Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mini Drinkventure #152: The Surly Goat (West Hollywood)

For awhile, the property on 7929 Santa Monica Blvd. has been in identity crisis mode, with some frisky sexual experimentation too -- at various times in the past few years, it's been a pretty explicit gay bar (iCandy, with very NC-17 flicks projected onto the walls) a decidedly straight nightclub (Seven, no affiliation to kickass whisky bar Seven Grand in downtown) and a glitzy, flamboyant bi-curious ultralounge (24K, with gold-themed decor up the wazoo and boasting a $100 martini with real gold in it!)

Surly Goat Bar Interior
Thankfully, the latest incarnation is something I can get behind (pun possibly intended), The Surly Goat! Co-owned by restauranteur Adolfo Suaya (BoHo, formerly Bar Delux, and soon Osaka) and Ryan Sweeney (the well-known beermeister behind Verdugo Bar,) this bar definitely fills the specialty beer niche in the WeHo area. The ambience takes a turn back to casual-masculinity, but in general it gives off a friendly, if slightly upscale, neighborhood bar vibe, and when I visited on a post-rainy Tuesday (their 2nd day in soft opening mode) it was pretty happening with a very diverse and happily-buzzed crowd.

One decorative feature definitely checking worth out is all the beer-and-goat posters Ryan has collected and adorned the walls with. When asking about them (and the bar's name) he retold an old German fable where a noble was drinking a bockbier and wound up unconscious, with some confusion on whether it was the beer or a billy goat (also named bock in German) that knocked him out -- and thus, then have been numerous goat-beer advertising posters highlighting the brew's tastiness (it's goat approved!) and, of course, its "knock-you-out-fast" alcoholic strength.
Taps at The Surly Goat
Of course, the main star of the bar -- its awesome blossom beer list (but like Verdugo, they have spirits and wine too, for any weird beer-loathing plus-ones you may bring along...) The unique tastings I had that night included the New Belgium Brewing's Tart Lychee (a bright and tangy wild ale with a lovely fruit fragrance) and a half-pint of EagleGoat Bock (a nutty-caramelly, dark but easy-to-drink bockbier made by Eagle Rock Brewery especially for this bar's opening!)

The only downside, their tasty-sounding cask ale (rum-barrel-aged Victory at Sea, a coffee-vanilla porter from Ballast Point) is not ready yet, but I guess that only means I need to return again soon!

And lastly, The Surly Goat is still in soft opening stage right now so have a little patience while the staff get their bearings straight, but in the meantime, enjoy the brews, check out the artwork, feel free to bring your own food in, and keep your eyes peeled for the grand opening event in the coming weeks (I was a told a live goat will be involved.)

The Surly Goat
7929 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 650-4628
The Surly Goat in Los Angeles

Partial-Freebie Disclosure: Ryan, the ever generous beer-sharing soul who recognized me from Verdugo and beer events past, comp'd me half-pint "tastings" of the EagleGoat Bock and the Victory Kolsch Ale after I bought the Tart Lychee and Ommegang's Three Philosophers.


Food GPS said...

Glad you liked your first Surly Goat experience. Mine was a success too. EagleGoat Bock was part of the reason. Good house beer.

Diana said...

Wait, there will be an actual live goat there? Hope it's not a surly one! ;)

Yasmin Lawsuit said...

That goat head is awesome.

Jon said...


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I agree with you pal, The Surely Goat is an amazing restaurant to have a very good time with your friends or to meet new people and make friends. I will go there again tonight!

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Is there a goat sitting on the ceiling top? Can you please tell me that...?

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kauto said...

That is a lovely selection of beers. You might serve whatever fancy staff you like but nothing can replace the smell of a beer and nice neighborhood feeling. I will definetely check this place out soon.


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