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The Blue Dog Beer Tavern

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BA SCORE
84
good

14 Ratings
Ratings: 14
Reviews: 9
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: n/a
Taps: 8
Bottles: 13
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

4524 Saugus Ave
Sherman Oaks, California, 91403
United States
phone: (818) 990-2583

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: drewbage on 09-11-2009)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 14 | Reviews: 9 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by charlzm:
Photo of charlzm
3.15/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

Visited at noon on Friday, March 19th 2010.

The place is easy to miss from the outside - on a small sidestreet near a Whole Foods Market and an El Pollo Loco sits this house-like building with blue awnings over the outdoor patios and a modest sign.

Parking requires either feeding a meter, risking a tow in another businesses' parking lot or (as I did), parking for only two hours a block away on a residential side street.

The interior is purposely unfinished, with bare beams and studs instead of some walls. There are dozens (hundreds?) of pictures of dogs affixed on the walls. The walls that divide the interior from the exterior and the dining area from the kitchen and bathroom are covered with chalkboard material, upon which are scrawled many, many pieces of graffiti (most of which seems to be sports related).

There are three high def TVs all tuned to sports channels (now THAT'S inspired!) and a louder-than-necessary sound system pumping out fifteen to twenty year old alternative rock (Rage Against the Machine was played three times during my visit, as were as Stone Temple Pilots, two different songs by Cake, etc...) This caused the clientele to speak in raised voices. Sorry, it's too loud in there.

All that added up to an ambiance I didn't particularly enjoy.

On draft during my visit: North Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner, Unibroue Maudite, North Coast Old Rasputin, Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse, Delerium Tremens, Chimay White, Boont Amber and Green Flash West Coast IPA. Despite this embarrasment of riches, I saw more tall-boy cans of PBR going around than anything else.

The staff were attractive and attentive, except when my friend and I wanted to get the check and leave. Despite numerous eye contacts being made with our waitress, we finally had to verbally call her over and ask for the check - this after the table had been cleared off and the beers finished for at least ten minutes.

On the plus side, the food came to the table very quickly.

I had the Blue Dog Burger (with bacon and BBQ sauce) - while it tasted fine, it was a moist mess which soon disintegrated into a mushy mess - the bun in particular became little more than a spongy delivery mechanism for BBQ sauce to my face and fingers. The fries that accompanied the sandwich were tasty and properly textured if otherwise unremarkable.

My friend's Cobb salad was deemed average by him.

They have only one dessert at Blue Dog, which is a big cookie/ice cream concotion that I should have avoided. It wasn't especially good tasting and there was far too much of it.

Two lunches, two beers, two desserts, tax and tip were in the mid $50.00 range - about what I'd consider spot on for what we got.

Overall, it's not on my list of places to visit again, but if I find myself there again, that's ok.

More User Reviews:
Photo of LADaveBN
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%

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4.5/5  rDev +30.1%

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3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

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1/5  rDev -71.1%

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Photo of ficklenicholas
2.48/5  rDev -28.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.25 | selection: 2.25 | food: 3

If I didn't live a block away from this place i would never set foot in here.

The atmosphere is OK. Nothing special.

The quality is subpar. They sometimes have a nice beer on tap, but that is rare. The food is average at best.

The selection is crap. Of the seven or eight taps they have. Green Flash West Coast IPA, Scrimshaw Pilsner, and Old Rasputin are ALWAYS on tap. You think with so many taps they would mix it up a bit. And by the way the Raspy, is $9 for an 8 OZ. pour. That's criminal. They have a bottle list as well. This is where they take a bomber of lets say Bitches Brew and sell it for $30. I don't think they are into promoting craft beer as they are into profiting off of it. Which is fine, its their business to run.

Some of the staff is very helpful and nice, other's aren't.

Overall, No. Go somewhere else.

Photo of Retsinis
3.91/5  rDev +13%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Went to The Blue Dog Tavern for the first time last night with my wife, since a friend and fellow BA (thanks Skuter) had heard from their facebook page that they were tapping a keg of Parabola (which was true, delicious)

The place looks like a small 1 story blue home from the the outside, with a wooden deck that has a few chairs, two booths, and some small palm trees.

The inside is laid out like a interior framed house, with no dry wall. There are small framed pictures of Dogs nailed all over the studs in the restaurant, along with a few chalk boards of whats on tap, and the bottle list. Both had some good stuff. Parabola (what I came for) Rasputin, Affligem Triple, Unibroue Blanche De Chambly, Duchesse De Bourgogne, Green Flash IPA, etc.

The food was prety good. I had a burger called "The Dickens" that had this root beer bourbon bbq sauce. Pretty tasty on a veggie burger, although it's a bit pricey. My wife and I each had 1 beer, and a burger, and the bill was $45 after tax.

Good bar for the area, though I have closer options to me. However, it's something I would only hit if in the area for some other reason, due to the prices.

Photo of doraex
3.93/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

If you're in the mood for a burger and you like to have a beer with said burger and you happen to be near the 101 and 405 then this is a great place to stop.

The beer list won't blow you away but you'll get soemthing decent to drink. The bottle list is better than the tap list. They have one of my favorites, Old Rasputin which is good but not not a real find for real beer lovers.

Burgers are really good and the staff is friendly and cool. I like the way they finished the interior kind of rough and unusual but in a cool way.

It's not the easiest place to find. It's tucked into a little tiny plaza kind of thing a tiny bit north east of Whole foods.

Good little spot.

Photo of sweethome
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A small place, cool little bar with a small front deck just off Sepulveda. Small is the word...a small bar, comfortable. Rustic open look. A small draft list driven by quality Belgians. Yes, there is Scrimshaw Pils, which appears to be the house brew as always on, but there is also Delirium Nocturnum, Allagash Cireaux, Affligem Triple, Old Rasputin, Green Flash IPA and a few more...what else do you need at a little bar. Not a destination, but agreat place to have in the neighborhood.

Lots of TV's showing different sports.

We had chili and a pizza. The pizza was great. My friend had chili and said it was quite good.

Service was spotty - but it is a pub.

For what it is, a great place.

Photo of tothebrim
3.53/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3

This place is not a beer bar or a beer centric restaurant. It's a burger joint with a few good taps. The day I was there only 7 taps were flowing and while they were not bud light or pbr they were not exiting. I had a Scrimshaw Pils from North Coast. A great little beer on a hot day but nothing crazy.
The inside is a very cool set up. That is part architecturally exposed framing, part fifties diner and part burger shack.
Very close to the 101 and the 405 it is conveniently located and has a little of it's own parking.
I'm sure I'll end up there again but more of of convenience than an urge to return.

Photo of missingsense
4/5  rDev +15.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The Blue Dog is one of the closer beer bars to me in the SF Valley. So far my wife and I have gone twice, and both experiences were positive. We went on Friday nights both times, and although it was crowded, we managed to find a place (I think we took some of the last available spots both times).

The first time the service was average, but the waitress was very nice and attentive when she did get around to us. The 2nd time (at the bar), the service was excellent. Our waitress brought out pint glasses for the bottles of Belgian Ale that we ordered, but being beer geeks, we requested the proper beer glasses for the styles, and our glasses were happily replaced with tulip glasses. Our waitress was also eager to find out our opinions about the beers we ordered, and she seemed to know the selection well, overall.

I appreciated the fact that the beer menu was not overwhelming: 8 beers on tap (one for each of the most popular styles) and about 20 bottles, all of them stellar choices. However, by the time we left at 9pm, they had already run out of 3 of the taps. A little more of a tap selection, or at least some more backup, would be appreciated.

The food menu is very small, as well, but the burgers were excellent. However, for a couple of beers and a burger, you can expect to pay around $40 per person. Unfortunately, I guess that's pretty standard for LA.

Photo of GRG1313
3.13/5  rDev -9.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

If this place purports to be a restaurant first and then a beer bar, it's decent. However, if it purports to be a beer bar that serves food, it's really only average. 8 taps and 12 bottle selections does not a beer bar make. I can live with only 8 taps...however, most regular bars have more than 12 different selection of bottled beer. A certain rib place down the street on Ventura Boulevard has about 60+ bottles from which one can choose in a number of syles and countries.

Blue Dog has potential and it's a cute little place. The big saving grace was that it has Duvel Green which is not all that available. Otherwise, the selection is more of "what can I live with" rather than "what do I want to try."
Big difference.

This is decent if you live in the area and want to get a quick decent beer and a burger. The wings were good but with too much sauce and the fish and chips (battered with Old Rasputin in the batter) just didn't work. It tasted like fish battered in donuts.

This is not a destination place; not really worth a drive if you don't live nearby. Perhaps a decent "local" "neighborhood" place.

Photo of pants678
3.53/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5

The venue is tight. A few screens and a small bar area with plenty of tables, booth seating. There's a patio area, but I'm not sure if you can hang out there with a pint. It's decorated with pictures of locals' mutts. That's sort of fun.

I had lunch there with a small group. Four of orders and it wasn't exactly prompt even considering the place wasn't full. The food wasn't great, I'd expect better for a $9 burger. Mind you, the are exactly as listed, bun, burger and cheese, nothing else. Plus fries. Meh. Filling though.

Very good selection of crafts and Belgians. From St. Bernardus to PBR to Unibroue. Under $8 most of them as well. A happy hour of $3 drafts 3-7pm--that does seem happy.

The Blue Dog Beer Tavern in Sherman Oaks, CA
84 out of 100 based on 14 ratings.