Rock and Brews opened in August of 2010, it was a funky brewpub with a menu of pizzas and flatbreads and a large selection of artisanal beers on tap. The small inside dining room was pretty much abandoned (everyone wanted to sit on the outside patio), but there was a lot of wasted space. And so, the original owners - South Bay restaurateur Mike Zislis and rock impresario Dave Furano - joined forces with Gene Simmons (the fire-breathing demon bassplayer from KISS) to redo the space - and expand it throughout the world. There are currently plans to open at LAX, in Cabo, on Maui, in Dubai, the list goes on. The concept is simple - beer, burgers, lots of loud music and vintage rock videos. It just can't miss.
What used to be a cramped outside patio has doubled in size, with a Disneyesque gate leading in, and the kitchen has expanded into what used to be the dining room. The beer bar has also doubled, with beers on tap served by the pour and the pitcher. Don't miss the Wall of Rock constructed on what can double as a stage over the beer bar - a mural of the hottest rockers of the past half century. And yes, Gene Simmons is there.
The beer-friendly menu has expanded with more pizza options, which are hand-tossed and served thick, gluten-free or thin. The toppings are classic - pepperoni, Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and so forth. There are oversized soft German-style pretzels with a spicy-sweet mustard for dipping. The wings are cooked in Asian spices. And the pulled pork sandwich is one of the best in town - it drips juices so make sure you've got napkins at the ready.
Though there are sundry wines to choose from, Rock and Brews (as the name says) is all about its beers. There's an online beer list that's regularly updated as new brews come in. The servers are described as "Beer Nerds" - ask them about a beer, and they'll tell you more than you ever wanted to know. Those who like consistency can go for the good selection of regularly scheduled beers - Mama's Lil Yella Pils, Hoegaarden, Paulaner Hefeweizen, Ballast Point Sculpin and more.
Rock and Brews sits on the northern edge of the South Bay. Which means the crowd is dominated by surfers, skateboarders, roadies, rockers, beach people - the essence of the West Coast, out for a night of garlic cheese fries, half pound burgers, many beers - and the Stones and Bowie on the big screens. The place can be noisy, raucous, out of control. As they say, it's only rock 'n' roll - and we like it.
Like you've wandered into the best party in town - a party that's been going on for weeks, with lots to eat and drink, great music, cool ocean breezes and a crowd that never wipes out. Rock and Brews is so casual, it's hard to understand how it works so well. The trick is backstage - where the outside chaos is replaced by total control. Rock on....