I went with a friend to the opening night of plan check yesterday, on sawtelle.
when you first get there, they pull out a big stamp and stamp your menu with their cocktail list... but then as my friend and i noticed, the same cocktails were listed on their actual menu, so im not sure why they need to re-stamp it (there were no differences). it was cute, i guess.
i was excited to see that they had hitachino belgian white ale on draft, but unfortunately the tap wasn't working on that one - but they let me try the firestone double barrel ale, which i liked, so i got. my friend got the golden road hefeweizen which was great. after my double barrel ale, i talked to them a little bit about their whiskeys, and the manager was nice enough to come out and talk to me about the different japanese whiskeys they have. right now, they have two 12 years and one 18 years, and the one he recommended to me was the hakushu 12 year and it was really delicious and smooth.
for food, we started out with some small snacks -
1. mixed pickles - delicious! vinegary and tart, with good texture. there was an assortment of veggies - turnips, tomatoes, shiitake mushrooms, okra, cucumbers, and cauliflower. definitely yummy.
2. beer nuts - these were a little disappointing, they were covered in a sweet-salty glaze which would have been good if they hadn't made the nuts so chewy and not crunchy or crispy. there was more dried seaweed than wasabi flavor. they also would have been better if warm or something. they were served in a tiny cast-iron cup that made us think they would be warm (but they were not).
3. french fries - these were appropriately crispy though a smaller portion for $5 - they make their own ketchup, which tastes sweeter and less tangy than normal ketchup, but still good. they also gave us some house-made mayo which they served with a little cup of mixed salt and pepper. having that salt and pepper was pretty fun.
4. blueprint burger - this burger has smoked blue cheese, "pig candy," and homemade steak sauce, along with fried onions. the pig candy was absolutely delicious, it was a glazed sweet bacon that was chewy and yummy - and the steal sauce was good. the blue cheese was also delicious. my two gripes were this strange bun, which looked like it had panko crumbs coated on the outside of it - and also that i asked for the burger medium rare, but it was medium well. it was still really good.
5. chefs favorite burger - this burger has bacon two ways, cheese two ways (one of which looks like a parmesan fritto), fried egg, hot sauce. my friend had this one, and though she had wanted it medium well, hers was the one that came out medium rare, but she still loved it. i had a bite and thought it tasted great.
we ended up getting yogurtland down the street for dessert, so i cant comment on any of those. the place looked like it was plenty busy, but the servers were nice and when i asked questions (ie about the beers and the whiskey) they were awesome about getting answers. im really psyched that another bar has opened up in the area and the food is actually pretty decent. the outdoor seating area was cute and had plenty of heat lamps for california nights. im looking forward to trying some of the other things on their menu - a fried chicken sandwich with pimento cheese, and the short rib pot roast with bone marrow turnover, among others!