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Red Car Brewery and Restaurant

Not Rated.
Red Car Brewery and RestaurantRed Car Brewery and Restaurant
BA SCORE
86
very good

29 Ratings
Ratings: 29
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 21.07%
Active Beers: 5
Beer Ratings: 47
Beer Avg: 3.7
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask:
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

1266 Sartori Avenue
Torrance, California, 90501
United States
phone: (310) 782-0222

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 29 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
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norimame, May 23, 2014
Photo of DoubleJ
3.54/5  rDev -5.6%

I came two years late. You see, I was in Torrance two years ago doing my own "brew tour" when I received a phone call for baseball tickets which I could not reject. That cut my day short, but I'm back. Sitting in downtown Torrance is the Red Car Brewery, which is housed in an old building. The space inside mixes elements of the old building in with a brewery and restaurant. A simple door opens yourself to the brewpub, where lies the restaurant (left) and bar (right). I'll take a stool, thank you. A roomy bar with seating for over a dozen people, the taps sitting in the middle of the bar, brewpub-logoed glassware at each seat to hold checks (if you do this, make sure the glasses are cleaned and the rims aren't chipped). Sports on TV, lots of sunlight entering the room during the afternoon...I think I can relax.

At one end of the bar is a listing of the day's beers, while the menu itself shows its 6 regular beers. During my visit, "only" five house beers available (Big Red, Special Bitter, Motorman, South Bay IPA, Black IPA), available in pints and tasters. I prefer pints, so I ordered the bitter (much too dry) and Motorman (decent). Just standard shaker pints for the main glassware. $6 pints.

I was more hungry than thirsty, so pulled pork was selected along with a side of garlic fries. While the beer's did not excite me, the food certainly did, and it sounds weird to write that I would come back for the food before the beer. Having a helpful bartender also kept my visit going in the right direction.

Would I return? Maybe. The overall experience was fine. Regarding just the beer, there are other breweries which I would hit before Red Car.

DoubleJ, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.44/5  rDev -8.3%

I stopped in here recently when I was in the area. It's a fairly small place with a side for tables and dining and then the bar side. I sat at the bar and ordered a sampler flight. The bartender said he was out of 2 of the 5 beers but I saw him pour all 5 so I'm not sure why he was saying that. The quality of the beers was pretty good but they seemed a bit warm straight from the tap. The service was alright but there weren't that many people in there and it took a while to get my check at the end. The selection was limited to 5 of the house beers and a few bottled offerings from other breweries from what I could tell. Prices were reasonable for the beer. To be honest, this is sort of a depressing place and I'm not sure I will be back.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of whatthehull
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%

Love this place. One of the best burgers in town and excellent beer. The service is awesome and I love getting a growler of south bay IPA every time I come. Food is all awesome, tons of flavor and a great variety. B-Fast is served all day and you can get a burger rare. I have two kids and the wait team is always awesome to them and everything I ask for from a cup of croutons to cucumbers with the skin cut off I can get. My wife always get a garden salad and even just a regular ol' garden salad is beyond awesome! Fries are some of the best and they have a BBQ/Ranch deep that is pretty awesome. So, from appetizers to Dinner to a bowl of croutons, everything is way above average and not badly priced. Oh, and I almost forgot, they serve a fresh homemade bread (which they make their croutons out of) they serve with oil and vinegar, is pretty awesome too! Comes with every meal in the dinning area, don't know about the bar!

whatthehull, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of Dogbrick
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%

Red Car is in Torrance off of Torrance and Cabrillo. They have a decent sized private lot and there appears to be metered parking in the surrounding blocks.

The brewpub is housed in a historic brick telegraph building. The exterior has stucco and a patio, with lots of windows. The inside is brick with cream colored walls. The bar is on the right side with a small dining area opposite. Brewing equipment is visible behind the bar, and there is a chalkboard listing what beers are on tap.

Red Car has 5 beers on draught and has a sampler for $5.25. The styles are pretty typical, including an Amber, APA, IPA, Porter and Anniversary Ale. The beers are average for the most part.

Service on a weekday lunch at the bar was pretty good. The bartender was not very busy and was friendly.

I had a sandwich and fries for lunch and it was decent.

Overall this place does not exactly have a robust array of beers, and the ones they do have are straightforward. However it still merits a visit due to the nice atmosphere and overall quality of the beer and food.

Dogbrick, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of willbolk
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%

Maybe a bit biased since this is my local brew pub, but I love Red Car Brewery.

Beer wise, they only have their own brews, which amounts to a selection of about 5-6. They've got a red, blonde, IPA, porter, plus the occasional seasonal. Their pumpkin ale was pretty good. Pints are about $4.50 or so. They have growlers to go as well.

Menu is fairly typical pub grub, but very good indeed. I can highly recommend the chicken strips with garlic fries, which are the best garlic fries I've ever had. The wife swears by the ahi burger and the club sandwich. The blazing noodles are also very tasty. Haven't been disappointed with any menu item.

The space is quaint, but nothing to write home about. Service has always been attentive. They have live entertainment most Friday and Saturday nights. Free wifi.

Be sure to go to restaurant.com to get discounted gift certificates.

willbolk, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of BeTheBall
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%

Went in the middle of a Friday afternoon, so not very many people were there. Long bar from front of the space to the back down the right; dining area with tables (12?) on the left. We sat at the bar. Barkeep was very friendly and offered good suggestions. Behind hte bar are all the wodden barrels in which the beer is made; very cool. They had maybe 6 beers on tap, an IPA, Porter, Belgian Wheat, golden ale, red ale...
Had a sampler of them all, then a Belgian Wheat, which was quite tasty. Was starving after flying all day, so had the Ahi burger. It was slightly over cooked, but still quite good. The fries are the best I've had in a long time; nice and crispy. Very happy we stopped there, and hope to hit it again before we return to the other coast.

BeTheBall, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Really cool of the manager to let us sit at the bar and get a taster set even though the place was closed. We walked in late but still manged to get some beer poured for us so I can't speak of the atmosphere cause it was only me and my budy who were in the bar. They had 5 house beers that were pretty decent with their porter standing out to me the most. Cool bar with the wood covered fermenters sitting right behind the bar. The bartender was nice enough to pours some tasters after closing hours and was friendly as well. I will definitely try to come back to taste their food and give the porter another run. Cool place to stop by if your in the city of torrance.

Gobzilla, May 31, 2010
Photo of Floydster
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%

My family and some friends ate down the street at La Capilla tonight and stumbled across this place after when we were walking around this old run down part of town, stopped in for a few pints and got a growler to go, do not know how much the pints were because I did not buy them, but the growler I bought was $4.50 for the glass and fourteen bucks per fill regardless of the beer, I had the special bitter first while we there and got a porter for round two, neither were very good, the IPA I brought home in the growler was a little better with a great nose but still lacking some other important qualities, place is an old depot building, the tanks are literally five feet from where you sit right behind the bar, lots of families in here and a few beer drinkers too, did not look over the menu much but most people seemed to be eating pizza, laid back inside but located in a bit of a ghost town in Torrance, service was decent as it was not too busy but they still probably could have used a few more pople working, only had four different beers on tap and they were all their brews, the only one I did not have was their brown ale, will probably go back in October to try their pumpkin ale as I have heard good things about it, not the best beer but cool to have a place like this fairly close to my house, just weird that it took me this long to get out here, will go back, worth checking out if you are in the South Bay

Floydster, Jul 13, 2009
Photo of 86sportster883
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%

I was staying overnight in Manhattan Beach after a week long meeting in OC. It was a Friday night and although somewhat burned out from the week, I decided to grab dinner someplace new and wound up at the Red Car Brewery. This place was a pleasant surprise in terms of the low key friendly atmosphere and the excellent food. The beers were all tasty and very drinkable (I had the sampler) but nothing struck me as exceptional. There was live music though, which was all original and quite decent, and my Chicken picatta over garlic mashed potatoes was outstanding.

86sportster883, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of mlaroche
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%

Atmosphere: The venue was bright and spacious. I was really impressed with the brick and nice wood finishing, including the presence of the brewing equipment behind the bar. I would feel comfortable grabbing lunch with grandparents here, going on a date with my wife here, or having a couple beers with my friends here. This area of Torrance was pretty cool - a nice little downtown area is a rarity in the LA area.

Quality: The beers were pretty good. The IPA had nice hop aroma, and my friend really enjoyed the Pumpkinhead.

Service: The bartender was friendly and was attentive.

Selection: I was really disappointed with their beer selection. They list 6 all the time beers and only 3 of them were on tap. There was also a pumpkin seasonal on tap, so they had 4 house beers on tap - kind of a small selection. The menu was diverse - ahi salad, pad thai, standard burgers and pizza... a bit better than your standard pub fare.

I do have a complaint: their website doesn't say their hours on special days. We drove 20 minutes there on the day after Thanksgiving for lunch, only to find their opening delayed to 3. So seriously, if you run the website, please put special hours on your website.

mlaroche, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of charlzm
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

Visited on Monday 01/07/08 at about 4:00pm. Place was deserted. My friend and I sat at the bar and ordered an appetizer (spinach/artichoke dip). He had a pint of the porter, while I had the sampler. The bartender was very friendly and attentive, though not as knowledgable about beer as we were. The food took a long time to come, but that was okay. They have six taps brewed on premises, though they were out of the red ale when I visited. The decor is best described as early 20th century red brick: reminded me of a firehouse. Dark and quiet when we were there, though I have been before when it was bustling and noisy. The relief bartender was also attentive and friendly; she and I struck up a conversation about cars, of all things. Nice place. (here comes my standard closing line). If I lived closer, I'd visit a lot more often.

charlzm, Mar 10, 2008
Photo of kleffman
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%

Somehow I didn't know this existed even though I grew up in Torrance and lived there for 12 years. Visited with some buddies and just happened to hit happy hour. Nice little appetizer menu to go with the beers. Tried a couple of their ales and was quite impressed with the IPA. It's a big IPA that they may as well call imperial. Really enjoyed my visit and would like to go back for dinner and beers some day. I sat at the bar and just looked at their very nice wood covered brew equipment and brick walls. Cool place, especially for a quite beer deprived area (well I live in SD, so everywhere is beer deprived to me...)

kleffman, Dec 24, 2007
Photo of instrumentality
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%

My girlfriend and I visited this brewery specifically because we wanted to check out their Pumpkinhead beer and see if it was growler worthy for an upcoming Halloween party. I've just reviewed two of their beers, including this one, so I'll try not to be too redundant here.

We arrived on a Tuesday evening around 6pm. Getting there was relatively easy from the 110, and apparently just as easy to get to from the 405. In fact, we probably could have just taken surface streets from my place in Long Beach and made decent time as well.

The one annoyance is that there doesn't seem to be any simple way to get there by public transportation. I checked the MTA web site and they couldn't even plot a course that would get me there.

Nonetheless, we got there...

The atmosphere was comfortable, with a reasonably long bar with brewing equipment in the background, and behind our bar stools, a significant supply of tables for dining. Others have broken the visual down with more detail, so I'll defer to them for much of this.

Apparently, we got there on the day they were having a special Oktoberfest Food-and-Beer pairing meal (five beers, five courses, $45 if I recall correctly), and by 7:00, the place was packed, but the clientele was pretty mellow (probably mostly early 30s to early 50s) and it wasn't all that noisy once everyone found their seats. About 1/3 of the bar seats remained vacant throughout our time there.

The bartender was a little slow (attention-wise, not mentally), but we weren't in too much of a hurry, and when he did show up, he was helpful, so I was happy with his service.

They only had four brews on tap: the Motorman's Reserve (bland), Big Red (like the chewing gum), the South Loop Porter (coffee/chocolate), and their seasonal special, the Pumpkinhead Ale (refreshing, slightly pumpkiny). I think all of the brews could have stood for a bit more carbonation, as there was no head to be found on any of them, but flavor-wise, they were all at least average. They were served just a bit too cold, but this tends to be the standard and I'm learning to get used to it.

The food, however, was quite impressive. I had the Motorman's Bacon Cheeseburger (three cheeses, hold the bacon and the "secret sauce"/Thousand Island) and fries and my girlfriend had the chicken picatta. We were both quite pleased. She couldn't even finish her meal, but somehow had extra room available to snatch up some of my fries.

Overall, I'd say the beer was so-so and the service was slightly better, but the food was worth coming back for and I'll take a so-so local beer with good food over a generic macrobrew any day.

I did end up purchasing two growlers of Pumpkinhead, but that was more out of desperation than any signficant appreciation. I'm optimistic, though, as I hear their IPA will be showing up very soon, and their dIPA should pop up sometime in December, so hopefully I'll have something tasty to refill those growlers with soon.

instrumentality, Oct 25, 2006
Photo of loving44
4.58/5  rDev +22.1%

This is my local haunt as its right down the street from my home/work. It's a small unassuming building from the street, right next to railroad tracks... I've never seen them in operation.

The inside is industrial with worn brick, stainless steel, and wood. Large brew kettles behind a long bar t the right with restaurant style seating to the left. The two areas separated by a chest high wall. The majority of the time the restaurant section is "seat-yourself". The whole place is a historic building, once a telegraph station. It's a really interesting building. There are 5 or 6 TVs showing different programs all the time, but it's not a loud sports bar atmosphere. An outdoor patio is also available.

Only ales brewed on premises are available as far as I know; no macros. Selection varies, and can seem small at times, but they usually have at least three on tap with the occasional seasonal special such as their winter warmer/strong ale "night train" and their pumpkin-head pumpkin ale (awesome). I'm a big fan of the IPA, and the South Loop Porter. The beers vary a bit from time to time due to slight recipe changes, but each one is very high quality and delicious. The brewing passion shows in these beers!! All beers are available in growlers, pints, and smaller taster versions.

The service has always been great. Sometimes they get busy and will mess up food orders a little, but both times it has happened top me I was compensated with free beer or free desert. I didn't mind at all!

That brings me to the food...

The burgers are fantastic as well as the fries. You have to try the fries!! Lots of dishes available ranging from simple sandwiches to fancy schmancy pasta dishes. The menu really has something for everyone and is pretty inexpensive considering the quality of the food. I love the motorman bacon cheeseburger and the seared ahi sandwich.

Recently they have stopped selling kegs, but re-fillable growlers are always available. This is a great place to stop if you are in the area at all... quality all the way!


** it seems their website has not been updated for some time as kegs are still advertised as being available. I would advise calling with any questions you have regarding information on the website.

loving44, Sep 19, 2006
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%

Thanks to the guys in the Pacific group for pointing this place out to me.

Quiet and unassuming from the outside with outdoor seating on both sides of the establishment. Wasn't too busy that day, maybe a total of fifteen people and the place looks like it could support a lot more than that. It was a nice day so took a seat out side.

Zepplin was playing on the outdoor speakers, that was a nice touch. Waiter brought us water, bread, oil and vinegar right off the bat.

Menu calls for only six beers and two were dust, so we had four to choose from. Beer is offered in tasters, nooner (10oz), pint or schooner. Growlers to go. Beer is poured too cold IMO. Prices for beer were very reasonable. For the most part the beer was average...some weren't so hot and some were good.

Food menu was very good; Sandwiches, pizza, steaks, burgers, pasta, appetizers, desserts, etc. Had the ahi sando, wife had a chicken wrap. The fries were VERY VERY good. Highly recommended. Prices were a bit high but average for California cuisine (ahi sandwich was $12)

Overall the service was very good and very thorough.

Enjoyable time. And got a growler to go...a rarity in Los Angeles

Westsidethreat, Aug 06, 2006
Photo of theautorestorer
1.55/5  rDev -58.7%

I found the beer very flat and uninspired. It totally lacked body. The food was mediocre and the service was poor. I'm a collector of growlers but I couldn't find a beer worth 14.50 for the growler. I tried the IPA,porter,big red, and another brew I don't recall. None were worth the 4.50 a pint no less 14.50 a growler. If I didn't know better I would say the beer was watered down. I also found the one fermenter knuesering on the ground unsanitary but also repulsive. The bartender was rude and very short and the food was bland and cold. Skip it, there are better brewery's in Long Beach.

theautorestorer, Dec 02, 2005
Photo of rowew
4.45/5  rDev +18.7%

Stopped in for lunch on a nice Friday .. showed up at 11:15 and joined the crowd of about 10 people waiting for the doors to open at 11:30. Once they opened I took up a seat at the corner of the bar (which quickly filled in). Bartender was quick to see what I wanted, and brought over my sampler right away. They had 4 beers on tap - he said they were usually 5 but they finished the porter the night before, and hadn't tapped the wheat yet. Reviews to the beers to follow, but they were all nice examples of the style. If you are only going to have one I would suggest the IPA! Bartender knew what he was talking about, and the brewer was also wandering around behind the bar working on beer and answering people's questions. I had a shrimp Po' Boy for lunch, and it tasted great. The brewpub itself is in a very nice building, with exposed brick and open rafters. There are also two nice patio areas.

If you are in the vicinity of Long Beach or LAX - make sure you stop in. Even if you are a bit further away, it will be worth your travel.

rowew, Apr 01, 2005
Photo of mickeymac
4.2/5  rDev +12%

After a few trips to the bar and the dining area, this is a place I like. It's very casual, with seat yourself service in the dining area and friendly, talkative people in the bar and dining area. The place is a monument to the old Pacific Electric Red Cars, which ran from the South Bay to downtown LA before the tracks were ripped up and the cars demolished. On a recent occasion, I went with my dad, a recently retired railroader, and one of his railroad buddies. They spent a little time walking around looking at the old pictures. TVs are everywhere, and rugby or soccer is frequently showing. Based on its proximity to the Home Depot Center, you'll usually find at least a few Galaxy fans eating and drinking before a game.

The beers are all pretty good, with the IPA being the best of the lot. Red Car serves only its own beers, but has something to satisfy almost every taste: a light beer to a porter. The beer has been consistent, with no off flavors.

Service at the bar seems better than service in the dining area. Unless showing up with a group, I'd recommend eating at the bar. All bartenders I've encountered are friendly and enthusiastic about the beer.

The food is better than average, with a selection of salads, sandwiches, burgers, pizza, and pasta. I've tried several sandwiches, and they've all been better than most pub food. The pizza, however, had the flavor and texture of a frozen microwaved pizza.

All in all, this is a nice place to spend an evening. Although it's a distance from my house, I'm becoming a regular visitor for pre-match food and drink.

mickeymac, Jul 11, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%

It all started with a BeerMail from fellow BA, Mickeymac, inviting me to share one of two Season Tickets that he has to the Home Depot Center to watch a Football, I mean Soccer, Match. We originally decided to meet at the Alpine Village, but StoutLove77 told me of this little known (it seems) Brewery only a few miles further up the road. Having been to the Alpine Village, I have to say that this was a far better choice for a pre-match Pint and a bite to eat.

Easily accessible from the 405 and 110 Freeways, the Red Car Brewery and Restaurant is located just off Torrance Boulevard on Sartori Avenue (which is a tight left turn if you are coming from the 110 like I did). The area seemed clean and nice enough, and a dedicated Parking Lot made stationing the voiture rather easy. From the outside it has plenty of character, the largish rectangular building dates from around the 1930’s but looks older. It’s name obviously owes its roots to that of the local Red Trolley Cars or Trams that used to run here and judging by the wide open spaced interior, it may have been an original Station Building at some point, hard to tell, but if I had more time to examine the excellent collection of old Photographs inside I may have been able to confirm this. Pictures reflecting the history of the Red Cars and old Torrance abound and are very interesting. A rail line still runs by, I want to say it is the Blue Line but I may be wrong.

From the Parking Lot, a small long thin Patio is visible, but it was empty on my visit. You enter from the Street side through a small door. As you enter an array of Tables fills two-thirds of the left hand side of the building. To the right and set against the wall is an L-Shaped Bar that sports around twenty or so stools. Behind the Bar, the Brewery is on open display and clearly visible. Lots of wooden clad stainless steel vessels add a nice “small but quality” feel to the equipment. The bar had two sets of Taps, around 8 Taps on each set, but the bartender immediately told me to check the chalkboard as not all the working Taps had handles on them (it seems examining the tap handles is an old habit from my Handpump days back in England that I can’t seem to shake).

Just as I was about to order, Mickeymac arrived, and we both went for a pint of the South Bay IPA, a very tasty unfiltered beverage that slipped down well. We both ordered a quick Sandwich, which arrived in good time. I tried a Pastrami sandwich with Fries, extra marks here for having Malt Vinegar and for the fact the bar tender didn’t bat an eyelid as I plastered the Fries with it. The South Bay IPA accompanied the food extremely well, but I was soon staring at an empty glass. A second Pint was ordered, but this time we both elected for a change of pace and opted for the South Loop Porter, the other options were a Red and a Special Bitter. The South Loop Porter is a tasty dark beverage that lacked a little carbonation but was nevertheless a decent drop, it certainly seemed the most popular of the beers on offer, and I saw a few Growlers filled with the Porter in the short time I was here. Indeed, they sell their own Growlers and Fills for very reasonable prices. If you are thirsty or a big drinker and not driving, you can even order a Schooner of any of the beers also.

I give Selection a 4, not based on quantity of the offerings, but the quality of them. Nevertheless, for those that value feedback on quantity, it seems like there are no more than 4 regular Red Car beers and 1 Special at any time. OK, not the greatest selection numerically, but what I do like is that this place seems more focused on quality beer, rather than quantity. What it does, it does very well. The bar tender was extremely courteous and chatty, and even went on to explain that they often brew a Winter Warmer which is popular and once a year they have a Pumpkin beer. In addition, a perk of the ears was experienced when he said that they also do a Double-IPA on occassion. I would certainly love to try that!

Well my first Soccer Match in the US ended in a rather sad result for the home Galaxy team, loosing 3-0 to the MetroStars. But I reckon I scored by getting to visit here and sharing a couple of Pints & a Sandwich with Mickeymac who I haven’t seen in a long while. I would seriously contemplate coming here again if I am in the area and most definitely if I am attending the Home Depot Center, hopefully to see another Footie Match.

A lovely, clean, well run Brewery Restaurant that is a quality outfit, the IPA and Porter are good enough to get me to come back here to try the other offerings at some point. Next time you are nearby on the 405 or 110, and have time, I would strongly suggest that you drop in here!!

Last Visit: Wednesday 23rd June, 2004.

TheLongBeachBum, Jun 25, 2004
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Red Car Brewery and Restaurant in Torrance, CA
86 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.