Thursday, May 12, 2011

First Impression: Public School 612

I was invited to try the newly opened Public School 612 gastropub in Downtown Los Angeles.  The restaurant, at the corner of 6th and Flower Streets, gets its name from its address at 612 S. Flower St.  As noted previously, there is a focus on beer and the beer list was curated by Hallie Beaune of the Beer Chicks.

The setting is within the Daily Grill downtown, but is comfortable and feels distinct.  There is a dartboard and there are twenty beers on tap.  The theme is a school house, so the menu comes in the form of a classic black and white composition book, a fun touch.  The food menu is short with just fourteen items plus a couple of desserts.

The Fried Chicken ($12) with hand cut fries and mustard and bbq sauces caught my eye.  It was served in newsprint but I was disappointed because the chicken was boneless, which I hadn't expected.  If a restaurant is serving boneless fried chicken, it should call it out.  My dinner partner and I were of two minds about the french fries.  The frites were thin matchstick fries, which were very crunchy.  I did not enjoy them nearly as much as she did.

The big winner of the night was the Dragoons Irish Stout Short Rib ($12) served with Yukon mashed potatoes and caramelized onion au jus.  The meat was tender; we hardly needed to use knives.  The meat had been imbued with tons of flavor and the potatoes soaked up the beef juices to make this a hearty and rich dish.  There was ample sauce so the short rib was nice and moist.

The Colorado Lamb Burger ($13) with tomato cranberry jam, arugula and brie was just OK.  As a fan of all things lamb, I had high hopes for this burger, but it was not anything special. It was cooked a tad more than I had asked for and just did not have the quintessential lamb flavor I was looking for.

When in the neighborhood, I'd certainly return for the Short Rib, which is a deal at only $12, and a glass of beer or two.  The beer selection is good.  You won't find the rarest of the rare, but that is not what Public School 612 is about; it is for people who appreciate good craft beer, not a temple to hops.  The staff was knowledgeable about the list, which reflects well on the Beer Chicks.  The Eagle Rock Solidarity went well with our food and I look forward to sampling more of the craft beers on the list as well as trying some of their signature cocktails on my next visit.

Public School 612: 612 S. Flower Street, DTLA. Phone: (213) 623-1172. Website:

1 comment:

  1. "It is for people who appreciate good craft beer, not a temple to hops" - Well said.

    I would have been pretty disappointed if I was unexpectedly given boneless fried chicken as well