No duds with the suds at La Jolla Brewing Co.
By Kelley Carlson
The new La Jolla Brewing Co. has been generating buzz since opening at the start of the year. Recently noted by Zagat on its “8 Hottest New Restaurants” list, LJBC fills a void in the La Jolla dining scene: craft beers and bites in a relaxed setting that includes fire pits and communal tables. “We’re looking to be a neighborhood bar,” said Leigh Gibson, a partner in the restaurant.
Yet unlike many neighborhood bars, this one makes its own beers on site, all named after local icons. The list includes the Neptune’s Nitro golden ale, the lightest of the in-house brews in terms of color and hopping rate; Glider Port Pale Ale, which has a medium malt body; the Bird Rock Brown Ale, an American/English hybrid; Sunny Jim’s IPA, an “evolving combination of malts and hops”; the dry, Irish-style Cove Side Stout; and the Big Time Stout, with bittersweet chocolate notes.
LJBC offers other brands, too, with more than 20 craft brews on tap, along with bottled and gluten-free varieties. Patrons don’t have to order a cold pint to get a taste of the in-house suds — LJBC’s beers are incorporated into many of the dishes.
For example, one of the restaurant’s bestsellers, the Mussels, are steamed in a broth of LJBC’s Pale Ale, caramelized onions, garlic, tomatoes and chorizo. The appetizer comes with crostinis to soak up the juices.
Another is the Duck Egg Rolls, a crowd favorite. Crispy wonton wrappers are stuffed with duck confit, beer-braised onions and herb cream cheese, which can be dunked in sweet chili and peanut sauces.
There are also the Fish Strips, which consist of IPA-battered mahi citrus aioli and orange vodka cocktail sauce.
While beer is a common ingredient, it isn’t the sole focus of the restaurant. Diners will find healthy selections such as the Asian Mahi Salad with mixed field greens, daikon radishes, cucumbers, carrots, red onions, grilled fish filets with a ponzu sauce glaze and ginger soy vinaigrette.
There are also flatbreads such as the El Torero, topped with grilled hangar steak, beer-braised onions and a gorgonzola cream sauce — almost like a Philly cheesesteak with an added bonus of blackberries; and “sandos” that range from the Cajun Turkey Club to the Hangar Steak.
Among the heavier entrees are “Mac bowls” that can be ordered in a traditional, three-cheese style, or with proteins such as crab, duck or pork; Roasted Chicken with marbled fingerlings, green beans and Sunny Jim’s IPA jus; and the cioppino-style Ocean Stew.
Guests can even find sweets at this brewhouse, from the Banana Wontons with salted beer caramel sauce and peanut butter snow; to the Stout Float, made with the in-house beer and vanilla bean ice cream.
A brunch menu is available on weekends. Those looking for specials can find lunch deals from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and happy hour discounts on wings, flatbreads, and house brews and wines.
La Jolla Brewing Co.
■ 7536 Fay Ave., La Jolla
■ (858) 246-6759
The Vibe: Casual, modern, lively
Signature Dishes: Duck Egg Rolls, Mussels, Asian Mahi Salad, flatbreads, wings
Open Since: 2014 Take Out: Yes
Reservations: Yes Patio Seating: Yes
Happy Hour: 3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday
Each week you’ll find a recipe from the featured ‘On The Menu’ restaurant: This week’s recipe:
La Jolla Brewing Co.’s Mussels. CLICK THE LINK BELOW!
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