Tag Archive for: eat & shop

Published today on our sister website, Atwater Village Now

Normally for tax season, we’d be heading to the H&R Bloc next to 55 Degree Wine for some yearly tax preparation. Last night, we went to the same spot, but to drink beer!

Located in the former H&R Bloc in a small strip mall off of Glendale Boulevard, Links N Hops is a warm, rustic, pub-style restaurant. And through the kitchen aromas, it still smells a little like sawdust – 55 Degree Wine owner Andy Hasroun had a soft opening just a couple of days ago, after battling the city’s parking permit issues.

But unlike a lot of restaurant openings we have been to, there weren’t any hiccups or kinks to work out – the staff was knowledgeable, the food came out promptly, and the atmosphere was just right.

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The food – oh, the food – best vegan dog I’ve had in a long time. Meals come out of the kitchen in baskets, served on a metal kitchen tray. I ordered the Frankfurter (organic tofu, onion, tomato, apple cider, paprika) with an entire roasted Jalapeno and sauteed onions, my dinner date ordered the Spicy Italian (pork, onions, fennel, red pepper flakes) with onions. Required for this type of dining are Belgian Fries with a side of spicy ketchup (other options include dijon mustard, 1000 island, or ranch). Mustard and ketchup readily available, we dug in without a second thought. The bread is perfectly toasted, and unbelievably fresh – it came from a local bakery, completely hand made, and made only for Links N Hops. It makes you realize the hot dogs or sausages you’ve had before were overpowered by heavy, thick bread – not this time!

Beer choices are well-rounded, with 23 beers on tap (and room for growth – they will soon have more). Local favorites include Golden Road Brewery’s IPA, but international choices like La Chouffe Belgian Pale (so good) and lots of other California faves like North Coast Brewing’s Scrimshaw Pilsner. I’m also a sucker for Ellie’s Brown from Avery Brewing (Colorado), which matched perfectly with a really cold night and a basket of delicious sausages.

The only regret I had after leaving is that we didn’t order more Belgian Fries!

Other menu items include Andouille, Turkey Mole, BBQ Pork, Chinese Roast Pork, Spicy Italian, Hot Smoked Chicken, Wild Boar with Marsala, Pheasant with Cognac, and Rabbit with Wine for meat eaters. Andy told us he really wants to focus a lot on vegan options as well, and the current menu has some great options: Frankfurter, Beerbrat, Smoked Apple, Vegan Italian, and Spicy Pepper (really spicy, fyi!). Don’t skip out on those fries!

Links N Hops is open daily for lunch and dinner, from 11 am to midnight Sunday through Thursday, and 11 am to 1 am on Saturdays. If you’re in a rush for lunch, they do offer take-away!

Location is 3111 Glendale Blvd., Ste. C, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Check out the restaurant’s Facebook page for more info.

Figgy Pudding. Photo courtesy of AYC.

Allston Yacht Club recently won a bit of a battle with the City of Los Angeles – a permit hearing on Thursday, October 27, 2011 ended in the restaurant’s favor, granting it an exemption from the city’s strict parking requirements. This means you won’t find a valet posted out front, and while you might have to look for your own parking, there’s usually plenty of it around.

In addition to the change in parking conditions, they also received a conditional use permit to serve food on the patio, extend hours to 2:00 am on Friday and Saturday, legalize happy hour and the advertisement of alcoholic beverages, and limited entertainment inside the restaurant.

But not a whole lot will change around AYC just yet (they are still tying up some loose ends), except of course for its new fall menu. We missed the holiday cocktail tasting, but LAist got a stab at the libations, which included the Accursed Fruitcake (Applejack, ginger beer, apple cider and “inebriated fruits”), Hot Spiced Cider (two types of rum, Canton Liquer) and the Figgy Pudding (fig infused bourbon, egg white, egg nog, cinnamon simple syrup, nutmeg). If you don’t get a chance to try these before the holidays, you might impress some Turkey day guests by trying some recipes AYC provided last year.

We’ve also heard on the grapevine that they’ll be expanding their beer selections, which seems natural as there’s a lot of beer competition in Echo Park these days.

If you’re hungry, AYC’s fall menu includes some delectable updates, including: Warm mushroom salad, double fried Korean style wings (pictured), Dashi whitefish stew, mussels and house made sausage with white wine and garlic. While we normally enjoy the Wicked Wednesday deal (plates are just $5), write this might require a little date night tonight!

Double Fried Korean Style Wings. Photo courtesy of AYC.