Karl Strauss Brewing Company - Sorrento Mesa

Karl Strauss Brewing Company - Sorrento MesaKarl Strauss Brewing Company - Sorrento Mesa
Karl Strauss Brewing Company - Sorrento MesaKarl Strauss Brewing Company - Sorrento Mesa
Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

9675 Scranton Rd
San Diego, California, 92121-1761
United States

(858) 587-2739 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 24 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Lard_City:
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Lard_City from California

4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

An old converted Benihana restaurant. Very pleasant Japanese garden setting with huge coy pond. Food is typical pub type, of decent quality. Inside can be loud if you're trying to converse but overall very relaxing.

Oct 28, 2014
More User Reviews:
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Djon1rpt from Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Feb 06, 2019
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chrisjws from California

4.39/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

This one gets full marks on vibe. Gorgeous view of the Japanese pond from the inside and patio. Honestly the TVs feel out of place with such a high end vibe but I didn't mind since the world cup was on and it added to the atmosphere.

Beer and food are standard Karl Strauss, not amazing but a solid set of choices with something for everyone. Not a place for whalez bro, but a place for a good time with friends.

Jun 24, 2018
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Porphyry from California

4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

After I moved to San Diego I found that whenever I went out to have a beer on a patio somewhere it was always looking out over a parking lot. I love the patio at this Karl Strauss location because not only is there no parking lot in sight, but it overlooks a Japanese fish pond. This makes it one of the nicest patios in all of San Diego, to the point that people have their weddings here. No wonder the San Diego Beer Guide calls it the jewel in the crown of the Karl Strauss chain. They serve a lot of comfort food and pub fare, which is usually what I'm looking for when I come here. All the beers on tap are by Karl Strauss, which I personally find OK but not great. But even though the beers are not my favourite, the atmosphere is so nice I'm happy to drink them whenever I'm there.

Jun 21, 2017
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Drink_LocalSD from California

4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Dec 05, 2014
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retry4z from California

2/5  rDev -49.9%

Average food, average service, average beer. Came here around 4:30 (pretty much empty), very few people, yet they managed to forget my order of both: buffalo wings and artichoke dip. The Boneless Wing with Piri Piri sauce ($5 during happy hour) were the blandest and dryest I've ever had. So I've ordered the Buffalo wings, which they forgot and only brought after 20 minutes with me having to remind them. They were... average (get extra buffalo sauce and blue cheese sauce if you want to taste anything). I also ordered the artichoke dip, which was...also late and... also average. It took too long for the server (who was nice btw) to walk by, so I had to flag down 3 or 4 different servers to order/remind them of my order. My server walked by my table maybe 3 times during the whole 1.5 hours I was there.

The positives were that they replaced for free one of my tasters which I spilled, and gave free splashes of the Red Trolley (which won them the most medals, but just fails to balance its caramel malt with West-coast hops) while I was waiting on my Big Barrel pint (big flavor once it warms; $4 during happy hour). Their wifi (KarlsWorld_Guest) is also super slow.

Karl Strauss has a 3.64 average for their beers on BeerAdvocate, which is embarrasing for a San Diego's brewery, much more so for the *first* San Diego craft brewery.

Overall, I was stressed out during my whole time being there, and did not enjoy my experience, even though I was there during happy hour and the servers were well-meaning, albeit inattentive. I would not recommend this place to anyone.

Oct 09, 2014
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tally from California

3.12/5  rDev -21.8%

Sep 13, 2014
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ThePaleRider from California

4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Aug 10, 2014
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woodchip from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +0.3%

Jul 23, 2014
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Nice menu. Great venue with the pub open to the Japanese garden. Small, U-shaped bar seats about 12. Lots of tables on various levels both inside and outside. Sufficient flat screen TV for sports viewing, although the boomy sound system should be improved. Beer flights available. Adequate free parking.

Jul 01, 2014
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utfiero from Texas

4.31/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

The happy hour food specials are huge and quality. We had the piri-piri appetizer, and it was very generous. For our dinner we had a Mediterranean salad and a burger. Both we enormous and mouth-watering.

Finally, the beer was some of the very best ever. The ESB blew my mind. I'm a beer connoisseur, and their ESB was better than Fuller's ESB and other English ones I've had in the past. Also, the hefeweizen is excellent. Finally, management is attentive. Jeff (we later found out he is a VP of the company) stopped by our table to ask for our thoughts on a beer sampler. We provided some positive feedback on the good brews and some frank feedback on a skunk brew. He took it all in stride, complimented our beer knowledge and gave us a round on the house. Great experience!

Jun 06, 2014
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MickeyHops from California

3.75/5  rDev -6%

May 26, 2014
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gshak from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Mar 25, 2014
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StoutSnob40 from California

3.75/5  rDev -6%

Oct 10, 2013
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claspada from New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.75

Went here for dinner, super super crowded because it is the nicest of all the Karl Strauss locations. The lake was a nice atmosphere but not worth the busy, loud crowded atmosphere.

Sat at the bar, had some forgettable overpriced food as well as a cask red trolley which was nice but nothing I couldn't get elsewhere in the city.

Service was decent enough, but the overall experience can be skipped for others in the area and would definitely do so in the future. Not a must stop by any means, especially if this is the nicest of all the locations.

Jun 19, 2013
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MilwaukeeCrusher from Wisconsin

3.3/5  rDev -17.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3 | selection: 3

At first glance this seems like the type of brewery you would see at a mall, servers going quickly about the joint with modern and pristine decor. The place was packed when I visited so service suffered a little. Beers ranged from OK to very good, with the favorite being an imperial brown. This is worth a stop to anyone who hasn't been to a Strauss brewery, but in SD the competition is fierce and I'll go to better alternatives elsewhere.

Mar 15, 2013
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LittleDon from Texas

4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I was fortunate to have been taken here by locals who know very little about craft beer. It was a Wednesday and the place was fairly full. Beautiful atmosphere, probably the best thing about the place. The service was excellent regardless of the fact that we were a party of about 8 and our server was 11 months pregnant. Food was reasonably priced and portion size was good. Ahi poke and the Artisan Cheese plate was split among the group. The Ahi was refreshingly spicy and the cheese plate had a nice combination. For my entree I had the Mesquite Chicken. Good, but not great. It was a bit too sweet with the addition of the apple slaw. Unfortunately, the beer was the most disappointing thing about the place. Like my food, it was good but not great. When I go to a place like this I expect more from the beer. I had the IPA and DIPA, with the IPA being the better of the two.

Apr 19, 2009
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magictrokini from California

4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Phenomenal setting in a Japanese garden. very well done and comfortable. Their Sunday brunches are really good, in fact, this is really the only time I go. Their spread is big and varied. Karl Strauss beer are all that is all that is served. Same stuff you can get in the bottle, plus a rotating list of seasonals and one-offs. For those with you that don't like beer, they do mimosas on Sundays, too. Prices are reasonable, given the location and food involved. Overall, kind of on the high end in terms of those seeking beer.

Dec 17, 2008
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Dogbrick from Ohio

3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

This Karl Strauss location is on the north end of San Diego not too far off the 805 (Mira Mesa exit). Despite it being right across from my hotel I could not find it on my first attempt as it is in what looks like an office building complex. Parking is fairly plentiful outside of peak hours.

The exterior is very pretty, with lots of outside seating in a Japanese garden. There is a small pond with fish and turtles, and a lot of hanging plants around. The inside is open with curved tables, mirrors and a small bar near the entrance.

The beer list is decent. Strauss has around 8 beers on draught with a couple seasonals. The standard beers are available in a sampler. They are all average for the most part but a couple of the seasonals are pretty solid.

Service on a weekday night was good. The server was knowledgeable about the beers in the sampler as well as the seasonal beers that were not on the menu.

The food at KS is pretty good. Our group shared some different appetizers, all of which were tasty. My dinner was the macaroni and cheese and it was enjoyable.

Overall this place earned points for the atmosphere and food to the point that I can easily overlook not being a big fan of their more run-of-the mill beers. I would definitely stop here again.

Aug 06, 2008
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FLBeerGuy from Florida

4.35/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Very nicely laid out bar, gardens & pond. Makes you forget you are in the middle of high tech suburbia. They only have their own brews, which are decent. Pilsner, very nice Hefe (banana & citrus flavors), couple of reds, scotch, 3 IPAs & a Barlywine. Menu seemed reasonably priced with large portions. Ordered the fish taco starters which were 4 small grilled fish tacos that were very tasty. What made the place was the bartender, he produced numerous free samples of most of their beer and went as far as to recommend some of his favorite local brew pubs. Service like this is priceless & it will bring me back.

May 30, 2008
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mithrascruor from California

4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Located in the centre of 'hi-tech land' (i.e. surrounded by lots of software and technology companies) this Karl Strauss has a very nice location in their "brewery gardens" with lots of trees, a pond, etc. It may sound a bit cheesy, but it's done nicely. There is extensive seating both inside and outside -- the outdoor decks with seating are quite integral to the whole structure. At times it can be VERY crowded here, especially at lunchtime and shortly after 5pm -- it is, after all, in a very corporate area. And, unless you got to lunch at 11:30 or dinner after 7:00, be prepared for a wait. But (especially with the outdoor seating) it does not feel so crowded once you have a table, and it's quite relaxing.

The quality of the food and beer is the same as all other Karl Strauss location I've visted -- i.e. it's very good food, nice beer, and good portions. And it's quite good for the price as well. I've found that this location seems to have a better selection of beer than others, especially with beer that is only on-tap at this location. Service seems to always be prompt, polite and informative, no matter the hour.

This location, though, is probably not ideal for someone looking for an interesting new brewpub or for taking a 'beer tour' of San Diego. And it is unfortunately not open on weekends, save Sunday brunch. That can be rather frustrating for those who live nearby (such as myself), but totally understandable considering the location and neighborhood.

Feb 17, 2008
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Stoneman78 from California

4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This is a great locale for Happy Hour, especially for the first Thursday of every month when a brand new beer type is tapped and the free samples flow freely! The atmosphere is so secluded and brilliant that you can't even tell you're in the middle of a technology high-rise corridor. The crowd is usually pumping with young professionals after work and it always seems challenging getting a table. Service is usually spot on, even during the rush hour. The food is delicious and there are some mean happy hour deals. The beer selection is essentially the full KS lineup which is more than enough to sample a wide range of genres. If you can, get a seat out by the asian-themed pond and enjoy a sampler of this San Diego beer institution (especially during 1st Thursdays). There is also another great KS in La Jolla Cove if you're in that area, check them out!

Aug 01, 2007
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immunoboy from California

4/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Work is just a 5 mile drive from the "Koi Pond." Just uttering that phrase, our name for the Karl Strauss Brewery Garden in Sorrento Mesa, makes people smile. Unlike other Karl Strauss locations, this one is nestled away in an office park jungle. However, you enter the well lanscaped garden, look over the koi pond, and just enjoy the atmosphere. There is outdoor seating in addition to space inside with view of the koi pond. There is a large area on the back deck for large office gatherings. The food is reasonable and of high quality compared to other brew pubs. The staff is friendly, and I can usually find at least one offering (10 beers usually on tap) to enjoy. If you are in the area and would like a quite place to enjoy a beer and some food (with friends, family or just you and your newspaper), consider this fine location in San Diego.

Oct 12, 2005
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ecoboy from Rhode Island

4.15/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

An exceptional experience for those who will appreciate it. To get there, one must drive through valleys of tar between glass and metal industrial park. One of the four times I was following directions and said "this can't be right" only to be surprised by the slice of beer heaven awaiting. And while Karl Strauss beer is admirable enough, the environment is why this is a must-visit.

There really are gardens around this Asian (?!?!) themed restaurant and brewery. Not that the food is Asian, but the building is one long tabled windowfront area that opens out on a goldfish pond. The outdoors and the gardens are an integral part of the experience. One crosses a bridge to get to it, cross the outdoor deck and enter a very open feeling bar area. The linen is crisp, the glasses are clean, the servers are snappily dressed.

I had the Taster 6 sampler and was not overly impressed with any of the choices, but there certainly was nothing wrong with them. Pretty light, on the whole and the whole "Star of India" Pale ale (Are they implying IPA without actually making it?) name made me chuckle and remember my first Sea Dog Old East India Pale Ale (which is an IPA, but was also tough to tell simply by the label.)

The hours can be strange (not open for lunch or dinner on Saturday!?!?!) but I searched it out after a trip to the Wild Animal Park, and the wide open airy feeling in the warm weather was perfect for we cooped up Mainer types. It's also a popular destination for private parties and I can see why.

May 28, 2003
Karl Strauss Brewing Company - Sorrento Mesa in San Diego, CA
Place rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 24 ratings