separately. Minty and I got “normal” portions of 4 each. However, our little Josie who had multiple hot dogs prior loaded up her plate with upwards of 7 egg rolls.

Josie liked the breakfast one a lot with the potato, sausage, and egg. I have long been a fan of pizza rolls so I liked the pizza ones and the veggie. I also am the one with a sweet tooth so I liked the one stuffed with mango.  Minty, on the other hand, liked the cheeseburger one, here are her pics and write-up of the event.

After we all devoured the egg rolls, Diana had a surprise for us. She created a brand new egg roll and we were going to be the first to try it AND she was going to let us help roll it. I have a book on origami that I sometimes attempt to tackle, so I thought I was going to be great at rolling this. I also grew up in Santa Cruz, relax I was never that kind of kid. The concept was a strawberry cheesecake egg roll. It would contain strawberries and cream cheese and crushed vanilla wafers. I laid out the wonton paper and sealed the edge with flour and water. I must have made a joke because Josie laughed and spit a crumb on my perfect and yet to be filled skin. Yup, she uncouthly sabotaged me. I was angry but I still rolled a beautiful egg roll.

This final egg roll that was created on this day was by far my favorite. I kept trying to get Diana to either name it the Uncouth Gourmand roll or the Hello Kitty roll. My fingers are crossed, but I don’t think she will. Either way they were topped with whipped cream and dusted with powdered sugar. This proves that anything, if the ingredients are good quality, can deliciously be rolled up and fried to perfection. Yup, this is how we rolled on game day. Remember folks, we are only at Part II of our three part Super Bowl Food Ballin Sunday.

If you, too, would like to roll like a food baller contact Diana about catering your next event! You can be the first of your foodie friends to know about the fusion gourmet egg roll trend.

Super Bowl: Food Ballin Edition Part I

I’ve made it clear on numerous posts that we are more Food Ballers than we are football fans. That’s why when it was the big game day we chose to not watch the game but rather eat like Super Bowl Champs. When you think big manly food you may think hot dogs, but what if I told you that hot dogs are for starters? Josie lived/ate that notion on Super Bowl Sunday. We met Minty and friends at the brand new hot dog place in Pasadena, Slaw Dogs, that had their official opening only the day before.

I began with the picnic hot dog, which came with onion rings, BBQ sauce, and potato salad on the dog. Of course, I made it a combo which comes with your choice of side, soda, and a little piece of fudge to finish off the meal. I got sweet potato fries and a Diet Coke. Josie also made hers a combo but got regular (Belgian) fries and a regular Coke. However, she chose to build her own dog with grilled onions and a fried egg on top. I am starting to think our tastes are too predictable.

My hot dog could have been better but I blame myself for bad ordering. I tried several other hot dogs that day and my favorite was the Thai Slaw dog. It had that nice peanut flavor and was delish. After further inspection of the menu I totally should have ordered that, it is comes with: chicken sausage, spicy peanut-coconut satay dressing, cilantro-carrot slaw, crushed peanuts, and siracha aioli (I can make a joke about hot cock mixed with white sauce, but I will restrain). Josie ate her meal like a normal person but the whole time was eying ClimbinChiro’s monstrosity of a hot dog called the TNT (pictured in the main photo). It is the priciest of the dogs at $8.88. This isn’t like the $9 dogs at Wurstkuche, this is a hot dog that throws in everything but the kitchen sink and wraps it up in a huge flour tortilla blanket. What do I mean by everything? A 10″ dog, chili, cheese, bacon pastrami, fries, grilled onions, with the option of a fried egg. Josie ran to the counter and grabbed one for herself. Yup, she got a full hot dog meal and then went back for the mother of all hot dogs. Josie has been so busy with work that she has yet to really meet members of our food ball team. However, her and the Climbing Chiro instantly bonded over their love of hot dogs and their annoyance in caring for their women (me and ClimbingDancer). They both ordered for us ladies so we can sit and gossip, held out their dogs to share with us girls, and even shared their straw when I complained I had none and my teeth were cold from drinking from the cup. I am difficult and even though Josie was sad from the events of the night before she was still a good friend/mother/husband to me.

Oh yeah, back to the Slaw Dogs, right before we left we all got our fudge that had just been cut and cooled. Overall, it was a great experience that TNT thing was pretty incredible. I am stoked that they are working on permits and will be pairing hot dogs with beer and wine from local independent vendors. I have an affinity for Pasadena Craftsman and Josie likes Solidarity from the Eagle Rock Brewery guys, the owner told us he will have both and more. Granted they had only really been open for a day but I have 2 suggestions: upgrade the buns and let people sit down and order. My bun couldn’t withstand the potato salad and the bread quality was nothing special. Anyway, we all liked it and are ready to delve deeper in to the menu in the upcoming months. As far as the Super Bowl of food goes this was only the first 1/2 we still have halftime and the last 1/2 to cover. I am breaking this game day into 3 parts because, frankly, I am kind of embarrassed by how much we ate in a day.

Neighborhood Profile: Party like an Eagle Rock(Star)

Ever since we met Steve and Jeremy, owners of the Eagle Rock Brewery and father/son duo, we’ve eagerly wanted to tour their neighborhood beer headquarters. On their official opening night we got our wish. The proprietors kindly and humbly invited us into their “home” to see where this local brew is born. So after a rough week of three jobs, countless meetings and many weekday nights infused with delirious blogging, we made our way to the Eagle Rock Brewery.

As soon as we walked in we were greeted by name by the staff. We grabbed a pint of their latest, Manifesto, the second of three brews born there. The week before we tried, Solidarity, ERB’s darkest and boldest. The space is exactly how I prefer my spaces, simple and clean. No clutter, no noise. The brewery is an open space with a bar, communal tables, throw pillows and best of all, a glass garage door that facilitates an open view of the brew premises. You can order your beer, sit down and get a full view of how and where your brew is produced.

Shortly after polishing off our first pint, Jeremy came up to us and offered to begin the technical tour of the brewery. I was so excited. We’ve been a fan of these guys’ business for a year now and, well, I’m a beer snob so taking a tour of the place where this locally produced gem is born gave me goosebumps.

Some cool facts on the ERB are:

  • Takes two weeks to produce any one of their three brews.
  • The three are: Manifesto, Solidarity and Revolution.
  • In any two week period 3,200 pints of beer can be born at ERB
  • Father is a first and son is a second generation beer maker
  • They are going to begin bottling soon
  • And lastly, just to show you they REALLY care. Lin, Jeremy’s sister-in-law, designs all the beer labels and merchandise

After our tour we got to talking to Steve and he told us many stories. The place, the people, and the ambiance were all so warm. The pretentiousness that you get with many craftsmen were nonexistent. It was humble and kind in every way. It’s amazing how much the folks at ERB did themselves. From the beer, to the paint on the walls, to the propaganda-looking beer labels. All of it was in-house. You could taste the pride. It felt good to just be there – drinking one of 3,200 pints. Congrats, ERB!

During the tour I was asking a ton of questions and fascinated by the process. Carina, on the other hand, was quietly listening until Steve showed us some dog prints in the cement. It seems they mysteriously appeared. There is no dog that they know of and so they have to imagine that a dog snuck in late at night when the cement was setting. Carina was captivated as if this was a great ghost story or mystery she had to solve. She demanded I take this photo, so here it is.

After my one beer I was done, exhausted, and needing to go home. My need for for sleep was monstrous but Carina and H.C. decided to continue the night and they headed to Larkin’s, which calls itself “a contemporary soul food joint”. I am now going to pass this post on to Carina. —>

I had never been to Larkin’s before, but when H.C. said he liked it I was immediately sold. Upon arrival I noticed a CASH ONLY sign. H.C. and I both did a wallet check and I clocked in with a $20 bill and he had $25. We sat down nervous about having to stay within a set budget but then we spotted a lifesaver, an ATM machine, and we knew we had no limits. You get a lovely cold black eyed pea salad when seated. The menu was large and thoughtful, both of us went back and forth several times with what we wanted. I decided on the meatloaf and chose mashed potatoes and pasta salad as my sides. H.C. initially ordered the catfish and switched to chicken and dumplings when I was in the bathroom. The meatloaf had a great kick to it but it was really dense and much drier than what I wanted. The pasta salad didn’t do much for me either but the garlic mashed potatoes were great and I am not a big mashed potato fan. H.C. loved his chicken and dumplings, which were a special that night.

If you follow H.C. aka LAOCFoodie on Twitter then you know that he has a therapeutic ritual everyday, eating a piece of chocolate. Knowing this about the guy, I was certain that dessert would be ordered. My sweet tooth normally falls in the fruity realm so I suggested we get the berry cobbler. It was excellent.  I was not thrilled with my ordering choices but this place has an extensive menu and I fully intend to delve deeper into it again. The dishes I liked, I really liked. The funny moment came at the end with the bill where there was some confusion since H.C. switched his order. It took two tries to resolve but no harm, no foul. I was in New Orleans for the first time in February and just fell in love with the people, food, and city. This place was a fresh and unique taste on that and the building itself reminded me of all  the restaurants in Portland where you feel as though you were dining in someone’s house. I guess that’s the best way to describe Larkin’s; it’s cozy and feels like home. There was another uncouth moment where a waiter ran up to our table and blew out what was left of a completely melted down candle. Larkin, the chef in the back, smelled smoke and was trying to figure out where it was coming from. Yup, it was our table and we didn’t even notice.

H.C. and I didn’t drink at dinner because we were on a cash budget, which we stayed $7 under with tax and tip. Not bad. Anyway, afterward we thought we deserved a drink that could be paid for with a card. I recommended my neighborhood favorite, The Chalet, which has since become The Black Boar. It is basically the same owners and bartenders but they have a new name, slightly different decor, a fooseball table and darts, and they added more alcohol. Not bad improvements. We had a lovely drink and I remembered that Josie and I were both there for a drink last NYE. We always say that we LOVE Highland Park and we do but Eagle Rock also has a ton of great things to offer. Just remember to party like an Eagle Rock(Star)!

What’s Bubbling and Brewin’ Around Verdugo Road

Our social lives were once again made possible by our bff, Twitter. Speaking of which, do you think in 2010 twitter talk will become the new baby talk? Twello twits, what’s tweetin’? Anyway, the owner of Rosso Wine Shop found our post on Montrose and wrote this:

@uncouthgourmand If the UG Headquarters is in Montrose how come you have not visited us in Sparr Heights @rossowineshop?!

It was a good question and actually I was talking about visiting some local wine shops for an upcoming budget wine post. Rosso is blocks away from our office and Josie and I arrived just in time to try some champagne. The special occasion of the night was their open house which featured neighborhood businesses. Bashan restaurant is neighbors with Rosso and they offered some complimentary small bites for the occasion including tuna tartare, cauliflower soup, and a braised pork sandwich. All were delicious and that will definitely be a restaurant to check out when the UG are back in the money.

The star of the night was the wine shop that was everything you imagine a neighborhood wine shop should be. If you read our Montrose post you know that this area has earned a place in our heart and it was reaffirmed at the wine shop when I ran in to the couple that I sat next to at Fork only days before. I am now a member of the community. Rosso owner, Jeff, was charming as he poured us some bubbly and it is clear that he is living his dream of bringing reasonably priced wine to this foothill neighborhood. It says on their site that they are a “neighborhood wine shop for the disenchanted Trader Joe wine-buyer, social nomad and local wine enthusiast.” I think that is exactly what LA needs more of and it was a fantastic neighborhood find. I hope they didn’t mind meeting us because I am pretty sure we will return often to grill them on all of our wine questions.

As I previously stated this night was made possible entirely by Twitter. I read early on in the day that Verdugo Bar was going to be serving the first pours of Eagle Rock Brewery brew. This was huge news because for the last year I have been following the progress of Eagle Rock Brewery on their blog and Twitter and find myself fully invested in this story and their success. Josie and I arrived at around 7:30 and despite being at Verdugo Bar before this was my first time driving there and arriving sober. I saw Josie’s car already parked and so I parked next to it, knowing that she beat me and was already inside. I saw a group of people of standing by a lit building with christmas lights and started walking towards the crowd. I heard yelling in Spanish and beer bottles being thrown. Clearly I was not at the right place, and these lights were from a house. I called Josie who walked outside from across the street and laughed at how I missed the enormous cocktail sign. She already ordered us are Eagle Rock brew, which was a black mild ale called Solidarity. I felt honored to be served the first batch and since we were one of the first 20 people to try it we got this awesome commemorative glass with the logo.

Leave it up to Josie to sit next to someone important and she was seated right next to Chris Spradley, the LA Craft Beer Examiner. Josie showed off her beer knowledge with IPA definitions that he already knew and I showcased my beer girly-ness in saying that my favorite beer was the lavender one from The Bruery and La Fin Du Monde from Unibroue. It was great fun to talk beer. I was telling the Beer Examiner that my main problem with beer is that I drink it too slowly and then it gets warm and I no longer want it and he said that most beers, like Solidarity, should be served a little more at room temperature. Who would have known? This was the first batch of Solidarity and while I am not the biggest fan of dark beers, Josie is, I still drank the whole thing. Chris introduced us to the Eagle Rock Brewers who were busy tasting and making sure that their baby was perfect. As I have known from the blog this is a family operation headed by father and son. The son, Jeremy Raub, was sure that he already met us at the LA Craft Beer Fest but honestly we remember very little of that day. The father, Steve Raub, was quick to point out that he was Vice President and that it was his son that was President. It was such a sweet family dynamic and it was so nice to hear their story. Steve started brewing at home as soon as Jimmy Carter lifted the ban and once Jeremy was married and moved in to his house he asked his dad to make a celebratory brew and the rest is history. That is the greatest birth of an enterprise since our baby, Uncouth Gourmands, was born on the trains of Europe. Relax, I kid. Anyway, as far as first batches go, this brew was pretty tasty and this is coming from a girl that likes her beer as she likes her men: light and fruity. There was a strong roasted coffee and chocolate aroma and definitely was something I’d drink again. In the next few weeks they will be launching 2 more brews. The next one will be a crisp Belgian-style beer and the final in the trio will be hoppy, floral, extra pale ale. With all of their beer bases covered we are excited to sample the trio and may even get a tour of the brewery soon.

When it comes to wine shops, brews, and bars on Verdugo Road we are in completely solidarity and wish them all the best of luck. We will be back and we are hoping that you all have plenty more to serve us!