Taps: 20 / Bottles: 85
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 115 | Display Reviews Only:
3.48/5 rDev -20.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5 | $$
O'Briens was a good ways off the beaten path for me in my recent trip to San Diego but I was somwhat disappointed. Its a neighborhood bar in a strip mall that had this very interesting looking Korean restaurant next door to it. I may have to check that out the next time I am there.
When you enter, there is a bar immediately in front of you and the room opens to the right. It definitely has a sports bar feel to it as I believe they have darts and there were at least 4 TVs playing various sports.
There are small round tables with leather swivel chairs in the dining area and thats where we met our local BA hosts. We all had a good time chatting and knocking back a few beers.
They had some great CA beers on draft like Pizza port, Alesmith, Alpine, Ballast Point, as well as Russian River. The prices on the beers were extremly reasonable. All were $4 or less for a pint. Since I generally prefer draught beer over bottled, I didnt try any of the bottled beers but they have over 200 different ones.
Service was friendly and quick. I would recommend this place but it is definitely a pain in the ass drive from downtown San Diego.
05-31-2006 23:05:24 | More by rousee
3.6/5 rDev -17.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Went to Obrien's on a few occasions including a pub crawl. The beer selection has always been amazing including some of the best Ipa's around consistently on draft. I've only ate there once and we chose a cheese and sausage platter which was very nice. The crackers were a little lacking the rest of the meal was great. Then one thing that is a mainstay, unfortunately, is poor service. The last time we went in the bartender saw us walk in and came out from behind the bar and disappeared for a while. Tom, the owner, was standing behind the bar while we waited to order and continued checking his mail for a while until he too left. After about 6-7 minutes waiting at the empty bar we were then greeted and served. The other thing that bothers me is it seems as though the customers are stand offish to new comers as well as the staff. Many "regulars that walked in were greeted with open arms and smiles. Could have just been an isolated situation and they do still have great beer. Definitely worth checking out.
07-04-2008 01:35:10 | More by dave12285
3.7/5 rDev -15.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $
The atmosphere of this place is not that great. The arrangement makes it seem crowded with few people in the place. It is dark and fairly simple. The upside is they do have dart board. They definitely specialize in IPAs, that makes up most of their tap list, and they usually have some great ones on tap. They do have a pretty good bottle list. Their prices were really good, especially if you catch a special (I have gone on nights for discount bottles). The food is pretty good for bar food. I enjoyed it and thought it went well with the beer. The staff is nothing special. I am sure if I was a regular they would be more willing to chat. But I have been during slow nights and they seem uninterested in any conversation aside from what my order is. I most likely won't be a regular, but I have no problem stopping by here every once in a while.
After being here a few more times I feel the same about the space, way to crowded, however, their service has been great, so I increased that from 3 to 4.
03-25-2011 05:59:38 | More by nanobrew
3.73/5 rDev -14.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
Many great things have been said here about O'Brien's, and I would agree with them. I think this review will be helpful to people going there for the first time because I will remind you to find out the hours they are open!
On Saturday I drove down to San Diego from LA with my friend for his 43rd birthday. His brother came too. Traffic was terrible, so we didn't get to O'Brien's until just before 8pm. On the menu it said the kitchen closes at 8:30, so we were lucky we made it a half hour early.
However, we weren't so lucky because the bartender said the kitchen had already closed. We were starving, so we found a nearby Islands and grabbed some burgers. But we still wanted our hop fix, so we got back to O'Brien's at about 9:10. It was then we were told that last call on a Saturday night is 9:30! Long story short, we drove for four and a half hours for one pint of beer.
Is this O'Brien's fault? Hell no. They can close anytime they feel like. I just made an ass out of myself by not checking their hours before I drove all that way. So, don't make that mistake fellow travellers!
(Sidenote, they only had three DIPA's on tap. Ruination, Pure Hoppiness and Pliny the Elder. I thought there would be more. Hmm.)
08-08-2006 07:28:44 | More by Weedchugger
3.74/5 rDev -14.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
one of the more confusing spots on the journey. first off, i understand that even the suburbs, perhaps, especially the suburbs, need a place like this. its an irish sports bar with tremendous beer on tap and bottles? playing rugby on giant screens? sure! comfortable chairs (very comfortable, play that up) and decent, if slightly short, service. they did have ddgooze for takeout, but the $45 we didn't spend on it did come in handy at the tail end of the trip. see, americans can be fiscally responsible. apparently we just missed a north coast tasting, which would have been a happy funtime. regardless, a nice 20+ tap selection and comfortable chairs. we sank into them like a stripper into a lap.
03-13-2010 04:38:22 | More by olympuszymurgus
3.78/5 rDev -13.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5 | $$
Very busy place that is in a shopping plaza in North San Diego. Seems like there is good parking there. I was there at 5pm on a Thursday and the place was packed. You have to go to the bar to order the beer as the waitresses that night were busy. Nice selection of Belgian and Germans as well as Cali-brews as well. Food menu is very beer friendly. I had the beer burger made with Russian River IPA. Drank Pliny the Elder. Very nice service, very local feel but maybe hard to find a seat at times if you want to eat.
03-05-2010 02:56:09 | More by jneiswender
O'Brien's in San Diego, CA
97 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.