Father's Office

Father's OfficeFather's Office
Father's OfficeFather's Office
Bar, Eatery

1018 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, California, 90403-1604
United States

(310) 393-2337 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 87 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of orangesol
orangesol from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Feb 12, 2014
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PhillyStyle from Georgia

4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Nov 23, 2013
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GentlemanQuan27 from California

4.61/5  rDev +10%
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

Oct 08, 2013
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ChanChan from California

3.89/5  rDev -7.2%
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!!

May 07, 2013
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Bang34 from California

4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

May 07, 2013
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DoubleJ from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Jul 09, 2012
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UCLABrewN84 from California

4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Feb 20, 2012
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TurdFurgison from Ohio

4.15/5  rDev -1%
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.

Feb 08, 2012
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FtownThrowDown from Ohio

4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Oct 17, 2011
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VegasBill from Nevada

3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

Sep 25, 2011
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TheSevenDuffs from Canada

4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Stopped by for dinner and a couple of pints. Atmosphere was pretty cool and, like many beer bars, got really busy pretty early in the evening and you could barely move.

Tap list was very good, but could have been better. There seemed to be about 20-25 offerings on tap of various styles and breweries. There was nothing that really stood out for me but I still found a few really solid beers to drink while I was there.

Had the famous Office Burger and it lived up to the hype! The sweet potato fries are a must order too!

Service was friendly and knowledgeable. I would go back if I was ever in the area again.

Jul 13, 2011
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naproxen from District of Columbia

3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I stopped here for dinner and drinks on 4/18 with friends while on vacation. I hadn't heard of this place prior to visiting so I was pretty excited to be introduced to something new.

Even on a Monday night this place was well attended. There was but one booth open however, with seating for 5, so luck was on our side.

I wanted to love this place as the selection of beers and quality of food is just outstanding. New Belgium's La Terrior and RR Pliny on tap! I had a skewered lamb dish that made everyone go mmm, the office burger was fantastic as well and huge. BUT, you order everything yourself from the bar and no substitutions OR subtractions from any order. That last part just does not make sense, no subtractions? I personally love bleu cheese, however my friend with the burger did not and had to scrape it off himself. Kind of a waste, don't you think?

I'd be more apt to stop in here for some beers if in town, but there are plenty of other bars with less pretentious rules on food to wet my appetite.

Apr 28, 2011
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tjensen3618 from California

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Went to this place for lunch on a weekend, the small bar and tables all were packed, we stood around for about 2 minutes debating whether we should leave or not, and just then a table opened up! I noticed the flow of patrons leaving vs. coming in was perfect, it was completely full the whole time but it seemed every time somebody showed up a party was leaving.

They had a great selection of beers, well thought out and crossed a bunch of different styles, I ordered a Sculpin and a My Bloody Valentine.

For my first visit here I felt obligated to try the Office Burger, it was absolutely delicious, juicy, and a must try. I find myself craving one as I type this review right now.

It's a little pricey here, but the quality of the food is top notch.
I will definitely be back here.

Mar 17, 2011
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keithmurray from Connecticut

4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Went here last Friday,

really good selection of both domestic and import taps. Drake's, Sierra Nevada, Allagash, St Bernardus, Alesmith were amongst the choices on tap. The botles - Duvel, Maredsous, Orval, Anchor, they just have a vast array of beers to choose from. The burgers here are pretty good, they put some kind of marmalade/onion spread on their burgers that make them delicious. The service here is pretty good, plenty of bartenders to handle the crowds. My only dislike about the place is I had to wait about an hour just to get someplace to sit, and that was only after hovering around these two guys waiting for them to leave. Father's office could use a much bigger space to accomodate the seating. Prices creep up on $10 each for a beer, not cheap, but not totally unreasonable. I woul dgo back on a night that maybe wasn't so crowded. Worth checking out for beer afficianados.

Feb 20, 2011
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Beerandraiderfan from Nevada

4.44/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Another example of a reasonably priced bar with an excellent selection in LA. Narrow bar, lots of wood, but yet not too crowded even with a good sized crowd.

Bartenders get your selection in a timely manner. Often, bartenders really get too caught up with themselves and the scene, not here. No pomp and circumstance. Drake's Alpha Session right out the gate, I drink Drake's all the time, funny that I run into this in SoCal as opposed to when I'm at the Bistro. Anyways, RR Perdition in the bottle, in fact, the main reason this got a perfect 5 on the selection is that everything they claimed to have, they actually had. Pliny on tap, no problem.

Had a real good time, great conversation, two beautiful tiny Russians on each side of me, things could be much worse. . .

Jan 18, 2011
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SunDevilBeer from Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

Convinced a co-worker from MA who was traveling with me to head here for a few beers.

Very slick, narrow, chic bar that is refelctive of the area - the main restaurant/boutique/bar strip of Santa Monica. Lots of self-absorbed types here, but I didn't mind....at least the hipsters here are pleasant and not like the d-bag wanna-be's around Boston. A really comfortable place to hang out for a while. Curiously, the bouncers take themselves pretty seriously here.

Great selection of many obscure/high end beers. Didn't really notice the pricing as I was on company biz and didn't care.... :0). Beer tasted terrific and was served in the appropriate glass at a great temperature.

Service was great throughout, except for the one time the 2nd barkeep forgot my beer order.

Food looked good but I had already eaten.

Watched the end of the Lakers/Clippers game on the flat-screen, was rooting openly for the Clips (hey, I'm a Celtics fan) and enjoyed some good back and forth with the many Laker fans there. (Side note....Lakers won on a buzzer beater and the Lake fans were cool).

I will return here again. Definitely a high-end beer destination that is worth a visit.

Dec 11, 2010
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dougnboston from Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Very knowledgeable bar staff ... they know their beers quite well. Lots of micro's and stuff that's not so well known at least to this east coaster. I had an easy time finding the place. There are 40 (fresh) taps and a menu that's creative along with the basics (read Burger).

I was here on a Tuesday night and it was crowded. NBA playoffs helped, but not many were gone at the buzzer and more came in. I'd say the crowd was on the younger, maybe college side.

Terrific place, good energy and beer smart staff. Go, you'll like it.

May 19, 2010
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Idlehour from California

3.25/5  rDev -22.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Great food and nice location (Culver City), but sullied by a noticeably SHORT POUR (no more than 13 oz. for a 16 oz. glass). When politely pointed out to the bartender (Trenten), all I got was some BS about how the beer needed "room." A little newby information plus some arrogance does not a good bartender make (nor a good experience).

Other than that, atmosphere was good (better when not crowded), and the food is overall good with a couple of items (like the burger) being very good. If Father's Office would lose their beer pretension they could be a winner. If you're only drinking, there are better places (ie, The York, Lucky Baldwin's, etc.)

Apr 08, 2010
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ddarden from Alabama

4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Dropped by the Father's Office late one Friday afternoon while the wife was shopping. The place is pretty small, but cozy. Due to the time of day, the crowd was not bad, but it was full. It was a little difficult to get a beer because of all the people sitting at the bar, but the bartenders were attentive and knowledgeable. I ordered several beers and they were served properly and the selection was very good. I had Russian River, Bear Republic, and Stone to drink and all appeared to be very well kept. I did not see a bottle menu so I can not comment on it. The food menu looked very limited but good. I did not get a chance to eat, but would have liked to if I had more time. Overall I had a great experience and would definitely return if I am in the area again. Highly recommended.

Jan 18, 2010
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augustgarage from California

4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The interior of Father's Office is attractive and about as understated for an upscale night spot right in the heart of Montana (the most upscale commercial area in Santa Monica) as is possible.

It can turn in to a noisy yuppie aspirational entertainment-industry wankfest, as encouraged by the uniformed bartenders (OK, it is just a trendy t-shirt, but still), the presence of a door-man (OK, a friendly mild-mannered acquaintence of mine, but still), the lack of table service, the absence of the owner, and the "mood lighting" among other things. Father's Office also has a bit of a soup nazi vibe due largely to their refusal to offer samples and their refusal to accomodate even the most modest menu substitution.

Service is basically non-existent unless you sit at the bar. The bartenders are generally well trained and knowledgable about everything they sell, if not necessarily the broader craft beer "scene" (of which Father's Office seems to intentionally insulate itself from - they never share their taplist online or with LA Beer Blast, they don't participate in beer releases, beer festivals, and don't seem to do any other promotion). On the other hand they can be inattentive (I suggest paying in cash for multiple reasons) and even borderline unfriendly (though this place does get really busy, and while I've been many times, I'm not really a regular).

Prices are very high for the food and the beer (mostly $8 - $10 a glass, and wer'e not talking imperial pints here) and there are never happy hour specials.

So, why go to Father's Office?

The food, (especially for a bar) is very good and the menu always offers a small number of well made dishes rather than trying to be all things to all people.

The beer quality is very high: Tap lines are regularly cleaned (between every keg?), proper glassware is always used, serving temperatures are always appropriate, beer is sourced fresh, kegs are stored properly, etc.

Finally, the selection is excellent: You'll almost always find multiple beers from Russian River, Craftsmen, Bear Republic, Green Flash, Ballast Point, Alesmith, and other California brewers (though they don't seem to take as many chances on upstart brewing companies); several Belgian ales many of which are rarely available elsewhere in the area; special seasonal ales (e.g. recently - The Abyss, Victory at Sea, etc); all of which is balanced by flavor profile.

This is a cool concept, no matter what they currently have on tap, the way the menu is organized you know they will always have something for hop-heads, something for malt-heads, something lighter for novice drinkers, something yeasty or spicy or fruity, and something darker/stronger - and usually many examples of each.

If you enjoy (or in my case, can tolerate) the (borderline) Entourage-like atmosphere, and are prepared to shell out a lot of money, you'll be rewarded by what remains one of the best beer selections available in the greater L.A. area.

Jan 16, 2010
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JTahoe from Oregon

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The premier beer bar in Southern California. Great atmosphere, great beer selection, and great food. The burger and fries are awesome. I know some people get their feathers ruffled by the "served as is" policy, but seriously, it's perfect as is. Don't mess with what works.

There are only two drawbacks in my opinion. The crowds, but hey, if it wasn't good, there wouldn't be a crowd, and sometimes the vibe is awesome with a packed house. And the service can be a bit frustrating if you are not a regular (and I live too far away to be a regular) but usually the servers are pretty good.

Nov 04, 2009
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microbrew52 from California

4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

If you can stand the wait, this is the place that you can always fall back on. It has gotten better since the city enforced how many can stand inside to wait for a table, so you can almost always find a line outside but at least you don't feel like some one is always hovering behind you while you eat. Its worth the wait though. Besides the outstanding beer selection, the burger with sweet potato fries and aioli sauce is to die for. 72 on tap and a wide selection of bottles with big dogs like Trappist Rochefort 10. It is a casual scene so no need to dress up... sweet.

Oct 19, 2009
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snikki from California

5/5  rDev +19.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

From a review a few down: "The doorman, a new thing at F.O. while we were gone, asked to see our I.D. In unison, the Mrs. and I said "No" and walked right by him to be hugged by the bartender and welcomed back."

This is, unfortunately, the type of person that often frequents FO. Someone who feels the need to insult the doorperson simply doing his job. Why not just show your ID like everyone else? Too much of an "insider"? Your schedule too cramped to take out 2 minutes to get your license? (Or maybe you are underaged - you act like it.) I feel sorry for the guy you blew off. Hopefully he made his way to the back and blew some snot on your burger.

Still, it's worth putting up with these lameo Westside yuppie types, if only for entertainment. The burger and beer are always top notch, and the bartenders are not the a-holes they used to be, most of them. It's a cool-looking place, too.

So I still give it an A all-around, but if you dislike hipster doofuses and snooty yuppies, head over to Daily Pint.

Sep 26, 2009
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SpdKilz from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Came here with a few friends last Friday. This was my first time at FO1 but have been to FO2 before.

Atmosphere - I was the first to arrive at around 4:30. I took a break from studying for LS to enjoy a few good beers and food with my friends. I arrived and for only being open a half hour, it was already about 50% full. The atmosphere was very lively, chatty, and overall warm/welcoming.

Quality - While this is the original FO and is smaller than FO2 in Culver City, the quality is still very nice in here. Everything seems very clean, new, in style, etc. I had heard that this one was smaller and not new so I was expecting a "hole in the wall" old version of the Culver City FO. But not so.

Service - Great. The four times I went up to the bar I was immediately helped (even when it was full when I left), given the beer menu, told selections, etc. These guys know their beers and are happy to help you out.

Selection - Pretty damn good. I drove about 45 minutes to get there because in my neck of the woods, beer taps like this are hard to find. I started out with a Pliny, followed by a Russian River Damnation. I am going back to try the other RR they had on tap soon. Earlier they had consecration on tap - I am extremely bummed I missed that.

Food - I ordered the burger there and damn did that hit the spot. It tasted better than the one I had at FO2. Who cares you can't get special orders - go to jack in the box then and then go to FO. But yeah, get the burger done medium if you get there and it will be amazing.

Value - The food was the most expensive think in my opinion. Being charged 8 dollars for a 8% to 10% beer is not that bad when you think about being charged five dollars at some other bar for a 4% to 5% BMC product.

Can't wait to come back here. So much to try!

Sep 13, 2009
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czechsaaz from Washington

4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

O.K. I have a LONG history with F.O. going back to the previous owner. I used to live 10 blocks away and would drop in 3-4 nights a week. I've been gone now for almost 5 years but visited last night and I feel like I've got more objectivity now. There are no bartenders left who know me and give me special treatment.

Atmosphere, well it's clean, the polished wood paneling gives it a slick look. It is still really loud in here just from the conversations. For a while, the fight for a table was epic (no reservations, no list, just hope to be nearby when a table empties.) With the opening of F.O.2, the weekday crowd seems to be back to manageable levels so the struggle for a table is a diminished. The hipster faction seems a little lower now than just a year ago but "the guys," the regulars who used to congregate at the back bar appear to be gone. Not a one of them was there. So no familiar faces for me.

The tap list is still excellent. On any given night there are a handful of World Class beers and a bunch of more local micros. No industrial beer (or even macro crafts) on tap.

The service. No table service, order everything from the bar. That can be a pain when the wait gets long. Do NOT ask for substitutions on the menu, period. I don't have a problem with this. I'm in the "hail to the chef" camp. I want a talented chef to tell me what's good, not have him make whatever I want. I bet it gets really irritating for the staff to explain that policy without choking the life out of the 25th person who asks for no cheese on the burger. The eye rolls and the refusals by the staff may come off as rude, but they're just doing their job. Cut 'em some slack.

The food! The burger is justifiably famous and it rocks. But for my money, the lamb skewers are the best thing on the regular menu. The soft shell crabs on the specials board were un-effin-believable and worth $17. I may go back tonight just to eat that. Seriously! And though a far cry from anything you'd get in Belgium, the shoestring "Frites" are stellar.

Prices are Montana Ave.

In short, I still love my local, even though it isn't "My Bar" anymore. (Quick story, came back from my honeymoon and we went here from the airport. The doorman, a new thing at F.O. while we were gone, asked to see our I.D. In unison, the Mrs. and I said "No" and walked right by him to be hugged by the bartender and welcomed back. Ah, good times!)

Jun 18, 2009
Father's Office in Santa Monica, CA
Place rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 87 ratings