If The York was in Downtown LA or Hollywood, it would immediately be rendered too crowded and obnoxious to enjoy. A low-profile location in Highland Park is key to the relaxed atmosphere and accessibility of this great gastropub, where there is no parking hassle or irritating line (and most importantly, no cover charge). The York features a large, airy space, stellar jukebox, deliciously pubby menu with a few twists on classics, and of course, a fantastic selection of craft beers plus microbrew favorites in bottles.
At first glance, one is struck by the high ceilings and openness of the space at The York, which is a nice change from cramped-feeling smaller bars. Arrive early and there will be no shortage of tables, plus the food creates a perfect pairing with your favorite draft beer for dinner. Whether your preference is a thick, juicy burger and an Alesmith Nautical Nut Brown, or a refreshing take on a Cuban sandwich with a Craftsman Poppyfield Pale Ale, you are sure to find a unique beer to complement each menu item. Other menu standouts include Craftsman 1903 Lager, Alaskan Amber, the pulled pork sandwich special, and the mountain of fries that come with the notable burger.
A note about Craftsman Brewing Company: their website may be minimal, but their beer certainly isn’t. Craftsman’s Pasadena brewery produces a small selection of award-winning brews, and garners a fiercely loyal (and well-deserved) following. Poppyfield Pale Ale is a particularly exceptional beer, a non-pale-ale-drinker’s pale ale that goes down smooth and leaves you wanting another pint. It’s not easy to find, but well worth the search.
A few things to keep in mind at The York: you order your food at the bar here, which means service is quick and at your leisure, not the serverâ€™s. Also, the menus are on chalkboards lining the walls, so this isn’t the type of place to go for a full service fancy dinner – more of a fun, laid-back bar to show up early and grab a surprisingly good dinner before you meet friends for drinks. Hipsters frequent the bar at night and tend to lean towards tight pants and The Smiths on the jukebox. And lastly, if your beer and burger belly is hungry for more when you leave, you’re in luck. A street dog cart conveniently parks itself right outside for your late night fix.
Photo via Wha’ppen.