The Dudes’ Brewing Company has become a SoCal staple, taking its outlandishly creative and meticulously crafted beers from as far south as Orange County to as far north as—well, now—Santa Clarita. The Dudes’ newest location has already added a touch of the beach life to Valencia’s Westfield Town Center, not to mention dozens of the craziest beers you’ll come across.
The Dudes’ Santa Clarita serves up all the beers made famous by the original Torrance location, changing out seasonal selections in stride with tasting rooms across Southern California. The sour patch series is certainly trending, with a watermelon sour that will turn your tongue…in a good way. The sandbox series features the ‘genie in a bottle,’ a nearly 25-proof red ale with a dangerous smoothness.
The much-loved juicebox series boasts impeccable flavors such as blood orange amber ale, peach Berliner weisse, and coconut amber ale. Add in the long-time favorite grandma’s pecan English brown, the cleverly-named ‘Dudes-Quik’ chocolate milk stout, and the shamrock shake—a mint-flavored bright green cream ale. The list goes on, and The Dudes’ pick-4 beer flights help ease the pressure in selecting your favorites.
And who knew The Dudes’ could cook? The Dudes’ Santa Clarita is the first location to serve food, with a specialty pizza lineup that emphasizes bold, flavorful toppings and quality ingredients. The sausage mushroom white has quickly soared to the top, made with rich Italian sausage, seasonal mushrooms and ricotta. The veggie pizza, finished with gorgonzola and balsamic, is enough to break a gluten-free diet…but let’s be serious, The Dudes’ itself is the perfect place to get back on the gluten train. Don’t miss out on those garlic knots either.
The tasting room itself is laid out remarkably well, with Jenga and other tabletop bar games scattered across large communal tables and a massive projector broadcasting sports for everyone to see. Groups gather to play Wii in the back while the taps take center stage, flowing at a constant rate to serve a constantly revolving crowd. The Dudes’ spices things up with Trivia Thursdays, upcoming acoustic Sundays and highly anticipated beer and yoga sessions…now those should be interesting!
Beer lovers, get excited. The Dudes is continuing to expand, with a Santa Monica location expected soon.
The Dudes’ Brewing Company Santa Clarita is located at 24250 Town Center Dr #190, Santa Clarita, CA 91355. Open Mon – Thurs 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Fri/Sat 11 a.m. – midnight, Sun 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Beers and flights are ~$8 each and pizzas are ~$10 – 13 each. For more information, call (661) 263-5133 or visit The Dudes’ Brewing Company Santa Clarita online.
Oggi’s has built itself up to become a household name in SoCal over the last 25+ years. What started as a humble pizzeria in Del Mar is now a regional empire, with 16 locations that span from South San Diego to the high desert, with a far-reaching spot in Phoeniz, AZ as well. Brewing craft beer before craft beer was cool, serving up fun-but-approachable pizzas and perfecting a laid-back sports bar atmosphere has allowed Oggi’s to become a trusted destination for guys’ nights out and family gatherings alike.
Pizza may have been where Oggi’s got its start, but the franchise has expanded it’s offerings to say the least. A labyrinth of a menu covers myriads of all the usual suspects you’d hope for in a sports bar. Burgers, wings, sandwiches and SoCal favorites like fish tacos provide a strong base for those seeking indulgence, while a long salad list appeals to those coming along for the ride. Thai chili buffalo wings and a seemingly endless plate of short rib nachos are certainly house favorites.
Oggi’s has also taken strong ownership of pizza’s closest complements, pasta and breadsticks. Their vodka penne di parma comes out with richness and full flavor far beyond its modest price point, and of course it would be a sin to skip over the garlic knots, as dense and buttery as you’d hope for. Oggi’s pizzas go without saying, made fresh with hand-tossed dough and names after various sports references. The slam dunk [buffalo chicken] and the heavyweight [meat lover’s] are surefire winners.
And what would the Oggi’s experience be without their home-brewed beer, which continues to gather awards and accolades. Several of Oggi’s beers pay homage to their San Diego roots, such as the Ladainian Tomlinson grapefruit session IPA and the Torrey Pines IPA.
Oggi’s has locations across San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties, as well as Phoenix, AZ. Hours vary by location. Avg. out-the-door price for split appetizer, split pizza and 1 – 2 drinks is ~$39/person. For more information visit Oggi’s online.
Pink booths line the walls of the vast open-air dining room, which flows right into a broad patio that takes in the best of Glendale’s bustling Brand Boulevard and Americana at Brand, the elegant shopping mall that gives Frida Americana its last name. A labyrinthine menu, brightly colored margaritas and elegant tequila flights complement a bustling atmosphere quite nicely, allowing Frida Americana to integrate Mexican taste into a posh LA vibe.
Frida Americana plays to its audience quite well, showcasing all the amenities you could ever hope for in a stylish full-service Mexican restaurant. Hot tortilla chips with hotter salsas meet you about as soon as you sit down, making tableside guacamole a must. The challenge then ensues, as there are far more choices than the appetite can handle. Should you order a village Mexican salad, served in a grilled crispy cheese bowl, or opt for the zucchini and poblano chowder? Or do you skip on both, focusing instead on the street corn, sweet at heart with chile and cotija to bring out its full character?
Mexican classics are ever-present at Frida Americana, highlighted by a custom enchilada menu where guests choose their filling and their sauce. It’s always a tough call, but you don’t have to look back once the steak enchiladas, covered in a bold, earthy mole sauce, arrive at the table. And since you’re here to indulge, the sirloin and chicken flautas hold that desirable fluffy crunch that’s so rarely found in anything besides this deep-fried favorite.
Moving away from the tortilla and toward the more premium dishes, Frida’s steak, seafood and house specialties add a significant dimension to the menu. The camarones al ajillo, or shrimp in garlic butter sauce, are as just decadent as they sound.
While it will be hard to save room, dessert should not be missed. It rains caramel at Frida Mexicana, with crepas con cajeta, flan and churros made all the better with that ridiculous and addictive sauce.
Drinks, or course, are a staple here, with an alluring margarita selection that includes blueberry mint, tamarind, Jamaica and your classic mango, among others. The tequila flights are Instagrammable to say the least, as is the fun and eclectic crowd that keeps the party going until closing.
For those looking for a fun twist on brunch, Frida Americana offers a Sunday Mariachi Brunch, served weekly from 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Frida Americana is located at 750 Americana Way, Glendale, California 91210. Open 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Mon – Thu, 11 am – 11 pm Fri/Sat, and 10:30 am – 10 p.m. Sun. Avg. out-the-door cost for split appetizer, entrée, split dessert and 1 – 2 drinks is ~$78/person. For more information, call (818) 551-1666 or visit Frida Americana online.
Benjamin Brown is a seasoned restaurant writer and hospitality consultant, serving up SoCal's hottest food news and reviews.