Normally for tax season, we’d be heading to the H&R Bloc next to 55 Degree Wine for some yearly tax preparation. Last night, we went to the same spot, but to drink beer!
Located in the former H&R Bloc in a small strip mall off of Glendale Boulevard, Links N Hops is a warm, rustic, pub-style restaurant. And through the kitchen aromas, it still smells a little like sawdust – 55 Degree Wine owner Andy Hasroun had a soft opening just a couple of days ago, after battling the city’s parking permit issues.
But unlike a lot of restaurant openings we have been to, there weren’t any hiccups or kinks to work out – the staff was knowledgeable, the food came out promptly, and the atmosphere was just right.
The food – oh, the food – best vegan dog I’ve had in a long time. Meals come out of the kitchen in baskets, served on a metal kitchen tray. I ordered the Frankfurter (organic tofu, onion, tomato, apple cider, paprika) with an entire roasted Jalapeno and sauteed onions, my dinner date ordered the Spicy Italian (pork, onions, fennel, red pepper flakes) with onions. Required for this type of dining are Belgian Fries with a side of spicy ketchup (other options include dijon mustard, 1000 island, or ranch). Mustard and ketchup readily available, we dug in without a second thought. The bread is perfectly toasted, and unbelievably fresh – it came from a local bakery, completely hand made, and made only for Links N Hops. It makes you realize the hot dogs or sausages you’ve had before were overpowered by heavy, thick bread – not this time!
Beer choices are well-rounded, with 23 beers on tap (and room for growth – they will soon have more). Local favorites include Golden Road Brewery’s IPA, but international choices like La Chouffe Belgian Pale (so good) and lots of other California faves like North Coast Brewing’s Scrimshaw Pilsner. I’m also a sucker for Ellie’s Brown from Avery Brewing (Colorado), which matched perfectly with a really cold night and a basket of delicious sausages.
The only regret I had after leaving is that we didn’t order more Belgian Fries!
Other menu items include Andouille, Turkey Mole, BBQ Pork, Chinese Roast Pork, Spicy Italian, Hot Smoked Chicken, Wild Boar with Marsala, Pheasant with Cognac, and Rabbit with Wine for meat eaters. Andy told us he really wants to focus a lot on vegan options as well, and the current menu has some great options: Frankfurter, Beerbrat, Smoked Apple, Vegan Italian, and Spicy Pepper (really spicy, fyi!). Don’t skip out on those fries!
Links N Hops is open daily for lunch and dinner, from 11 am to midnight Sunday through Thursday, and 11 am to 1 am on Saturdays. If you’re in a rush for lunch, they do offer take-away!
Check out the restaurant’s Facebook page for more info.