Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ladyface taste

La Blanche witbier
 Ladyface Mountain is in the Santa Monica Mountains, south of the 101 highway in Agoura Hills. It's a 2031 foot summit, with some challenging trails up to a beautiful viewpoint.

We have not hiked it, although we might try this spring. But we've found a great place to have a beer after the hike, and I think this research is worth exploring. Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie is located at the foot of the mountain, just off Kanan Dume Road.

Ladyface Ale Companie exterior
Ladyface Ale Companie is a craft brewery that specializes in California, French, and Belgian style ales. It's established in an Agoura Hills shopping center building that looks from the outside like any Olive Garden, Applebees or TGIFridays, but when you go inside you realize it's something different.

La Blonde Belgian Ale

There are communal tables, posters of Adolphe Mucha-style Arte Nouveau languid ladies, and there is beer. Oh, yes, beer. You can smell that yeasty funk in the air when you enter. Along the back wall are huge steel tanks full of beer.

The seasonal Trappistine dark ale
One of the things that's nice about Ladyface Ale is that they offer tasting portions of their ales. You can buy a 5 ounce little glass of draft ale to see if you like it, before you commit to a larger glass.

The menu is geared toward brasserie-style offerings. Classic French sandwiches like Croque Madame and Croque Monsieur; moules frites and steak frites; French onion soup and cheese plates. But it's a little more eclectic than that.

Pickles and marinated olives

You can get fried and battered fish & chips. You can get pulled pork sliders. And you can get locally sourced roast chicken, meats and farmers' market fresh vegetables.

Merguez sausage and couscous
I ordered a plate of merguez sausage - Moroccan-style lamb sausage flavored with spices and orange peel. It was served with Israeli couscous and spinach, studded with pine nuts and currants. It was delicious, and perfect with the Santa Barbara syrah that I switched to after my tastes of ale.

Pork shank
[The Man I Love] ordered the roasted Niman Ranch pork shank - and this was a superstar offering. Served with braised red cabbage and little dumplings garnished with mustard seeds, this was amazingly delicious. Smoky, tender, and flavorful. He enjoyed a glass of Weizenbock, a medium-dark German-style wheatbeer with it.

The quality of the drinks and food and the inventive combinations of flavors was wonderful, but the most amazing thing about it was the value. The tasting portion made it economical to try different ales without breaking the bank - or overindulging. And the entrees were priced at $15 each, for generous portions. Entrees of this quality in Santa Monica would have cost $28 or more!

You all can go ahead and climb the mountain. We'll meet you afterwards for a beer and some snacks!


smalltownme said...

Thank you, intrepid explorer. We have pulled off at that exit so many times for gas but never made it around the corner. Next time!

small mind said...

I went on their site to see if they have any wine - I saw they have a networking night (go figure) a single malt scotch night ... but no sign of the beloved grape ... but the food looks amazing!

Glennis said...

Patricia - I had a lovely Santa Barbara syrah. They do have wine!

Glennis said...

Heidi - just go south of the freeway, and turn right at Agoura Road then then into the next driveway!

patricia said...

Looks amazing!

small mind said...

great! I am going to get there soon! Patricia (I know I am a Brit but I can't do beer!)

Gilly said...

Oh, that looks fantastic! Especially the food! Those sausages look to die for!

Good place to have such a eaterie - right at the foot of the mountain - you could eat there and never get up to the top!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Everything about this place sounds and looks terrific! I think they have just found their new promotional manager: YOU!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I had never heard of this place....thank you for the tip

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

Nieman Ranch Pork Shank, please. Oh, and a glass of the syrah. Thanks! Seriously, you should be a food/travel writer!