Rock and Brews, El Segundo

A couple of weeks ago, my buddy Phil told me about a new restaurant in El Segundo that had 50 beers on tap, so it did not take much convincing to get me to head over to Rock & Brews last Saturday to check it out. Rock & Brews is partially owned by Gene Simmons, so it was a safe bet that with the combination of rock and roll and 50 beers on tap this was going to be a pleasurable experience.

The weather was so-so, but we wanted to go for a bike ride and I figured it would be easier to find parking with motorcycles than with a full-sized car. As it turns out, Rock & Brews has plenty of off-street parking, which was a pleasant surprise. The building of the restaurant itself reminds me of an auto repair garage. I was told it was supposed to resemble being backstage at a concert venue. All I can say is that I must be getting asked backstage at the wrong places. Rock & Brews was bigger than some venues I have attended. That being said, when it is open it only has three walls as the north side opens into a large patio. While this is not a problem when the weather is nice, it will be interesting to see what it is like when the weather is foul.

I was there for the beer, let there be no mistake about it. I had eaten breakfast only an hour earlier, so when the menus were passed around, I skipped to the back to see what kind of beer they offered. The menu was pretty useless as far as that was concerned. When our server, Bonnie, arrived I asked the same question I ask at any establishment with an extensive beer on tap selection, “Do you sell flights?” They do not. I could not believe it. When I asked why they did not I was told that they were “planning” on offering them in the future, but they needed to figure out what kind of glassware to use. I have heard this excuse a few times; I just have not understood why so many places do not seem to have a problem finding glassware and others find themselves at a loss. Oh well.

Anyway, Bonnie assured me that she was taking classes to be a beer expert (yeah, I am probably paraphrasing), but there is only so much someone that met you five minutes earlier is going to be able to do when it comes to recommending a beer. While I did take one of her suggestions, and the beer was nice, if a flight had been available I would have known which beer I actually preferred. Since the menu did not list the beers and there was no way I was going to ask Bonnie to try and name the beers by memory I ventured inside where I was assured there was a board (or two) listing all the brews available. Unfortunately, the boards were electronic and the menu refreshed every few seconds, so there was no way anyone that was not an Evelyn Wood graduate could read through it before it changed. After giving it a few rotations I decided that I would try the Evil Cousin by Heretic Brewing because I had never heard of it and the board said it was a double IPA. I made a good choice. If you like hoppy IPA’s, you will enjoy Evil Cousin.

Since I was not really hungry, I only glanced at the menu, figuring I would share whatever Tanya got. We started off with their version of bruschetta, which was essentially garlic bread with a bowl of chopped tomatoes to add as you wish. I love good bruschetta, but this did not impress me; although I did hear a couple of the people at our table state that they really liked it. Someone ordered the spicy wings, which were pretty tasty. Tangy even.

There were three couples in our group. Tanya got a bacon cheeseburger. She likes her burgers well done, so it never really stood a chance with me. Tanya thought it was “okay.” The couple across from us ordered a Coachella Salad and the turkey BLTA. Both said they enjoyed them a lot. I have to admit, the salad looked pretty good. Of everything I saw at the table, that looked the most interesting. At the other end of the table, Phil and his wife were fighting with some kind of a Reuben sandwich. When I asked Phil about it, he had so many complaints that I will just summarize his review as he was not impressed. We got an order of the Purple Rain Chocolate Drops for dessert; they were okay.

Luckily, I was there for the beer. I will say that Rock & Brews has a great selection of brews, both on tap and by the bottle. While I would be much happier, and a regular customer, if they offered flights, I did enjoy the wide selection of craft beers. I had an Evil Cousin and an O’Hara’s Stout, both of which we quite nice. I did sample some of Stone Brewing Company’s Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale which was really good. I only wish I had a designated driver so I could have tried more.

While I was not personally impressed with the food and I really would have preferred a flight of beers, I am sure I will be back. If only to check on the glassware situation. Rock & Brews is located at 143 Main Street, in El Segundo, CA

The watermark on the photos is to bring attention to the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation, for RA patients, by RA patients.

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