June 11, 2017
So a girl walks into this gastropub with her husband, a friend, a couple of cousins and one of her three mother in laws. Sounds like a good start, right? It is! Bread & Barley is in the third week of their soft opening, with the grand opening happening this Friday, June 16th. It’s a small space with an open concept. The bartender is waiting with a smile and the witty waiter is ready to please.
We were the only people there to start and made ourselves at home at the comfy bench table, large enough for our party of 6. The beer menu looked serious, but who could tell which ones were good? There was only one thing to do: Sample the goods! This is one Jewish girl who likes a free sample! Yes, I do have a large collection of hotel shampoo bottles. Yes, I do go around to all of the cosmetic departments to hoard as many tiny perfume vials as they will give me. And the beer samples at Bread & Barley did not disappoint! The portions were huge!
Cousin Adam shared in my sampling joy, and ordered three of his own. Yes, these are just SAMPLES! Ohhh, I knew I was going to like this place!
Our waiter, Alonzo, was having such a good time with us, he brought us out samples we didn’t even ask for. We finally picked “real” beers to drink.
I settled on the #12, and it was just delicious! It wasn’t peppery at all, and had just the right amount of peachiness without being sweet or overly fruity. It was GOOD. It was STRONG! They will offer even more beers on their menu after the grand opening.
We were having such a good time, that one of the chefs came out to check on us. He was so cute and jolly! He let us know that they hand pick many top beers from the LA brewery scene and drive them from their LA restaurant to this one, such as the #12.
We started our meal with some appetizers. The bruschetta came out first and was as delicious as it was beautiful. Chef Aldon explained that he goes to the local farmer’s market, picks out whatever seasonal vegetables look good, and uses them on the brushetta that day/night. Tonight, we got ours topped with lightly roasted beets and carrots, just picked from the farm.
Next, we ordered Sambal Cauliflower. It sounded good with ingredients like lemon and garlic. What we didn’t know is that “sambal” is the ingredient that gives Siraccha sauce its kick in the ass. Needless to say, it was very spicy! But, OMG, so good! It was cooked perfectly with the cauliflower inside staying crisp, yet tender.
We also ordered a plate of beer battered Portobello Mushroom Fries topped with crisp bacon, Parmesan and truffle aioli. Because if we were going down, we were going down HARD! This was beyond decadent! I’m talking, death row, last-thing-you-will-ever-want-to-eat-good here.
For main courses, my cousins shared a Hanger Steak Salad and a Pork Belly Banh Mi sandwich.
They loved the salad, but thought the sandwich wasn’t quite as good as everything else we ordered. Except for one thing. The Sweet Potato Tater Tots! It is very hard to get sweet potatoes crispy without burning them , yet these tots were crunchy on the outside and creamy sweet goodness in the middle. There was a lot of, “Adam, look over there, I think someone is calling you” (five hands reach in and snag tots off his plate). The hand in the photo? Not Adam’s.
Really, everything served at Bread & Barley should have a side of these sweet potato tater tots with it. Even the desserts.
I didn’t know what to order so Alonzo told me to let the chef pick something out. He brought out a bacony monster burger with my favorite, a side of Brussel sprouts! How did he know? These were crispy, but surprisingly not greasy.
By the end of our meal, we were all drunk, full, and singing full out, top of our lungs to all of the 80’s songs they were playing. We were hugging (poor) Alonzo and blowing kisses to all of the staff as we left.
I am seeing the DALAI LAMA speak next week, but nothing he will say can be as profound or will touch me as deeply as Alonzo The Waiter’s parting words to us: “Thanks for coming guys, and remember….Always be happy.”
Bottom Line: Go. Just go.