It’s surreal to think that everything about how we live and socialize changed a year ago this month when we went into lockdown. Fortunately, outdoor dining is open again, and there are plenty of options to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness.
As the new owners of our British pub Whale & Ale, a local institution, Susan and Martin O’Sullivan haven’t skipped a beat with the excellent food and service. For St. Patrick’s Day, try the traditional Irish options on the menu, such as corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, and bangers and champ. For those not familiar with champ, it’s the Irish version of creamy mashed potatoes kicked up a notch by scallions. You can’t go wrong with any of the food choices. Guinness and drink specials will be available to complete the experience. If beer is not your thing, then do yourself a favor and order the Irish Mule — it’s my current favorite. Please check their website for the latest hours of operation: thewhaleandale.com.
If you must have your green beer fix, then head over to San Pedro Brewing Company. Owner James Brown tells me that they will also serve Irish Car Bombs, an Irish-American drink for St. Patrick’s Day, which is a shot of whiskey and Baileys dropped in a pint of stout. There will be corned beef and cabbage as well as corned beef grilled cheese. I’m looking forward to trying the latter because anything that has grilled onions has my interest, but caramelized onions made with Guinness has my full attention. If none of the options above fit your palate, have no fears — there are plenty of good choices on the menu. For us, a visit is not complete without an order of Gaffey Fries, an affinity that my Pedro-raised husband has passed on to me. Please check their website for the latest hours of operation: sanpedrobrewing.com.
The newest kid in town is The Sardine. Who would have imagined that the location of the old Ramona Bakery, after sitting empty for years, would turn into an eclectic live music venue in San Pedro? They have an outdoor area in the back where you can sit and drink your beer or wine, purchased from the bar. They will have a food truck on St. Patty’s Day, barring any CDC or health department changes, serving corned beef sandwiches. Guinness will be deeply discounted and poured cold. I encourage you to choose from their extensive and diverse beer collection for either drink in or take home. Please check their active Instagram account for the latest hours of operation: instagram.com/sardinepedro.
Speaking of beer, we must also talk about the best and largest “beer garden” in Los Angeles: Brouwerij West. Before the pandemic, my husband, my Great Dane Grace, and I used to spend many hours hanging in the courtyard socializing with local friends and making new ones. For me, walking up to the counter was like my own version of Cheers, where I was greeted by my first name. There won’t be a St. Patrick’s Day themed affair, but you can still enjoy drinking at one of the picnic tables with a meal purchased from the food truck of the day or pick up beer or seltzer to go. Additionally, there will be some special cool beer releases for their fifth anniversary. Please visit their website for the latest hours of operation and highly recommended reservations: brouwerijwest.com.
Brouwerij West and The Sardine have been particularly affected by the pandemic since for months they were only able to sell beers to go due to the health department’s regulation. They both add to the uniqueness of our port town, and I encourage you to visit them so that they can continue to be part of our community for years to come.
While TVs must remain off during this time according to the CDC guidelines, there is always takeout for March Madness. We are lucky to have places in town that make good food and offer a variety of beers or cocktails to take home. With takeout, not only do you support our local restaurants, but you spend more time enjoying the games instead of prepping and cooking. spt