Brewery Draconum has found itself right at home in downtown Newhall. It brings with it the exact kind of authentic, small-town character you’d hope to find in this historic wild west district, and at the same time a level of sophistication in its menu and ambiance that reminds you that you’re still in LA.
And the beer? Unquestionably killer, crafted through decades of experience under owner Ben Law and his humble yet visionary team.
A true brewpub, Brewery Draconum brews a wide variety of beers in-house, turning out new types so often that they can’t print new menus fast enough. The beer room is visible from the other side of the bar, rows of stainless steel vats a beautiful site for patrons seeking beer straight from the source. Their gutterhead red ale is a house favorite, with excellent Saison, melonkolschy [kolsch] and ABVAF [golden Belgian strong] as additional contemporary highlights. You’ll also find additional craft brews from SoCal icons such as Stone Brewing and Mother Earth.
Brewery Draconum’s meticulous attention to detail carries through to its food menu, which of course incorporates into recipes whenever possible. They make nearly everything from scratch, all the way down to their potato and tortilla chips. Enjoy them with some impressive spinach dip, then move onto a fresh, colorful beet salad finished with creamy burrata.
Mains go for an unbelievably reasonable price point, from $10 perfectly fried fish tacos and customizable burgers that start at $12. And hallelujah, those burgers include fries! If you’re seeking something more elevated, try the rack of lamb with Irish mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables. Unsurprisingly, everything pairs quite fittingly with the beer menu, including dessert—how about a nitro beer float?
Out back is the beer garden, where communal picnic tables and lawn games allow you to make the most of your afternoon or evening.
Brewery Draconum is located at 24407 Main St, Santa Clarita, CA 91321. Open Tue and Thu 12 – 10 p.m., Fri – Sat 12 – midnight, Sun 12 – 9 p.m. Closed Tue and Wed for brewing. Avg. out-the-door price for split appetizer, entrée and 1 – 2 drinks is ~$41/person. For more information call (661) 568-9160 or visit Brewery Draconum’s Facebook page.
Newhall may be widely known as Hollywood’s Wild West, but Persia Lounge has had no trouble mixing things up with flare from The Middle East. Fall-off-the bone meats, rich hummus, saffron rice and seemingly endless lavash meld with belly dancing, hookah and live music for a holistic cultural experience. As little ol’ Downtown Newhall continues to expand and attract more attention from ‘Mainland LA’, it’s places like Persia Lounge that are bringing the area an elevated allure, not to mention great taste.
Persia Lounge’s humble setup speaks to its authenticity. An inviting, minimalist dining room wraps around the restaurant’s small enclosed kitchen and leads to the lounge in the back, where hookah, music and dancing proceed to run the show. Wall décor pays homage to ancient Middle Eastern décor, and even has some exposed brick painted on. But it’s the food you’re after, and it comes in heaps at Persia Lounge.
Nobody is going to leave here hungry. The inquiry is confirmed as the appetizer combo arrives with enough lavash bread to carb-load for a marathon. Creamy hummus and masto khiar [yogurt cucumber dip], shirazi salad with diced cucumber and tomato, and light Persian potato set the tone for a menu with just enough familiar territory for everyone to enjoy, and an abundance of potential for adventurous palates to seek new discovery.
Meat is clearly a treasured entity at Persia Lounge, with every dish rich in bold flavor and distinct identity. Take the baghale polo with lamb shank, which you could tear apart with your fingers if you wanted, served in an herbaceous tomato broth that magnifies the flavor profile further. Or the zereshk polo with chicken, a spectacular chicken kabob that seems like it’s been marinating for ages, with saffron rice and the fascinating addition of sour barberry. Then there’s your classic shish kabob, with juicy chunks of char-grilled beef.
If you’re looking for true Halal, this is one of the only shows in town. You’ll also be able to find beers and wines from Lebanon and Armenia, in addition to the labels we all know and love.
Persia Lounge and Restaurant is located at 24328 Main St, Newhall, CA 91321. Open 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Tue – Thu, 11 a.m. – midnight Fri – Sat and 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sun. Closed Mon. Average out-the-door price for split appetizer, entrée and 1 – 2 drinks is ~$40/person. For more information call (661) 259-4100 or visit Persia-Lounge.com.
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.
Benjamin Brown is a seasoned restaurant writer and hospitality consultant, serving up SoCal's hottest food news and reviews.