Taster Tots Nitpicks: Where to Drink Beer with Your Kids

by Jessica on March 24, 2015

mikkelerSo it’s not as civically important as defending the image of Los Angeles in the national media, or challenging recent toothless water conservation restrictions in California. But inspired by a tweet from the inimitable Alissa Walker, who often blogs about her responses to articles that strike a nerve, I’m chiming in with my two pints about two new listicles that take on a subject near and dear to many parents’ hearts: where they can enjoy a beer without having to hire a babysitter.

Here’s LA Weekly Squid Ink’s 10 Places for New Parents to Eat Out and Drink Beer, written by Heather Platt. Having contributed similar articles for the same media outlet, I know the work it takes and research involved. I salute the heavy lifting that goes into dragging around babies and/or kids to make this article happen, and I’m glad other people are doing it, since that wasn’t the case when I started this here website. Her pics:

  1. Golden Road
  2. Spitz
  3. Barnsdall
  4. LACMA
  5. Mohawk Bend
  6. Duke’s Malibu
  7. Link n’ Hops
  8. Rock & Brews
  9. Original Farmers’ Market
  10. Mud Hen Tavern

Next up is Red Tricycle L.A.’s, a website and e-blast that’s part of a national chain, selections of 7 Beer Spots that Welcome Kids.

  1. Golden Road
  2. Simzy’s
  3. Rascal
  4. Original Farmers’ Market
  5. Wurstkuche
  6. Rock & Brews
  7. Los Angeles Brewing Company

Not surprisingly, Golden Road is at the top of both lists, since owner Tony Yanow has proved ample outdoor play space for the way under-21 set and serious beer drinking can peacefully coexist. Maybe too much so; this venue, however ideal, has become victim of its own success, and even I’ve decided against going there. Why? Because there are too many damn kids. (Folks I know who work in the economic justice movement are not so keen on Golden Road for other reasons.)  Sorry to be all it-was-cooler-before-it-became-mainstream, but Golden Road was ideal before every family in the area got the memo. That said, if its success inspires other businesses to follow a similar fam-friendly beer garden business model, then the more the merrier, I say.

As for the Weekly list, I’m a little confused why LACMA and Barnsdall Fridays are included, since those aren’t beer-focused locations, nor regular options. Barnsdall is entirely seasonal. Also why does the headline specify “new parents”? Us old parents are still in the market for this shiz, too.

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Anyway, in addition to removing the two aforementioned venues, my immediate amendments would be to include — first and foremost — both Oinkster locations. The patio at Messhall in our neighborhood has proven to be very useful and welcoming, and while not brew pubby per se, the bar there can scratch that itch. I haven’t been to Duke’s in a thousand years, but my kids really enjoyed the revamped Gladstone’s since it includes a sandy play area (when we needed such things; they’ve grown up a little since). Want multiple locations, lots of beer, and food your kids will dig and room outdoors? Then Dog Haus is your friend (post to-come about the Pasadena one).

A littler closer in to town and rehabbed in the last couple of years is the Albright on Santa Monica Pier, a favorite recreational destination of ours and that’s historically been in DESPERATE need of a food upgrade. Speaking of the Westside, the Red Tricycle piece doesn’t not that there’s a Wurstkuche outpost in Venice.

Places I can’t personally vouch for include Rascal, L.A. Brewing Company, and Mud Hen Tavern; the latter is maybe that’s because we were scarred after a near-disastrous break-the-fast dinner when the space was Street. I do like Link n’ Hops near us in Atwater, and Simmzy’s in Long Beach was a great introduction to the Belmont Shore area. (They’ve since opened a Burbank location with cocktails, too.) FWIW Angel City Brewery allows minors, although they politely suggest before 7 p.m. only.

As a general point, let’s also note that these lists often overlap with rosters of dog-friendly places.

And regarding my initial knee-jerk reaction to Rock & Brews getting the thumbs up, or rather, a headbanging of approval from both writers, I think I just need to get over myself and embrace the massive flatscreens and hair rock culture. Sounds like a good way to rock n’ roll if not all nite, then a good portion of it starting early. And by all accounts I hear, the Kiss dudes are dedicated Jewish dads and baby huggers, after all.

It seems terribly old fashioned to ask readers to comment, but I’d love to hear about other spots.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

SinoSoul March 24, 2015 at 1:37 pm

Yes! Angel City Brewing: hang out w/ Little Tokyo hipsters (and hipster dogs) on Saturday afternoon beats running amok at the Zoo.

Basically, if you’re a restaurant, with high chairs, and you serve beer because you have a type 40/41/47 license, someone is going to kids there. After all, it’s the law, stupid: “Minors are allowed on the premises”. So, AFAIC, these lists are redundant.

But if we’re doing lists, it’d be a shame to leave out Ktown, especially because of $2 parking: Gwang Yang, Quarters, Biergarten, IOTA (zomg k-pop on sooo many flat screens), Beer Belly. Also forgotten are the precious salad/pizza chains who are humorous enough to serve craft beer: Tender Greens, Mendocino Farms, Pitfire Pizza. Pitfire Pizza are dreamy, and they actually don’t eat children. I think we basically combined to beat all the lists so far, and I didn’t even have to call upon GCM (Belcampo, Horse Thief, Olio). Amateurs.

Lastly, food writing types who eat at themed parks ala Rock & Brew should be disallowed from keyboards.

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