The Red Lion Tavern
Taps: 9 / Bottles: 10
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 19 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
4.16/5 rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Red Lion Tavern is the perfect stop for a drink before or after a Dodger game. The last time I stopped by was following a match-up with the Rockies on a Wednesday night.
The atmosphere can either be a 5 or a 3 depending on when you go. When the beer garden on the third level isn't crowded, it's probably the most pleasant place to have a drink in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. It's not so great on weekend nights when it's packed with smokers, and by packed, think about how Father's Office would be if you crammed in another 50 people. Also, a couple of refrigerator-shaped gentlemen come up and make everybody go inside at 11:00.
Our server was friendly and fairly prompt. She helped us out when I was trying to remember the name of Udo Dirkschneider's band.
The draft selection is a good mix of the German imports you can find in bottles at good liquor stores, i.e. Kostritzer Schwartzbier, Spaten Oktoberfest, Paulaner Hefeweizen, Dinkel Acker, Franziskaner, etc... It's probably a 3.5-3.75 selction if Spaten Oktoberfest wasn't so much better on-tap. Beers run around $5 a beer and they use proper glasses.
I wasn't hungry after a couple of dogs at the game, but the German cuisine is usually pretty tasty.
You must try this place if you live in LA. Stop by on a week night or weekend afternoon before a ballgame.
07-05-2007 21:34:51 | More by goschool
4.03/5 rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Instead of Olvera Street for margaritas, or Fellippe's for the french dip, we broke from Dodger pre-game tradition and sought out the Red Lion.
Traffic was ugly from the 101 north to Alvarado and up Glendale. It was rush hour too - there may be a smarter way into the neighborhood (maybe from the north).
The place was easy enough to spot in the daylight but I think it would be as easy to miss at night.
The parking lot is the size of an ash tray. We found a spot on Glendale about half a block up. Street parking is restricted to 15 minutes until 6 PM where we stopped. It was 5:30 so we decided to test LAPD efficiency.
We made our way up the stairs and back to the biergarten. The open space and daylight are welcoming after navigating through the cavernous dark interior.
Service was prompt at first but the place began to fill up and the frauline appeared to be on her own so things slowed down some.
I enjoyed a few Bavarian wheat beers with my friends as we took notice of a few hollywood types seated nearby going on loudly about important TV industry stuff. I had forgotten about the annoying phonys that inhabit these parts.
I like this place and next time I'll try the food. A great beer selection for German beer fans.
08-08-2006 22:39:12 | More by ALECOHOLIC
4.03/5 rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Unassuming, easily missed gem built into the side of a hill across the street from Rockaway Records near the Silver Lake Reservoir. If I hadn't read about it on here, I probably never would've known it was there...and I've been to Rockaway a couple of times!
Entering the front, at first it seems as if the somewhat small, dark, cave-like bar with a few tables and a piano is all there is. But when your eyes adjust the sign pointing upstairs becomes apparent.
Heading up the stairs you might pass right by the second bar area without noticing it's there, as we did. Like the first, its a small, dark cave-ish room with nice thick padded booths and a small cozy bar. This would make a great hang out for a group late at night.
Out in the back is the good part. Especially made for sunny So Cal weather is the beer garden. It's about a dozen or so tables, some with umbrellas, in this courtyardesque area. There's another bar up here to service your German food and beer needs (see other reviews for listings). Both me and my wife had diner and a beer and loved it. The service was timely and friendly to boot.
04-30-2006 22:18:21 | More by JayTheFinn
United Kingdom (England)
4.28/5 rDev +10.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
I've been meaning to check this place out for a while now, and I'm really glad I finally did. The selection is nothing mind-blowing, but it is good. If memory serves, they had Warsteiner, Bitburger, Kostrizer Shwarz, Dinkel Acker, Spaten Pils, Spaten Oktoberfest, Spaten Optimator, Hofbrau, and Franziskaner and a few others on tap, plus a bunch more in bottles. Now, German beers are not usually my bag (I often find them too sweet), but they were perfect with the Red Lion's DELICIOUS food. I had a weisswurst plate with what was no doubt the best sauerkraut of my life - and I am no stranger to sauerkraut, I grew up in Wisconsin. (In fact, one town over from where I live there is a "Kraut Fest" each year.)
The décor was fun, full of dark wooden beams and old fashioned German knick knacks. The music was odd - some guy with a keyboard playing feel-good music like "Watermelon Man" and "Brown Eyed Girl" with unusual synthesizer choices - but enjoyable. As others have mentioned, there are three bars, and the outdoor beer garden on the second floor is a nice feature, although that is where people go to smoke. Service was friendly and efficient despite our drunken requests. It got pretty crowded when we were there, but the barmaids and waitresses were unphased and maintained their clipping pace. Oh, and as for the prices, I can't really comment, because I think they undercharged me; two pints and my $12 sausage plate came to $18, which would make the beers only $3 each. That can't be right... but maybe it is?
What else can I say? This place is a lot of fun.
04-22-2006 19:42:11 | More by soulgrowl
4.05/5 rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
For me, the wurst (pun) thing about this place is that's so far away from where we live. It's funny (not a pun), but I am so used to every new place I go to in LA being 3X bigger than I expected, that I couldn't believe the tininess of this place. I kept looking for another room and there is one, but it was closed and what was open was quite intimate. I can see how easy it is for it to be crowded, but it was almost eerily empty when we got there. Also, we had been told they were doing Oktoberfest and they weren't and basically said it's always Oktorberfest here, the current difference being they had O'fest on tap. That's pretty true because it did have a European feel and was reasonably authentic German. True, it was an overcast day so that might've mde it feel more European. Still, it was just great to sit outside in that setting The others can complain about the unfriendliness of the waitstaff, but they were better than Germany. Actually, the foods pretty much better than Germany. But we're here for the beer and it was just terrific. There's some bottles but you're there for the taps. Bitburger and Radeberger Pils, Erdinger and Franziskamer Hefe, Warsteiner Pils and Dunkel, Kostritzer Schwartz, Hofbrau and three Spatens--lager, O'fest and Dobblebock. I tasted Geoff's O'fest which was crisp and tasty and regretted forgetting to try the Dunkel, but stuck to a couple of 1/2 liters of Dobblebock which were wonderful. Beautiful ruby brown color, nice and malty, great condition. I'd like to go back and do a Hefe-off. I was sorry to not get to San Diego for the wet hop fest, but it's much further away than Silver Lake and it just didn't work out. We did this instead and had a very pleasant afternoon. One other thing about the wait staff--I asked for a taste of the O'fest and D'bock to make up my mind about what to get and she didn't bat an eye to do that, so right away, I gotta give them props for that.
10-24-2005 17:00:54 | More by keaton
3.2/5 rDev -17.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5 | $$
I've been here twice. First time I had a good experience, second time I had a lousy experience.
First time was a Sunday afternoon before a Dodger game. Service was decent, food was good, beer was good.
Second time was a Friday Night before going to a rock show at Spaceland. I had been looking forward to getting something to eat before the show and the Red Lion was so crowded and chaotic that it was hardly possible to get a beer, let alone order food. When I did get the barmaid to notice me at the upstairs bar, i ordered beer and food, got the beer and an hour later, still no food. I left, hungry.
So basically, I would recommend avoiding this place on a Friday night unless you get there early and find a place to park yourself.
However, it's a great place to nosh at before a Dodger day game, as it's a 5 minute drive to the stadium.
06-25-2005 20:33:41 | More by insomnboy
4.3/5 rDev +11.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
The red lion is the first bar I went to in LA since moving here from nyc, and it still holds as my fave. The highlight is definitely the open air upstairs beer-garden--spacious, good crowd, creatively decorated, and more than pleasant service. And of course, the beer: an impressive selection of hefe's but the show stopper is the weltenburgur (sp??). Damn, that stuff is good, especially in combination with the sausage platter, which is all I have had to eat there so I can't comment further on the food. word.
09-11-2004 01:20:28 | More by pgroove
3.98/5 rDev +3.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
This definitley is the best, and possibly the only, real german tavern in Los Angeles. Everything from the waitressess wearing drindle dresses to the cheesy organ player downstairs. They always have a good selection of your German standards on tap and they must go through it quickly because it always tastes incredibly fresh. If your looking for beer beyond those borders though, this isn't the place to go.
They also have pretty good food, very traditional german fare, with brats, kraut and many others, great drinking food, and pretty affordable.
The service really ranges hear. Even when it's not that busy, the older ladies sometimes have serious attitude, but the younger girls are typically really friendly.
Take the stairs on the left to the upper level where there's both an indoor bar and outdoor beer garden. A truly great place to spend a warm afternoon drinking some hefe. The upstairs bar also has an adjoing room with tables. This reminds me of a lot of typical european pubs and bars that have several levels with rooms or tables tucked all over the place.
As noted in the other review they also have Jagermeister on tap if that's your thing.
03-01-2004 21:46:04 | More by belgianbeerlover
3.85/5 rDev -0.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5
The Red Lion Tavern is LA's best example of a German Tavern. It is really 3 different places in one. Downstairs through the front door is the traditional front bar with Beer Barrels and taps, a piano, karoke machines on Monday and folks speaking German.
Travel up the little unmarked staircase on the right and you'll a mysterious dark little 7 people wide just beyond a stein cabinet. Truthfully, I've never dared into this little bar as it seems to be bat country.
Just down the hall though is my favorite place to be, the outdoor bier garden. An outdoor bar built into the side of a hill and shielded from the California sun by a large roof, tables and chairs abound out here, although the regulars as always converge at the bar. The one television set is almost always tuned to a soccer match that noone watches.
Two barmaids generally handle the crowd here and though it can take a while to get your beer and food the wait is well worth it. The bars generally have 7 fresh taps of good german beer. Paulaner Hefe, Bit, Spaten Pils, Klosterberg, Kloster Dark, etc. The food is typical hearty german fare, well executed.
Oh and if you want, the bar is full service with a Jager fountain and little bottles of the real German stuff, Underberg.
09-03-2003 01:34:23 | More by drewbage
The Red Lion Tavern in Los Angeles, CA
88 out of 100 based on 19 ratings.