Go local!

Who knew school could be so much fun? With many unique and bottled craft beers, Public School is a welcome addition to the Westlake Promenade. Owned by Grill Concepts (Daily Grill, The Grill on the Alley), Public School does not disappoint. Hostesses greet patrons warmly and offer either patio or inside seating. Music is loud inside so be forewarned. Start your school day off with beer! Allagash White with flavors of clove and citrus ($7), St. Bernardus Abt, yeasty and fruity ($12), and Sculpin by Ballast Point floral and apricot ($8) are just a few of the draught beers offered. Bottled and canned beers include Lindeman's Peche Lambic ($11), sparkling and tart, and Midas Touch ($8), brewed with saffron and honey. If you want to share be sure to try the Allagash Curieux ($27), aged with hints of woods and vanilla, or Ommegang Abbey Ale ($15), with hints of licorice and chocolate These come in 750ml bottles and are perfect for your "study group." Wine and other cocktails are available, but come for the beer! Once school is in session order up some starters for your table. Bacon Cheddar Tots ($7) are served crispy with Sriracha ketchup. The Speck and Eggs ($6) are deviled eggs with prosciutto. Another great appetizer is the Mezze Plate ($8), baba ganoush, hummus, tapenade, marinated feta cheese, and crispy chickpeas. The Albacore Nicoise Salad ($14) is delicious. Served rare with bibb lettuce, grilled potatoes, green beans, tapenade, and lemon aoili dressing; it's a health teacher's dream. For jocks, the Huntsman Burger ($13) wins the trophy. Pure ground chuck is accompanied by balsamic onions, bibb lettuce, tomato, and a slab of Huntsman cheese. Order the Brown Bag Fries ($4) on the side. The CCB handheld Cobb ($13) is a chicken burger covered in smokey tomato jam, avocado, bibb lettuce, and bacon all topped with a fried egg. Pizzas abound, but the classic Margherita ($9) goes to the head of the class. Buffalo mozzarella, crushed tomato, garlic, and basil round out this  winner. For weekend brunch try the Croque Madame ($12) prosciutto, emmental cheese, mornay sauce and a fried egg. It will definitely help you pass French class. The Fried Chicken Jidori & Waffles ($11) served with Vermont maple syrup will jump start your study session for sure. Public School wouldn't be complete without Recess. (Happy Hour) I don't remember my school cafeteria serving up Parmesan Truffle Fries ($4), braised short ribs and roasted chicken tacos ($5), or mini cheeseburgers ($6). Recess is from 4-7 p.m. M-F. Public School 805 120 N. Promenade Way Thousand Oaks (805) 379-3909.

 

Recommended Dishes: Bacon Cheddar Tots, Speck and Eggs, The Huntsman, Margherita Pizza, Brown Bag Fries.

 

 

Gastropubs are popping up all over Los Angeles. The newest addition to Woodland Hills is The Local Peasant. Owners Mario Guddemi, Sal Aurora, and Karl Makinen offer 27 craft beers in this local hot spot. Driving along Ventura Boulevard you will be sure to spot this place by the tons of people spilling out onto the sidewalk. Patio dining/drinking attracts many locals who enjoy dining in the mostly balmy LA weather. Prohibition and Post Prohibition themed cocktails sport names such as Moscow Mule (vodka, lime juice, ginger beer, and fresh lime), Old Fashioned (Angostura bitters, grenadine, and bourbon), Gordon's Cup (lime, cucumber, gin, simple syrup, and sea salt), and El Diablo (tequila, Creme de Cassis, lime, and ginger ale )(All $10). Keg beer ranges from Stella Artois ($5) to Mad River Jamaica Red ($8). Bottled beer varies from Sam Adams Light ($5) to Alesmith Speedway stout ($22). Bottles of wine start at the low end for house sparkling ($19) and hit the indulgent point for Dominus Eastate '09 ($350). By the glass, Louis Martini '10 will set you back $15. Bar snacks are perfect accompaniments to any of the grog. The Cheddar Cheese covered Bacon Pretzel ($7) is a buttery warm treat. A large salty pretzel is covered with cheese and bacon then toasted to perfection. Blue Cheese Fried Olives ($5) are my favorite savory treat. Get two orders because you won't want to share this one! Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Truffle Oil ($8) is creamy, cheesy and rich. I know my Mac and Cheese and this one is a Blue Ribbon winner! For Main Grub, the Grilled Cheese and Smoked tomato Bisque hits the spot. Cheddar, mozzarella, pepper-jack, and brie are melted between buttery bread. Order a side of onion rings ($3) to wash it down. The Classic Burger ($10) is grass-fed meat, lettuce, tomato onion, and special house sauce. For vegetarians, the Portobello Mushroom Burger ($13 ) with oven roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, pesto, sprouts, avocado fried onions, and special house sauce is served on a fresh Brioche bun. Bigger appetites will enjoy the Grilled Harris Ranch NY Steak ($25). It comes topped with Blue Cheese butter  and arugula, red onion, baby heirloom tomatoes, tossed with olive oil lemon dressing. The crowd is hip, the bar is full andThe Local Peasant brings a bright burst of energy in the middle of suburbia. The Local Peasant 220901 Ventura Blvd. Woodland Hills (818) 876-0105

 

Recommended Dishes: Fried Blue Cheese Olives, Cheddar Bacon Pretzel, Mac and Cheese, Grilled Cheese, NY Steak. 

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