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Father's Office

Not Rated.
Father's OfficeFather's Office

79 Ratings
Ratings: 79
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1018 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, California, 90403-1604
United States
phone: (310) 393-2337

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: Myk

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Ratings: 79 | Reviews: 65
Reviews by ojclark:
Photo of ojclark
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I started visiting Father's Office back in 2000, before the infamous Office Burger was added to the menu. Back then, it was purely a beer bar, with frequent rotation of taps and lots of interesting selections. After the Office Burger was added, there was a brief period where the food, beer, and atmosphere were all top shelf and this was, overall, the best beer bar in LA. Unfortunately, the Burger has become the main draw and it's now common, after waiting in line to get in (!) to see entire tables with burgers and wine or, even worse, water (nooo!!!!).

That said, Father's Office is still a decent place to hang out if you go there after the kitchen closes or on a rare, slow night. All other times, it's unbearably crowded and not a fun place to be. Sadly, the taps are not rotated nearly as often as they once were and the food, once consistently excellent, seems to have declined in quality somewhat.

A big plus is the excellent draft system and the care they give their beers. I have probably only had one or two bad pints in the eight years I've been going there, a much better track record than most other bars I've visited. This is also a good place to sample beers from Craftsman (LA's best craft brewery, headquartered in Pasadena) beyond their now ubiquitous 1903 Pre-Phohibition Pilsner

Recommended, after the kitchen closes.

More User Reviews:
Photo of d_kizzle
3.94/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of LADaveBN
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of DCLAguy11
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of jwolfe1311
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of ubiq3000
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Bramsigman
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of countrybat
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Bnoise11
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of trubeernick
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of orangesol
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Stopped in here for dinner last night, I have wanted to check this place out for years now glad I could finally stop in. Atmosphere is pretty laid back but busy at the same time. Tables are shared amongst groups so they are hard to come by. We got lucky and two people left the bar so we snagged the seats right away. Service was solid. They were always around to get me a beer but they weren't the most approachable people either. Quality was top notch. My food was high quality and my beers were all served in the proper glasses so no complaints there. Selection was killer. Abyss, §ucaba etc. on-tap were all pleasant surprises that I was able to partake in. I had heard nothing but amazing thing about the burgers so I knew what I was getting when we walked in and I was not let down, it was cooked perfectly and tasted amazing. Prices were a touch high but I was expecting that going in. Overall an awesome place to stop in Santa Monica, I would return in a heartbeat.

Photo of g_jenkins
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.49/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Visited on a Tuesday or Wednesday night for one of the game of the World Series and arrived 7:30 – 8pm and the place was crazy packed. I managed to talk a guy out of his seat at the bar, which probably only accommodated 15-20 people. The place had a great vibe to it; it was pretty loud, but not so much that it lessened the experience. They had a ton of good beer options on tap, different breweries and different styles, with the day’s specials on a chalk board above the wall-o-taps. I ordered a Weizenbock and an ESB to go with my burger and frites. The burger was very good, as were the frites. The staff was very knowledgeable about the beers and their service was good all the way around. After finishing my meal and I was about ready to order, I spot a tap on the wall that I did not believe was on the menu and asked for the beer menu back. Sure enough, they had Pliny the Elder on tap and were not advertising it. I asked the bartender if that tap was just for show and she replied “Nope, there is beer behind that tap.” I had to order one, as I had only had one a few years back while visiting Denver. Overall, a great experience. I can’t believe that I had been to Santa Monica/L.A. a few times before and did not hit the place up. You can bet that the next time that I am, I will be at the Father’s Office. A must try for any BA.

Photo of GentlemanQuan27
4.61/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I LLLOOOVVVEEE (deep breath) this place! The whole atmosphere and how they have things set up is great. This place is great for one on one dates or any type of dates. If you have crazy friends, don't bring them to this place. This place won't tolerate that shit. But, this is a great place for great beers, wines, and everything. Limited menu, but for what's on the menu, its great

Photo of ChanChan
3.89/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.25

I had always wanted to visit this place. I saw a tv show mention their office burger so I was really looking forward to it.

Atmosphere: The atmosphere was fine, very loud as you would expect on a Saturday afternoon. The place had mostly a hipster crowd, but maybe these people were just the regular Santa Monica crowd!

Quality: The quality of the beer was good, this place had several different beers to choose from, mostly on draft. Unlike other awesome places, I could not find any special reserve bottles on their menu.

Service: Good!

Selection: Decent!

Food: I had their Office Burger, medium rare. I also had their frites and a side of their Patatas Bravas. I was not impressed with their food. The office Burger was good but it was not mind blowing. I would definitely give it another chance at impressing me tho.

Value: The prices here are standard. The only thing I don't like is their minuscule $1 tasters!! An ounce of beer is never enough to judge weather you like a beer or not!!

Photo of Bang34
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This is THE FIRST gastropub in America according to many sources. Chef Sang Yoon was a regular at this Santa Monica hang out and after two years of haggling bought it in 2000, installed a kitchen, expanded the tap list and the rest is history.

This place is most famous for it's burger. It has been called the best burger in LA, even named the best burger in the country by Esquire Magazine. The burger is very good, as is the rest of the food, which most people do not even try because they just get the burger. Beyond the food, this place stands out for its beer selection.

They have 36 craft brews on tap. No cow-towing to Bud-Miller-Coors. They never even have Blue moon on tap. It is all focused on local, Belgian or craft offerings. This is the only place in LA that almost always has a beer from Russian River Brewing, usually Pliny the Elder and/or Perdition, thanks to the owner's personal friendship with Vinny. The taps continue through different styles from breweries like Stone, Hanger 24, Allagash, Beechwood, Taps, Surf Brewing, Strand Brewing, Anchor, North Coast et. al.

In bottles you have even more options representing imports including Trippel Karmielt, Caracol, Orval, Duvel, Hitachino, Russian River sours (Suppication, Consecration, Temptation), Westmall and more.

They also have a good wine list featuring small artisan vintners.

The place is small, like a place in a strip mall before strip malls were invented. The seating is open. Grab a spot when and where you can. The decor is spartan; yellow wood paneling a bar along the side and 11 tables that you can fit 4-6 people around. Pop-rock on the sound system and one TV with whatever game is on, but no sound for the TV, they are not a sports bar.

Grab a bar seat and let the bartender tell you about the beer. If you know what you want they will pour it for you. If you do not know, they will ask you what you like and give you something in the same vein.

Service is only at the bar. You have to get all drinks, even water, from there. For food they will take your order and give you a number where the runners will take it to you. Some hate this system, but I think it is actually very efficient. This is a bar after all, and does not try to be a full service restaurant.

Great place for great beer and great food. The service may be spartan, but you are not here for that.

Photo of DoubleJ
4/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

"Let's drink more man!" Already filled up with booze at Venice Ale House, Maria brings up the idea of heading over to Father's Office for a change in scenery. Yes, I was getting a little bored of the beach by now, so maybe a different bar wouldn't be such a bad idea. But I was curious how much more drinking would be involved. Well, if I could try a little food, maybe it wouldn't be so bad. After all, they got the Office Burger®.

Not many options to park on the street, so we had to park a block away to find one. We walk in, hand the bouncer our ID's to prove our age, and we start to look for a place to sit. One problem, there was no place to sit. Or wasn't there? It's a small, somewhat "hip" place, with several small tables and modest sized bar (though not for the crowd that was here on Thursday night). We received help from an employee for our seating needs, where he "split" a big table of two people and gave us the use of one-half. I appreciate that.

40 different taps and 20 bottles to choose. Its selection is an upgrade of Venice Ale House, not just in quantity, but offering up beers from Russian River, Surf Brewing, Big Sky, Ladyface, Castelein, Straind, Craftsman, Full Sail, Caracole, and Green Flash. But don't forget the bottles either (Hitachino, Anchorage, DeuS, Unibroue). Glassware is given some respects, and the beer is too.

The Office Burger® came out already cut in half. Not being able to substitute (what if you can't eat bacon?), I took it with everything on it. Best burger in America? I wouldn't say in today's America, having already had tasted the outstanding Slater's and Sides Harware burgers in the previous week, but there's no doubt this version is very good. Regarding the "no ketchup" rule, I was dissapointed at first, but when I saw the fries come with a good garlic aioli sauce, I gladly took the trade. Maria orders some sauteed mushroom to share with me and Guilherme, and those were noteworthy as well (espeically since I don't eat mushrooms). There isn't much else on the food menu, so don't come expecting a full-fledged gastronomic experience.

I already knew about the controversies of Father's Office, so I threw caution into the wind. While it is a little expensive, the food was very good (and didn't need any subsituting) and the beers offered make this a good place to drink in Santa Monica.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I visited the original Father's Office with my wife tonight. First off, this is a MUCH smaller location than the other one in Culver City. Basically, we were lucky to find a spot in the bar area to sit. The atmosphere is much the same as the other location with lots of wood and a modern design element to it. They also had the lights really low which was a bit odd to me. Service = you order all food and drinks at the bar, where they give you the drinks up front and a number for the food which will be brought to you. They have a very good selection of bottled and draft beers with a wide range of styles available. Quality is very good just like the other location. Prices here are pretty expensive just like the other location for both food and drinks. They also don't offer any tasters or half pint options. Overall, this is the original Father's Office and pretty much exactly the same as the other location in terms of food and drinks but I prefer the one in Culver City more.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I arrived in LA early enough to make it here to watch the superbowl. The place was surprisingly empty, I guess I expected a crowd. It was a Patriots/Giants year, so probably too remote to be of interest locally. Also factor in the home parties...

Awesome taps, slightly upscale pub fare, and a little smaller than I expected. I stuck with Pliny the Elder through the entire game, and topped it off with Cuvee de Tomme. Plenty of other good options too, as many others have documented.

Prices seemed reasonable to me, and the food wasn't too expensive either. They won't make a burger without cheese, which I found offensive, but they were very friendly anyway. Highly recommended.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.63/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

God Bless business trips to LA!
Coordinated an early flight to spend a evening at Fathers Office. Absolutely beautiful part of town in Santa Monica, shops and restaurants throughout. Convenient store on the corner where I found Damnation and Blind Pig.
Fathers Office SM is a great place. Good tap list, home of one of the best burgers that I've ever tasted. The evening I was there I had Stone 15th, Sculpin, and a bunch of other locals on tap. Bartenders were top notch. Very friendly and knowledgeable. This is a must stop for anybody in the LA area. All the patrons were there for the same reason, love of good beer and a good time.
The place does tend to get pretty crowded the later the night goes. I was there at open and got a seat at the bar which I never left. Between the beers and the burger, I love this place and wish I was there more often. A must visit place.

Photo of VegasBill
3.7/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5

I arrived early evening hoping to beat the crowd and I did just barely as there were only two seats left at the bar. The atmosphere is comfortable and the beer selection is solid.I had hoped for Pliny but no luck, they did have Blind Pig so of course that was my choice. As they began to fill up I realized this was not my crowd,self obsessed plastic people. I ordered my second Blind Pig and had drank one sip from it when a couple approached me and said, can we have this seat, I just looked at my glass and looked at them, they just walked away, no comment. Even if I knew they had Pliny on tap I would not return to this pub.

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Father's Office in Santa Monica, CA
93 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.