Taps: 20 / Bottles: 32
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 41 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by feloniousmonk:
4.38/5 rDev +7.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I had just arrived from LAX, and my friend and I were taken by our native guide on a jaunt along Venice Beach that turned into a meandering stroll along Main Street, Santa Monica. I spied a few nondescript bars, Joe's Bar, Frank's Bar, etcetera, when I saw sandwiched between them a space labeled "library alehouse." Now, those are two things that I enjoy and appreciate on their own, but put them together, and I'm sold! So, we headed in...
I was immediately impressed, though it is a cramped, narrow design, leading out eventually to a beautiful patio and garden, where the beautful people sipped on their Chimay. What makes the place, of course is the attention to the beer. Twenty-nine taps, not a one of them macro or mundane (some may quibble, and call into question stuff like Stella or the featured cider, but phooey on them, I always say.), and the bottle selection is small and strictly good, mostly Belgian and the like. I overheard the bartender tell one customer, "we don't have any REGULAR AMERICAN beers...they're all either local craft beer, or imports."
As my eyes gleaned the many tap handles, trying to decide which to have in my short time there, my attention had competition from the cool collection of antique bottles, cans and glassware...the bookcases were just for show, I think, to fit the theme, and to give the La Chouffe gnome statues something to sit on.
The service was good, the food fine, and the atmosphere okay. It's the incredible beer selection that makes this a must-visit, and I'm still sorry I didn't spend more time sampling other California craft brews I'll never see back home. What I need is an apartment above this place, and I'm set for life!
12-11-2004 10:10:08 | More by feloniousmonk
More User Reviews:
4.53/5 rDev +11.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
There are two different atmospheres at Library, depending on whether you're at the bar or there for dinner. Up front near the bar, things may appear crowded, but you're close to the excellent tap list and the friendly and knowledgeable bartenders. If you can grab a seat at the bar, you're golden. The back area is for diners only, and has a much more open aesthetic. Limited seating but they can accommodate groups of virtually any size. Only drawback is wait staff takes a bit longer to take new beer orders back there.
Selection is among the best on the west side, with a rotating list of drafts from all over the country (though there's typically a California bend). There are flights available, however they're a bit higher-priced than your normal $10-12 range (still largely worth it). Food is excellent pub fare that's filling and delicious, yet still reasonably priced.
Whether you're a Santa Monica resident or not, it's worth a stop. The earlier you can get down to busy Main Street though, the better, in terms of parking.
02-05-2014 00:55:01 | More by JohnCassillo
4.01/5 rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Vibe: This place has a bar and some seats up front and a larger "patio" area in the back that is actually an enclosed room that looks out on tree trunks decorated with lights and a wall with plants climbing up it.
Quality: Beers were served at the proper temperature using a variety of different glasses such as narrow pint glasses and snifters.
Service: Our waiter provided prompt service but didn't seem that knowledgeable about the beers.
Selection: They had 20 different craft beers on-tap, which were listed on three chalkboards around the place. Flights of four were available.
Food: I went in the afternoon so they had a cute menu called "Afternoon Recess" with categories such as "Light Reading", " Short Stories" and "Stacks". I tried the frickles (fried pickles) and the ahi tuna tatare, both of which were pretty good.
11-02-2013 23:14:07 | More by metter98
4.29/5 rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75 | $$
Came here at around 3 pm on a Friday. The place wasn't too crowded inside but was told the patio in the back was full. They had a great variety of beers, most of which were local and there were many I hadn't had which was nice. I had a local pale ale followed by a local double ipa - both were recommended to me by the bartender, and both were tasty.
To eat I had the poutine which is one of my favorite foods - it was decent, but a little on the cold side - piping hot I imagine it would be great.
The service was very friendly and good. I would definitely come back again. Good vibe to the place.
06-27-2013 23:25:45 | More by Resuin
4.01/5 rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75 | $$
Visited back in September 2012 on a Sunday evening. The place was pretty packed when I walked in...I wanted a seat at the bar since it was just me, but I had to settle for a spot by the window since all of the seats at the bar were taken (due to the football game in progress at the time), which was OK, allowed me to people watch. The atmosphere was good, given the crowd, although not too loud, but a good vibe. Probably a good place to hang out when the place is not as crowded. By the time that I left, I think that they were actually turning people away. The hostess and wait staff were nice enough, I didn't find the wait staff overly knowledgeable about the beers, but the beers on tap were displayed nicely on a chalk board above the bar. I ordered a Firestone Walker Oaktoberfest; given it was a west coast beer. The beer was served in a proper glass with a proper head on it. I also order the fish and chips, which was nice, nothing outstanding, but good fare. Overall, a good place and one that I will certainly go back to if/when I find myself back in the area.
01-24-2013 17:19:51 | More by PhillyStyle
3.89/5 rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
I visited today with my wife as we were in the area and I have had my eye on this place for a while. Right off the bat we were told we couldn't sit at a table if we weren't going to eat. We said that's fine and we could order some appetizers and beer together. Again, we were told we couldn't sit there unless we ordered a full dinner. The hostess was a bit rude about this, especially since there were a bunch of tables in the back section of the place that were empty. Oh well, we were able to find a section right near the front window to sit and people watch for a bit. I like how this place is going for a library theme with the decorations and the menu (burgers/sandwiches are called "stacks"). Lots of cool empty bottles line the bar area and whatnot. They have around 30 taps at any given time. Right now they had a hop fest theme so I was able to get a bunch of hoppy beers. I had to order all the beer at the bar and service was not that great. The quality off the taps was very good and fresh. Prices were pretty reasonable and they offered tasters and flights which I took advantage of. Overall, this is a good place to check out if you are in the area and want some good beers.
02-20-2012 06:21:26 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.45/5 rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
What a small beer pub should be. Put it a block from the beach and it becomes excellent.
29 taps, nice rotation. Printed list details the usual selections, with a chalkboard above the tap selection to highlight new offerings. For an out-of-towner, they offer a nice mix of local offerings. For a local, they seem to have a good mix of beers I'd want to drink if I lived here.
Menu is extensive for such a small place. Sandwich offerings are very good and apps are really good, with asparagus and seared ahi my favorites.
Staff was knowledgable and pleasant. Outdoor seating in the back, sheltered from the wind.
2 tv's in the bar area if you want to catch a game.
My first choice if I'm back in the area.
09-23-2011 00:46:35 | More by beer2day
Library Alehouse in Santa Monica, CA
91 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.