Southern California’s sunny weather is perfect for outdoor dining. When you come home after a long day at work or you want to go out for some casual weekend dining, you don’t want to leave you best bud behind–even if he has your forever fur friend. Pasadena can be 10 degrees hotter than the coastal cities, so why not take a trip down to the Westside and stop at Rock & Brews in El Segundo, located at 143 Main Street in El Segundo.
You don’t have to worry about parking. There’s a small lot and plenty of street parking. You also don’t have to worry about dressing up. Think of upscale picnic or relaxed sports bar. Your dogs will feel right at home. The outdoor port area is entirely enclosed except for the entryway which has a trusty host/hostess standing guard.
Once you enter, there’s a space generally reserved for guests with dogs to your right, but if there’s a particularly growly dog already taking up space, your trusty host will find you another table. When we visited, there were two other parties with their dogs in tow. Our doggies were able to fit nicely under the table to maximize their shade space. Water and ice was provided. Our dogs are trained not to beg while we’re eating, they were not, however, trained not to flirt with the other customers.
The food includes beer and a lot of good, hearty food. We tried the Giant Soft German Pretzel ($8.95) because Jana has a weakness for soft pretzels. This appetizer could be a meal in itself or an appetizer for four. The pretzel has a firm outside with a soft center. The spicy sweet mustard definitely makes this better than your usual pretzel experience. I always like a little cheese, but that will wait until our next adventure there.
Since both of us are Beatles fans, how could we resist the Strawberry Field Salad ($10.95) This lovely cold salad is perfect for the hot summer weather. With a base of baby greens, the crunch of cucumbers and smooth buttery avocados, this salad was a delightful surprise. Who would have thought of strawberries with red onions and candied walnuts? The feta cheese adds an extra tanginess with a lemon pepper vinaigrette to tie all the flavors together.
Jana grew up in Southern California and likes to live in bathing suits during the summer so, of course, she’s a Beach Boys fan. Our main course was the Surfin’ Surfari Shrimp Pesto (Yes, it is spelled Surfari) which is $13.95 for a 10-inch individual sized pizza or $22.95 for a 16-inch family sized pizza. For $1 extra (individual or $2 for family) you can even get it gluten free. The crust is thin, crispy and hand-tossed. This pizza is a wonderful blend of house-made pesto, shrimp, mozzarella and goat cheese, mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes. Large pieces of shrimp decorate the top in abundance.
We didn’t have time to try any of the burgers, sandwiches or desserts.As you might expect, other menu items are named for rock songs such as the Purple Rain Chocolate Drops (raspberry sauce supplies the purple on chocolate filled French donuts) or the Sweet Surrender Bread Pudding (which features a Jack Daniel sauce). The perfect Beatles menu medley might be the Strawberry Fields salad with The Yellow Submarine ($10.95). Ian would like to try that Rockin Brauts ($9.95) or the Tri Tip Tacos ($12.95). As a great fan of eggplants, I’m intrigued by the Unplugged Veggie Burger ($11.95). I understand there’s even a doggie menu in the works.
You like your brews? There’s plenty of draught brews–Lagers, Pilsners, Wheat beers, Malty, Hoppy, Belgian and inspired. Don’t worry if you want wine. They have reds and whites as well as a few specialty drinks.
The experience was positive for both owners and doggies. The doggies got properly admired and we had a pleasant dog-friendly outing.
Rock & Brews Garden on Main is a partnership between KISS frontmen Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons with concert industry veterans Dave and Dell Furano and restauranteur Michael Zislis.
Rock & Brews Garden on Main is located at 143 Main Street in El Segundo. Hours are Mondays-Fridays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturdays, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information call (310) 615-9890 or for Reservations, the food menu and the beer menu, visit their website.