Though it sounds more akin, upon first pronunciation, to a body function task, a “gastro pub” is actually a bar that also serves high-quality cuisine. Gastro pubs – which offer “gastronomy” in a pub-esque setting – have grown immensely popular in recent years, thanks in quite the large measure to sophisticated, maturing palates combined with the effects of the global recession; many chefs have abandoned the “fancy restaurant” concept, trading it for a more laid-back pub approach with accessible price points so they can attract regular customers…as compared to sporadic diners who only tend to frequent restaurants on special occasions.
In Los Angeles, many dining aficionados like to think of gastropubs as a cross between a French bistro and a classic British pub, and many of these locales have become some of the most visited spots to grab brews and upscale comfort and bar food. When it comes to gastropubs in Woodland Hills, the following venues have registered with us as some of the most awesome to experience in the area.
The Local Peasant, located at 22901 Ventura Boulevard, is a charming Prohibition-era pub infused with a hip Cali vibe that takes pride in being its customers’ go-to spot. Whether it’s for after-work drinks, nights out with the family, Lakers games, late nights with the boys or girls or over-indulgent brunches with new friends, The Local Peasant maintains the highest gastropub standards with the best cuisine and richest specialty beers. The menu here is always rich, flavorful and diverse, and the same goes for the rotating selection of craft ale and seasonal drinks. Established in 2013, The Local Peasant boasts an aesthetic design that allows for seamless movement from the exterior patio to the interior dining room, while a massive bar with 360-degree views anchors the middle dining area and a back bar space beckons for crowded nights. To put it succinctly, The Local Peasant isn’t your average, everyday pub experience.
The Six , located at 23536 Calabasas Road in Calabasas, was also established in 2013 but boasts a rich history steeped in the Prohibition-era legacy of Northern California. “The Society of Six,” an influential community of six artists during the 1920s, gathered at a cabin named “The Chow House,” where these close-knit artists enjoyed creating art while dining on homemade meals and basking in the flavors of their own brews and wines. The Six, inspired by The Society of Six, created a rustic American cuisine experience to honor and celebrate this legacy, cooking with cast iron skillets and rustic wood planks. The streamlined menu emphasizes the concept of “six” – patrons can choose from six exciting starters, six savory entrees, six red wines, six white wines, six brews on tap and six desserts. If that’s not a unique approach…what is?
Public School 818 , located at 15300 Ventura Boulevard Suite 102G in Sherman Oaks, is a chef-driven gastro pub serving exclusive craft beers while delivering “an education in the art of food and beer.” Using only the freshest quality ingredients, sourced from local farmer’s markets whenever possible, Public School 818 boasts an eclectic, seasonal menu that includes favorites such as the Colorado Lamb Burger, Roasted Poblano with Quinoa and the famous Bacon Cheddar Tots, considered a “must try” by the pub’s legion of fans. Happy Hour – appropriately known as “Recess” at Public School 818 – is held Monday through Friday and offers items such as Parmesan Truffle Fries, Crispy Ahi Tuna Tacos and PB&J Sliders. Indeed, this charming gastropub didn’t earn its “must try” ranking for nothing.
Dark Horse Tavern, situated at 5507 Reseda Boulevard in Los Angeles, is headed by executive chef Ian Bambic, renowned for his work at The Phoenix and The Woodman, who has put together a menu of unique and shareable pub foods which are served amidst an open, modern and warm space. Here, Pork Belly Tacos, Poke Stacks, bacon-infused burgers, Chorizo Mussels, Cauliflower Frites, Stout Braised Short Ribs, Mac and Cheese and much more comes to vivid, pub-loving life, while craft beer flows from the 14 tap handles and Seven Trough bourbon whiskey is dispensed right out of the barrel. This sexy, tantalizing gastropub is open 11 am to 2 am and serves food until midnight.
Industry Bar and Grill, located at 26787 Agoura Road E-1 in Calabasas, is a rustic gastropub-meets-steakhouse experience offering “New American cuisine” and which includes burgers, steaks and seafood – in addition to 34 rotating beer taps and a curated wine list. Industry Bar and Grill opened its doors in September 2015, serving gastro pub-style shared plates with top cuts of five-star steakhouse-quality meats and seafood; today, Industry Bar and Grill remains the go-to spot when you feel like a good old-fashioned burger with a beer, or want to entertain guests by way of a prime cut of dry-aged steak.
The goal of any good gastro pub should be to provide high-quality, freshly-prepared food at reasonable prices, while going above and beyond with a unique selection of beer, wine and cocktails to enjoy alongside that food. Visit any of the aforementioned gastro pubs in Woodland Hills, and you will be rewarded with precisely that…and then some.