Public School 612 opens today in Downtown LA. The new gastropub is an offshoot of the Daily Grill and derives its name from its mission of being "an Education in in the Art of Food and Beer" and its address at 612 Flower Street. The new restaurant will share a kitchen with the adjacent Daily Grill but have its own menu and drinks list. The beer menu was created by Hallie Beaune, one half of The Beer Chicks, and the food menu was created by chef Phil Kastel (below). The opening menu has twenty-two craft beers on tap, plus bottles and several large format beer options.
The menu is very different than that of the Daily Grill. Menu items include fried chicken, croque madame, a cheese board, irish stout short ribs and lamb burger. The menu itself arrives in the form of a homage to the classic Pee Chee folders you may remember from elementary school. Kastel said, "we have to be more authentic because we are the Daily Grill." There will always be a market vegetable option, which might include the attractively plated rainbow carrots I saw.
The lamb burger (above) served with tomato cranberry jam, arugula and brie ($13) will likely be the first thing I try, along with the fried chicken ($12). The prices are wallet friendly and the spirit of the menu is nostalgia for classic American dishes, made with care. The three sodas on the menu, Hank's Root Beer, Dr. Brown's Cream Soda and Orange Crush, all evoke that spirit. The draft beer list is divided into American beers (American History) such as Allagash White and Deschutes Black Butte Porter, while the international beers are listed under the section labeled Semester Abroad. Beaune, co-author of The Naked Pint, knows her stuff when it comes to beer, so it will be interesting to see how the beer list evolves. The cocktails are made with fresh juices and most of the spirit list is taken up by "Classic Browns, " which makes this bourbon and rye fan happy.
Public School 612: 612 S. Flower Street, DTLA. Phone: (213) 623-1172. Website: http://www.publicschool612.com/