It’s that wonderful time of year when it’s time to indulge in one of the true delicacies of the world. Forget the artificial truffleoil (redundant) of the ’90s – the real thing has a season and the time to enjoy white truffles is now.
Of course, at two to three thousand dollars per pound, it’s quite easy to break the bank while partaking. Fortunately, I’ve got a lot of options in different forms (cocktails! tasting menus! burgers!) and price points that will ensure you’re able to get your fungi fix.
Let’s start out with a cocktail by Matty B, why don’t we?
This few months-old gem in Atwater Village not only signifies the continued evolution and uprising of the Los Angeles brewing scene, it’s a move towards the eco-friendly, gentrification of the beer can. Costing less energy and space than glass bottles in production and recycling as well as affording more protection from the elements for its beers, cans aren’t just used for casing PBR, anymore. Golden Road is out to educate LA beer geeks and dabblers, alike.
The age of Golden Road Brewery also re-introduces sessionable beers to a scene that may have been bent on, or even obsessed with, high ABV beers just a few years back. They are also taking on IPAs by making them a custom by incorporating seasonal ingredients and making each brew truly local. Two go-to’s on those fronts: Their Golden Road Hefeweizen and Point The Way IPA.
Luckily, it’s not just a lone brewery Golden Road, helmed by Tony Yanow and Meg Gill, has up in Atwater Village, but a very cool pub offering each of their beers, 15 guest taps and a very chill, neighborhoody scene where, if you visited often enough, people will know your name. The food menu also has plenty of options for omnivores and vegans alike, so there’s something for everyone in your party.
And what better way to introduce your taste buds to Golden Road by dropping in on their collaborative Hangar 24 dinner? Their good friends from Redlands brought in 70 pounds of blood oranges from Hangar 24’s neighboring orchards thanks to their brewer Kevin Wright. Golden Road’s brewmaster, Jon Carpenter, spent the previous weeks developing a custom yeast for this very special brew, to create the end result: Valentin, a 6.5% ABV French Saison.
This one-of-a-kind beer dinner features dishes created by Golden Road’s Chef Adam Levoe, who worked closely with Jon and Kevin to craft each pairing. The five-course dinner will feature two beers from Hangar 24, two beers from Golden Road Brewing and our collaboration beer, Valentin.
Jonesin’ to see the whole menu? Look no further:
First course, paired with Valentin
Local Halibut or vegan hearts of palm ceviche with ruby red grapefruit, blood oranges and avocado salad
Second course, paired with Hangar 24’s Vinaceous
â€œSushiâ€ — Pan seared duck breast atop sweet potato hash browns with cherry reduction or vegan marinated portobello mushrooms atop crispy wild mushroom risotto with sweet soy reduction
Third course, paired with GRB El Hefe AÃ±ejo
Pork shoulder braised in GRB Hefeweizen and fresh chilis or vegan pinenut “carnitas” shredded napa cabbage, pico de gallo and spicy “crÃ¨me fraiche”
Fourth course, paired with Hangar 24’s Alt-bier
Pan seared bistro steak with roasted sunchokes, caramelized onions, fried leeks and red wine reduction or vegan roasted brussel sprouts with roasted sunchokes, caramelized onions, fried leeks and red wine reduction
Fifth course, paired with GRB Schwartz Stout
House made truffles and berries
This is one beer dinner not to miss out on! Viva Los Angeles beer!
I had the privilege of joining a few others in Glendale at Sidebar for a beer and chocolate tasting featuring brews from Stone Brewing Company, based in Escondido. Yes – we paired chocolates and beer – and I can positively say I’ve never even given the combination a thought. But pair they did, the tastes of which we were all there to experience. Gev Kazanchyan (our host) and Nate Sellergren (Stone’s Los Angeles rep) had paired up five brews with five Mignon chocolates – the identities of which were kept incognito under the doily in each of our individual chocolate boxes.
Fellow bloggers including CarolineOnCrack, FoodGPS and John of Social Domain were on hand to share the sometimes peculiar matchings. As far as the beer itself, I enjoyed the Smoked Porters the most. The Smoked Porters even came in three degrees of “smokiness.” Since porters, however, as dark beers are rich – I had a hard time reconciling the richness in both the chocolate and the brew. This was especially evident in the dark chocolate truffle with Dutch cocoa powder matched with the smokiest Porter.
Not coincidentally, I enjoyed the first pairing the most. It was the lightest beer at 4% content – the Levitation Ale. The pairing with a chocolate-covered orange peel was perfect, I thought. The orange peel highlighted the lightness in the ale with its own citrus zest very nicely.
I enjoyed both Indian Pale Ales but the Ruination IPA had notably more hops in it than the others. It was paired with a dark chocolate piece filled with lavendar ganache which brought a nice, lighter essence to that match.
My least favorite coupling admittedly had to do more with the beer than anything else – and that would be the Arrogant Bastard Ale. My palate doesn’t prefer especially strong ales so the oaked version of the same brew wasn’t cutting it. Still – I was surprised they were both paired with a sweeter, milk chocolate. I’d think that the sweetness might throw off the potency of the Arrogant Bastard (had I preferred it).
Pairing chocolate with beer is evidently a challenging thing to do. There were more combinations in this experience that threw my palate off than I thought worked well or even made sense. But perhaps for those few pairings it was worth it. Now if I could just find some chocolate-covered orange peels and some Stone Levitation ale…
Sidebar 1114 N. Pacific Ave. Glendale, CA 91202 (818) 241-4542