Red Car Brewery and Restaurant
Ratings: 29 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
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.
09-19-2006 03:12:47 | More by loving44
4.5/5 rDev +20%
This is one of the spots that I decided to venture around by my job after some research I did for a local brewery in my area. The establishment is right next to some trolly rails, (hence the name) and the place looks like it was an old station at some time. The setting is very pleasant and the feel was nostalgic for it displayed many memorabilia from the early years. The food was good especially the wings(i'm a deep wings fans), the beers that are on tap were in house specialties ranging from the golden Electra Lite to the South Loop Porter. On this trip I had the honor of meeting its Brewmaster and owner, (indeed a great person) to explain his detail on his brewpuppies as he was stirring up a batch of IPA while we had our gathering. He explained his teqniques are still based on English single mash fusion, which says much about the mellow taste I had with the sampler. The place has been around for several years and still looks promising. When out here I would recommend you try his unique version of the IPA, every time he has a batch it doesnt last very long.
01-05-2003 22:15:28 | More by stoutlove77
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.
04-01-2005 21:51:59 | More by rowew
4.43/5 rDev +18.1%
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BREWPUB!!!
I stopped in here for lunch and this is a quality establishment. It is in the 'old town' part of Torrance, surrounded by shops and dated architecture. I was told the building used to be a telegraph office.
A large rectangular building. Brick walls give this place an old time feel. The decor is more modern. There are photos on the wall of the defunct 'Red Car' transportaion system which used to be very popular in the Los Angeles area. Upon entering the L-shaped bar is on the right. It is good sized and the bar area has a small ledges style bar opposite it. A couple of t.v.'s hang in the bar area for viewing sports. The dining area is to the left of the door and has plenty of tables and chairs. The brewing equipment is behind the bar. Another ledge style bar is near the kitchen. There is a skinny patio but no chairs or tables were set up when I was there. Maybe that is for summer use. A somewhat plain but very warm and friendly feel to this establishment.
The service was superb. The owner and brewer Bob is very friendly. We talked about beer for quite some time. I informed him of BA as he had never heard of the site before. The other servers were attentive and personable as well.
The food is very tasty. The ahi tuna sandwhich with fries was a hit in my opinion. The onion rings are huge, tasty and filling. The menu is large and I hear the fish and chips and the chicken pasta are very good as well. They also have soups, salads, burgers, calimari and quite a few other selections. Prices are fair as this is not greasy bar food. They have wine but no spirits.
The beers are brewed on premises. I had the South Bay IPA and their Winter Warmer. Both were very good. I was poured tasters of their Reserve and the ever popular Electric Lite. They are quality beers as well. The selection is about five of Red Car's beers at a time. They brew a seasonal pumpkin beer during October. There is only one guest beer which is the Bitburger non alcoholic beer. I gave 'selection' a 4.5 because quantity does not necessarily equal quality. These are quality beers. The IPA is not held back. Good and hoppy. Red Car will brew on occasion an imperial version of the IPA. I want to check that one out. The Winter Warmer is smooth, inviting and warming. Red Car is brewing quality beers and hopefully this will continue for years to come. They are not subtle knock offs of the styles for the masses. Beer lovers will find a beer to their liking here. Bob also told me that he is hoping to get his beers to some local establishments like Father's Office and others.
I have now tried the Red and the South Loop Porter. Both are fine examples of the style. The porter is especially nice. Get here and give them a try.
This is a quality establishment. Well run, friendly and fun for the family or a get together with friends. I recommend people give this place a try.
Notes: They have their own parking lot.
They have growler service.
They will serve beer in a schooner if you ask. Six ounces more.
12-21-2003 02:00:58 | More by Rumrunner
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 1930s but looks older. Its 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 cant 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 didnt 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 havent 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.
06-25-2004 03:50:58 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.2/5 rDev +12%
This place is a fine local brewpub. We walked in and seated ourselves. There was a birthday gathering next to us, so the waitress didn't notice us immediately, but she apologized for missing us and was friendly and attentive for the rest of the evening.
The beer was good. I sampled the porter and the IPA, and enjoyed the porter more than the IPA. I felt the IPA was a bit too mild, but that was probably affected by my mild cold. They only had the porter, IPA, and wheat beer on tap that night, so that is why the selection gets rated a bit lower. Nevertheless, the small selection is all quality.
The food reaches beyond standard brew-pub fare. I had the jerk chicken and was most satisfied with my meal. They have a good selection of food.
I definitely recommend this brewpub as a place to get a good meal and drink some good beer.
01-26-2004 02:02:11 | More by GoCubsMatt
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.
07-11-2004 19:21:02 | More by mickeymac
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.
08-14-2010 15:19:06 | More by BeTheBall
Red Car Brewery and Restaurant in Torrance, CA
86 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.