Restaurants & Bars 15

Monk's Kettle

Absonot | Jan 5, 2008 02:23 PM

I reviewed rworange's post already, but after going there today I thought I'd take the suggestion to start a new thread with the name of the place in the title.

After darting through the rain, we arrived here around noon and the place was a little less than half full. We were warmly welcomed as we grabbed two seats at the unoccupied bar. The beer selection is a bit overwhelming, but the bartender (Christian?) was very friendly and made it clear he'd be happy to answer any questions/give recommendations. We had an Epiphany and Fuller's London Bitter - served at the right temperature with healthy heads.

We settled on the bruschetta with white bean/cheddar puree and wild mushrooms. It was served on a La Brea baguette slice and was wonderful, although there were only two slices. The mixed greens accompanying them were perfectly dressed with a shallot oil vinaigrette.

Then we enjoyed the soup of the day (corn potato chowder - very thick and a bit too rich for me, but I am probably not typical in my preference for thinner chowders) and the giant pretzel. The whole grain mustard was appropriate but not too exciting. The cheddar ale sauce, however, was really good. A lot milder than I expected, and it did a great job of bringing out the yeastiness of the warm, chewy pretzel.

I don't agree with another poster who said this place is more like a bar that serves food than a restaurant that serves beer, but it might be because I was there during the daytime and everyone was eating. I imagine that at 10 on a Friday or Saturday the crowd would be more about drinking than eating. So that's something to keep in mind.

The bill for the food mentioned above plus 5 beers (?!) was about $62 - not a cheap lunch by any means, but not eye-popping either. I suppose given the amount of taps and breadth of selection, the premium is justified?

Decor was nice -- the bar has lamps on it, which adds a cozy vibe. And the frame for the bar shelves, in its former life, served as an ornate mantle for some mansion. It's beautiful. Bar stools are backless but covered in comfy cushioned leather. Kitchen is semi-open.

It's hard to see this place appealing to someone who just wants to grab a beer, but it's also hard to see it fitting the bill for someone who's looking for a good meal value. But it definitely stands out in that neighborhood as a unique option, and I see myself back here again in the future.

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