Days off are a blessing and yet many of us don’t plan our days off with the same vigor as our yearly holidays and vacations. With so much to see right outside our front doors, it seems a fantastic opportunity to call a friend with mutual interests and head out to explore. My long time friend Jeremy and I decided to design an afternoon all about craft beer and vinyl records. So with a little Foursquare pre-planning we built a hit-list and off we went. The Foursquare list is available to follow at the end of this post.
We started by heading out toGolden Road Brewery. The brewery was founded in 2011 by Tony Yanow and Meg Gill. Tony Yanow founded one of my favorite local restaurants - Mohawk Bend. It’s great dinner spot because my vegetarian wife can also enjoy the food and beverages equally. Most bar food is very meat based, but she can enjoy fried buffalo cauliflower and other veggie inspired delciousness.
Jeremy and I split a giant pretzel and I ordered a pint of the It’s Not Always Sunny in LA. It’s a solid dark ipa and a good start to the day. The brewery is the perfect spot to spend an afternoon if you are good with the drive out there. They have food, great beer and games outside to keep everyone entertained. Family friendly as well. Solid start. We had one and headed out to the first record store of the day.
Rockaway Records was just a few miles down the road and sits across the street from The Red Lion Tavern. I have never been there, but Jeremy said it’s cool so give a go and let me know. Rockaway was founded in 1979 in Silverlake. Don’t let the totally antiquated website fool you. It’s a good spot with some high dollar and rare records. We spent a good hour going through the stacks but all I came away with was Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s “Howl”. I have the CD, but it’s such a good record and perfect for listening on vinyl. I lost about 10min of my time overhearing a young couple talking about how “Old Tech” is so cool and that their fathers were so into “New Tech” and that was lame. Jeremy found a M*A*S*H t-shirt for his wife to replace the Morrissey T-Shirt he stole from her and a Bruce Springsteen compilation. I own that one. It’s a solid dinner party record. Ah, the palette was dry… Off to the next craft brew!
Eagle Rock Brewery was only a couple minutes away so we headed over, struggled to find parking (seriously guys - rent the lot across the street on weekends), and ordered a couple of beers. I love, love, love the Solidarity. It’s a black mild ale with a lower alcohol percentage. Refreshing for sure. They were serving it regular and via nitro tap. The nitro is the way to go as it adds a lovely creamy texture that is quite delicious. The tap room is a good place to hit up quickly, get a growler poured and head out to the rest of your day. Which we did. Off the next record store!
Gimme Gimme Records is a small shop located in Eagle Rock. It was founded in 1994 in NYC before moving west to Los Angeles in 2012. The collection curated well. I was trying to stick to a one record per stop limit, but I just couldn’t help myself. There were so many good records. I picked up a couple of standards that I didn’t have in the collection along with a newer one.
- "Feline" ~ Stranglers
- "Mutual Friends" ~ Boy
- "Joshua Tree" ~ U2
- "Ocean" ~ Echo & The Bunnymen
- "Animalization" ~ The Animals
So glad that my buddy lives within walking distance from this shop. It’s going to be a great excuse to go and see him. Also, Highland Park is coming up with some great new spots. He and I hit up The Hermosillo the other week. Cool new spot with a fun ring game in the back. Good beer selection and relaxed atmosphere. I wouldn’t let the horrible website fool you. Nice place to meet for a pint (beer & wine only).
So, I ended up letting it all go at this shop and we decided to head downtown.
Angel City Brewery was founded in 1994, but didn’t open for larger batch brewing until 2004 when they bought an old German-made 8,000 barrel facility in Alpine Village (Torrance). If you haven’t been to Alpine Village - check it out. I bought some delicious mustard there. In 2010 the brewers relocated to the Downtown LA Arts District. Nice move. The new spot is really a cool place with tons of opportunity to hold great events. They kept the charm of the old warehouse structure. The inventory slides, mezzanine storage and pulleys were all in place. There was an attempt at a flea market type activity, but there was only one vendor. You could do a whole micro-flea market in this spot and sell a lot of product in the process. We checked out the artwork on the walls. It was not that great, but we did find a Corn Hole game in the corner and had to give it a go.
Jeremy ended up pioneering an unorthodox throwing style that I just couldn’t beat. I lost. We ended up getting some Korean BBQ from a food truck outside and that’s when three drunk guys from USC kept begging the truck guys to make them a burrito. It was pretty funny, but got old when they couldn’t figure out how to order. It isn’t complicated. Look at the menu. Talk to the guy in the window. Pay. Done. This was lost on our three drunken frat boys. I ended up having the White Nite, a light bodied golden stout. Have to say, I didn’t find it good. It was just ok. That’s been my opinion of Angel City overall. A lot of their beers are pretty flowery. Sweet. Not really my style. We had one and were done.
The hope was to hit up another record store on the list and make our way back to Hollywood, but a friend who is new to Los Angeles was downtown so we stayed put and met him and another friend near 6th & Main. The area is in such a swing to the proper. I’ve been spending a lot of time there recently. We rolled into a mobile shop a friend of mine has been doing some photography for - N.I.C.E. Collective. The clothes are pretty cool and they have been around since 1997. The other week my boy was shooting a pop-up fashion shoot for the public and I had this photo taken. My phone should have been in my back pocket, for sure.
Why we were out on the patio a homeless woman who looked like my kindergarten teacher went berzerker on the door man. A clear sign the night was winding down so we said our goodbyes and shoved off again, but not without getting a recommendation to stop by the Last Bookstore. It’s a pretty great spot, but it was closed when we were headed that way so we call it a night and moved along.
That pretty much ended the night. We missed out on quite a few record stores, but that just means it’s a “too be continued” adventure in our own backyard.
Here is the list of spots on my FourSquare list that we aimed to hit: