Being a newbie when it comes to good beer, I was excited about this place opening because of the accessibility it offers to a wide range of local and import brews. They tout over 100 beers on tap, as well as some drinks and even a small selection of affordable wines. We showed up around 10:00 on Wednesday and the place was humming. When you walk in you see the loooong central bar which has the 100+ tap handles running up and down the center. The rest of the décor is very nice (deep blue walls, some interesting for a chain art pieces, TVs in every corner so your eye is drawn to it without overwhelming the place. The menu’s nothing revelatory, but the food was very good. Unfortunately Mrs. I and I unwittingly ordered similar preparations, she going with the Hawaiian Burger and me with the Hawaiian Chicken. We also started with the firecracker wings. The wings themselves were actually small drummets 10 for $10 and quite tasty, flecked with a mildly spicy plum sauce and flecked with sesame seeds, far better than Sport’s Exchange on Miracle Mile, though not as good as Sports Grill or Bulldog’s. After the wings I expected my $18 chicken to also be an overpriced plate, but the plate bordered on obscenely enormous, served with a thin, liquidy teriyaki-like sauce, a bowl of jasmine rice and a heaping portion of stir-fried veggies (red peppers, celery, crisp snow peas, shitake mushrooms and broccoli) that was surprisingly fresh and flavorful. Mrs. I ordered the Hawaii style Burger, coming with a similar dipping sauce, aioli, pepper jack cheese, and thin cut fries. The burger was executed in the juicy, melt in your mouth (no char) style and I was pretty impressed. The price on the burgers - a more reasonable $11. We also got a very tasty barbecue sauce on the side (yes, free). We finished the meal with a Kona ice cream sundae, which was not an ooey, gooey guilty pleasure chain restaurant debacle, but still nice sized and quite refreshing.
Looking through our meal, I’m surprised I did not down a Longboard with it, but tested the restaurant instead, picking Huyghe Brewery’s Delirium Tremens, followed by Maudite. My wife ordered a pear cider. The server knew all three and they had all three. In fact this place did not miss a beat at any point. Service was very efficient, food cooked well and the ambiance was fairly nice. The manager made sure everybody was happy, even noticing from afar that our menu was missing a page. Loud music played the entire time,a mix of 80s and 90s rock loud enough to cocoon yourself in, but not so loud that conversation becomes impossible. When the bill came, we were made aware of the late night happy hour, Sundays-Wednesdays from 10 to closing. My craft beers, served in 10 oz goblets came to $4.25 each and the cider $4.00, about a $2.25 reduction from the usual price. Appetizers were half off (wings came to $5). Their regular happy hour runs 3-6 Monday-Friday.
My guess is Sports exchange may be gone from Miracle Mile fairly soon, and if Yardhouse can cover their rent with their burgers and beer, it will be a welcome addition to the area for years. Personally, I plan on tackling the beer menu.
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