Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe
Ratings: 24 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
3.55/5 rDev -13.4%
I headed up to Sierra Madre on a lazy Friday with BA Erica to check out the new Lucky Baldwins Delirium Café, closely followed by a visit to the original LBs in Pasadena. I had not been to the LB Delirium Café before & fancied giving it a tryl, out of town guests always inspire my traveling bug so feeling brave Erica & I both decided that a $3 All Day Metro was too fine an offer to pass up. So we started from Long Beach & used the Blue, Red then Gold Line & alighted at the Sierra Madre terminus. You can hitch a bus ride to the Delirium Café from the Gold Line (I think) but we decided to get some exercise & walk it - a reasonably simple 2½ mile walk North up Sierra Madre Villa Avenue, then right and East along Sierra Madre Boulevard until you reach Baldwin, here youll find the LB Delirium Café on a short angled road between the two called Kersting Court.
Dark green painted exterior has a Belgium Café feel, accentuated by the open frontage which plays host to several tables & chairs as well as a plethora of Breweriana & beer adverts. Basically a single room, the entrance is set back from the sidewalk allowing punters to enjoy a small covered area & drink al fresco should they so desire. The entrance is to the left, once inside the Air Conditioned interior is a welcome relief from the hot & often humid Sierra Madre sunshine. The bar is set in the far right hand corner taking up about two-thirds of the right wall & is surrounded by a dozen or so stools. The tables & chairs inside are neatly arranged. More beery paraphernalia from all over the World litters the walls. An interior wall at the back separates the main bar area from a rear kitchen area that also hosts the usual LBs shop offering a small range of Britstuff as well the coolers that play host to the bottled beers, all accessed through an open doorway.
Forty-Six (46) Taps in all. Quite the treat for the quiet suburban area but there are many seen before beers. 38 Taps line the back wall, 7 are nestled on a font at the end of the bar facing the windows & a lone Pink Elephant topped Delirium Tap completes the draft selection. A Beer Menu lists many bottles that are available for drinking on premise, or off it. Yes! you can buy beer to go here! (unlike the original LBs in Pasadena). However, a word of warning, whilst the draft beers are reasonable & the bottled beer range is unparalleled in these parts, the bottles are expensive. Expect to pay $30 for Cantillon if you want it. I stuck with the reasonable priced draft beers - so I give an average $$$ for value ($$-draft & $$$$-bottles). A couple of the brews that I asked for were unavailable & I only had three beers so I am not sure of the availability here, especially as there were only four people in here when Erica & I were here. So dropped selection from 4.5 to 4.0 assuming some are not available at times.
Food was OK, but not as good as the original. I had the Chicken Curry which is a staple for me at the original LBs so I know a thing or too about that! The rice was undercooked & it arrived with erm ..dry toast - WTF!? Typically it is served with French Bread & some Butter which I like. Bit of a miss for the food, I know it could be better.
This brings me to Service. In short it was plain inattentive & sub-par. One other person was in here when we arrived, but it seemed like the chap behind the bar seemed far too busy clearing up & generally avoiding eye contact, it took a short while to get the first beer, too long really. He didnt seem to know too much about the beers when he was there & disappeared for long periods of time, often as Erica or I just finished a brew. Annoying! This was compounded with the typical American problem of servers finishing their shift. I hate this!!! Is it my problem that our server is leaving? - NO!!! So why check us out before we are finished? Bad, Bad, Bad & utterly Selfish, you would NEVER get that in Belgium or the UK. After I ended up paying the tab so we could keep drinking, the new replacement server saw the folder with the receipt in front of us & immediately assumed that we had checked out, promptly ignored us & thought we didnt want anymore beer! Duh! That is SO fin annoying. Despite the original plan to stay a bit longer & have more beer, thanks firmly & squarely to being checked out early without asking just so the original server could get his tip, we decided to leave. Not impressed with the Service.
Im sure we had an off visit, but I have had plenty of those at Lucky Baldwins too. Despite the servers lack of attention & the high bottle prices, if youre in the area & fancy a freshly tapped beer at a more reasonable price then you wouldnt go too far wrong to stop by here. Have to say though, honestly, that I probably would not go out of my way to head back up here on the Gold Line, as I frequently do to get to Lucky Baldwins, & as it is further North for me, I would more than likely stay at LB's Pasadena.
Last Visit: Friday 28th July, 2006.
08-02-2006 05:03:31 | More by TheLongBeachBum
More User Reviews:
4.3/5 rDev +4.9%
I visited all 3 Lucky Baldwin's locations in the same day so I am going to be brief for each one:
My 3rd and final Lucky Baldwin's stop. This place is sort of a mix between the OG location and the Trappiste. A smaller spot with a more intimate feeling, but lots of beer decorations hang around the walls still. There was no more room inside when I went, so I sat outside and still got good service. Quality and selection were again both great with an impressive selection of taps and the bottle list. Again, I brought in my goblet and got the $3 and $4 tasters all night long. Overall, this is a good spot and second on my list but I think the OG location takes the cake.
07-04-2012 23:53:52 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.2/5 rDev +2.4%
The Sierra Madre chapter of Lucky Baldwins fits in among old town Sierra Madre. A sidewalk sign advertising 46 beers on-tap lets you know that if you're craving beer, this is the place to go. I arrived during lunchtime, and as expected, a couple people sitting at the L shaped bar, another couple at a table, and a few more patrons sitting outside. Lots of Belgian beer signage decorates the walls on the inside. Both the local feel and location in old town Sierra Madre both played a role in making me feel comfortable.
Even more comforting for this beer connoisseur was the beer selection. 46 beers on-tap and perhaps 150-ish bottles. Despite English ownership, UK beer plays third fiddle to the American and Belgian beer available. Lots of beers on-tap had more than 7% alcohol! The draft list includes Fuller's (ESB, London Porter), Anchor (Porter, Old Foghorn), Sierra Nevada (Pale Ale, Celebration), Stone (Porter, Arrogant Bastard), Chocolate Indulgence, Lost Coast DIPA, Affligem Tripel, St. Feuillien, Lucifer, Scaldis, St. Bernardus, Dupont, Delirium Tremens (of course!) Chimay Tripel, and many more. Bottles are available to go, and that list includes Fuller's Vintage Ale, Rogue, Rochefort, Westmalle, Orval, Liefmans, Traquair House. Great lengths are gone through with providing the correct glassware with each beer, certainly one of the better efforts I've seen among LA bars. Even better is a fresh, proper pour with a lovely crown of head, and one that's not too cold.
The bartender was friendly, though she didn't seem like she was in a rush to help. A long beer menu, complete with ABV and price, comes with the food menu, though it's worth nothing that the bottle section is 5 months behind! My reuben sandwich (sans sauerkraut) was more than satisfying with my Affligem Tripel.
All told, the prices aren't bad. The food prices are more than reasonable (bangers and mash under $9), most bottles prices aren't bad, the draft beers can be a touch expensive, especially the Belgian's ($7-9 a pour).
On the whole, Lucky Baldwins Delirium Cafe is not to be missed. It's not far from I-210, and the charm provided by old town will encourage you to make another trip to this gem.
01-27-2011 06:03:38 | More by DoubleJ
4.4/5 rDev +7.3%
Visited on Tuesday, January 25th at 5:00pm.
There is plentiful and free street parking near the place. I strolled up from a block away and heard a gentle folk/bluegrass jam coming from Lucky Baldwin's patio. A guitarist, fiddler, banjo player and a pitcher of darkish beer were holding agreeable court out front.
I went inside and was almost embarrassed by the amazing selection of Belgian beer on tap. There's also a good selection of British and American craft brews.
The Belgians seem a little overpriced, especially considering the smallish pours, but it is so hard to find this many in one place that it's forgivable.
The burger and fries I ordered came quickly and were nominal. The spicy mustard provided on the side went a ways towards making the burger more interesting.
The atmosphere is very local; most of the patrons seemed to know each other and the waitresses.
Speaking of the staff... the sole waitress/bartender when I first arrived was managing to handle over a dozen patrons with accuracy and an unflagging friendliness. Awesome!
There is a bottle shop in the back near the restrooms, but prices seemed a bit higher than I have seen in other shops.
I will visit in the future as many times as I am in that neck of the woods and they are open!
01-26-2011 19:49:28 | More by charlzm
4.64/5 rDev +13.2%
I came here to stop for a beer as I was passing by on the 210.
It's situated in a cool little town, with coffes shops, a pizza place, some boutiques, and this craft beer bar. The setting was really enjoyable and very relaxing, we sat outside on the patio area.
The beer list was very nice, complete with a little of everything, regular american crafts, some locals, high quality imports, and some fairly rare craft beers. I ordered the Double Dry hopped Stone IPA, which I have never seen on tap anywhere. Our server was nice, and although I didn't need any help with what to order, I overheard the table over asking some questions and the server had all the answers, she seemed very knowledgeable.
This is definitely a place I will come back to if, and when I get the chance.
11-05-2010 20:42:39 | More by tjensen3618
3.95/5 rDev -3.7%
Even though I live in Pasadena I make the trip out the Sierra Madre location over the Pasadena at least once a week. The location is smaller and more intimate then Pasadena, with a "local's vibe". Great atmosphere with a mellow quietness that makes you forgot you still in Los Angeles.
The beer selection is great! Well, that is if they have what you're looking for and it's not out... One of the mangers prints a beer menu daily to keep the list updated but as the day gets later the smaller the list becomes. A lot of Belgian, German, English and Craft brew. They got Craftsman!
They have a great bottle selection. I recommend you give in the back for something hidden and special, you never know what you'll find! Unlike the Pasadena location you can buy bottles to take home. Just like the other Pasadena location you'll find the same Pub Food Fare at the same prices.
Overall a nice close pub feels before 10pm (till the kitchen closes) when a lot of locals come out for dinner. Afterwards you get a small crowd of regulars, the bartender chatting away and the TV's on mute.
07-17-2010 20:11:26 | More by SolsticeDreamer
3.6/5 rDev -12.2%
I have been a semi-regular here since LB opened replacing the second (and inferior) version of the Sierra Madre Brewing Company, and I have frequented the Pasadena location for many years, starting back at their original smaller location when it leaned more to the British Pub style.
Overall there is a lot to like here. It has a good "locals" vibe and the patio can be pretty fun on a perfect California night. The beer selection is quite good--it leans heavily towards Belgians, mixes in some British, German, and American craft-brews as well. Unfortunately I am often disappointed that they are tapped out on their craft-brew selections.
The service can be hot or miss. Some of the staff are quite knowledgeable, and most are friendly and helpful... though sometimes it seems like they just aren't in the mood to be there (seems to me to be a management issue, though not fatally so). The food is average--sometimes better, sometimes off. I have heard the wait staff complain about the cooks from time to time. I usually stick with the fish and chips which are decent.
Overall a worthwhile destination, and certainly the best in the area.
11-01-2009 22:04:46 | More by JTahoe
3.58/5 rDev -12.7%
Been going to the Delirium Cafe for a couple years now. It's right up the street from the Renaissance Faire when that's in season, and it's become an end-of-the-weekend tradition for myself and some other Renny friends to catch some drinks over there before returning to reality on Monday.
The place is small and can get a bit crowded. There are wooden benches and some small tables and chairs around two walls, and the bar itself dominates a third. The fourth is home to doors leading back to a backroom filled with beer and glassware for retail, or the kitchens, respectively. There is a small covered patio for smokers or claustrophobics and I've often seen people with guitars, violins, accordions, mandolins, banjos - you name it - performing traditional songs outside. There are a few TV screens generally tuned to some British teams' football game.
Beers are served with an eye to style and they are often able to provide the brewer's custom glassware. While they don't serve beers "warm", the beer is never ice cold, and I very rarely see any of the staff pull a sloppy pour (with the foam all going down the drain until they get it right ...bah). So when it comes to beer IQ, these guys rank pretty high.
The selection is constantly rotating. They have a number of festivals over the course of a year, including a Belgian beer fest and one devoted to Barleywines. Showing up within a month of any of their exhibitions will generally reveal an increased assortment of the appropriate style. They do have some standbys that are available year-round, notably some of the big name Belgians (Chimay, Gulden Draak, and of course Delirium Tremens); various English and Irish pub ales (Boddingtons, Guinness); American micro-brews (Several selections from Stone are always present, and Lost Coast is usually represented. The rest rotate); and a few sweet ones to round it out (Pear and Raspberry Ciders, Young's Double Chocolate Stout). The problem with their selection is they do not keep their menus up to date. It was so bad this last season that I would pick out 2 or 3 beers when the waitress came to take our order in the hopes that one would still be available.
Which leads to service. Some of the servers/wait staff/barkeeps are remarkably friendly and attentive, but quite a few are inattentive, irregular, and occassionally rude. I got the impression from one bartender in particular that he was only serving us because he had no reason not to. There have been times where we wait as long as 30 minutes from sit down to the first beer. There was one occassion where they screwed up our payment to the tune of $80. However, the beers always arrive, the food is always hot, and I have never seen them actually screw up an order. The staff knows their beer and can readily recommend something to you based on your mood, preference, or the food you ordered.
The food, by the way, is good. They offer a number of hot and cold dishes and have vegetarian options. The food is traditional pub grub for the most part, but they tossed buffalo wings and jalapeno poppers on the menu as well, obviously as an afterthought concession to an American audience. The fries are chips and they bring you HP Sauce and malt vinegar instead of ketchup. I HIGHLY recommend their Cottage Pie.
Despite it's setbacks, I keep coming back to this place. The food is always good, the atmosphere is comfortable, and I can almost always find a beer I haven't tried. Considering the upscale nature of the beer list, and the home-cooked quality of the meals, you definitely get your money's worth - just make sure they bill you correctly.
You can find me there Sunday evenings while the Renaissance Pleasure Faire is running. I'll be with the group of people in funny clothes.
09-29-2009 20:49:24 | More by TheMadJack
3.63/5 rDev -11.5%
Overall - This can be a good place to sit back and enjoy your standards with a good atmosphere. It's usually pretty quiet for good conversation and the jukebox selection is quite entertaining at times.
A - This is definitely a favorite of ours. Many patrons are regulars, and it is usually a pretty quiet place, with the ability to sit back and enjoy the beer and a good conversation. Sitting out on the patio area in the evening can be a wonderful experience, too, if the lights are right.
Q - Good selection with rotating taps, and always a couple of Craftsman brews on hand. The selection is slightly less than at their sister location Lucky Baldwin's, but still a great variety of 40-ish taps. Very few unexpected surprises, however. The Craftsman taps especially can be expected to be regularly cleaned and serviced.
SVC - All over the place on service, from non-existent to poor to great, depending on who is working and how crowded it is. Not something worth counting on. (I love Joanna, though! She's a favorite of mine anywhere, and not just because we're both Polish!)
SEL - As mentioned above, their selection is good for its rotations. Not too many surprises, but good, solid selections are always available.
F - I'm honestly not a fan of their fish and chips, but I guess I'm one of the few that isn't. Their lunch-time sandwiches are killer. And that Cobb salad is amazing. The meat pies are wonderful as well.
V - Pretty reasonable and in line with everything else.
11-11-2008 01:48:14 | More by route66pubs
Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe in Sierra Madre, CA
91 out of 100 based on 24 ratings.