After another lovely Sunday evening spent at the 3rd Stop, which was nearly empty, I felt compelled to come in and post. This is a pub in the old Cafe Veneto Space on 3rd Street and Willaman near Cedars Sinai. They have about 30 microbrews on tap, many of them local, including the excellent Craftsman Beers which were featured in the L.A. Times food section last week. The space is nicely decorated, and while they don't exactly have table service -- in the tradition of pubs you order at the bar and they bring food to your table -- the service is always more than friendly and efficient.
We've chatted with the owner, who's from Ireland (and all the beers, BTW, are served at the perfect temperature -- cold lagers, and cool ales) and wanted to start a gastropub like the ones they have in the UK. The menu is small but everything we had has been excellent -- some of the best fried calamari I've had, polenta triangles (which I think are fried in bacon grease) with a gorgonzola cream sauce), Irish stew, Shepherd's pie. The dishes are small, but also well priced -- the most expensive thing on the menu is $9, and the beers are mostly $5 a pint. They also have a brick pizza oven, and make terrific small pizzas -- my favorite is the spinach and parmesan "3rd stop" pizza, but the Margherita is also fantastic, and the other ones (prosciutto and rosemary, goat cheese and olives) look good too.
It's just a fabulous place to stop in for a beer or a glass of wine and a little something to eat, or to go on a Sunday evening for a light meal. They have valet parking in the evenings, which is nice, since parking can be tough to find around there.
Here's a picture from last night of our pizza 3rd stop and polenta.
It fills a real need in that part of L.A. for a great neighborhood bar, and I'd encourage anyone to try it.