Monday, February 15, 2016

Don't Order a Martini at a Brewery

Of course I didn't!  Just whoofin' ya. 

Hop Saint, 5160 W. 190th Street, Torrance  310-241-4677   This site has held a lot of restaurants, most recently Cimarron Café and Billy's Deli.  The interior has morphed from a typical deli (plastic padded booths, waitresses with a handkerchief floating from a breast pocket and a free dish of pickles when you sit down) to a stark, modern, with it!  Hip, baby! interior. 

This translates to:  the faux ceiling was ripped out to expose the pipes and to accommodate the height of the beer brewing towers.  The booths (sadly) went from well-upholstered to plain wood.  Bring a cushion if you intend to be there awhile, but not long enough to get knee-walking drunk when you don't feel any pain anyhow.  The noise level is incendiary. 

But the drink and vittles are awfully good.  Our appetizer with the beers was to split an order of grilled cornbread with persimmon butter and chives ($7) which was very good and lavishly persimmon buttered - with a nice crust and an unusually creamy (for cornbread) interior.  Cornbread = crumbly to me and this wasn't.  More of a polenta texture. 

Richie ordered the roasted chicken-grilled shrimp  with grits ($15) which came in a huge, vaguely Japanese-style porcelain bowl.  I would bet that roasting the chicken and grilling the shrimp and then putting them in the soup varied the flavor in a positive way.

I can't resist pork ribs and the rack with fennel caramel sauce was great, but different and not just the taste.  They were Paul Prud'homme blackened (probably due to the sugar in the caramel.)  We're talking jet black here.  Crisp, chewy with undoubtedly all of the fat gone.    A medium serving of house slaw accompanied the ribs and it had a nice little tang to it. ($13)

Now to the point of Hop Saint.  Richie ordered a Vienna Lager, Batch #1 ($6)and, since I like lagers and India Pale Ales, I ordered the Cacophony Ale  ($7) - equally as a lager and because $1 of the pint price is donated to  ALS research.  Here's to a worthy charity!  However:  if one donated just a little bit too much to charity and gets pulled over, am not sure the officer would laud your charitable attempt.

All tastes are subject to the taster's tongue so all I can tell you about my IPA was that it was the most beer- tasting brew I can remember tasting.  But not in an offensive way.  Just matter-of-fact.  You ordered a beer; I am one.

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