Last night I wanted to meet my daughter for dinner. Since she lives in Pasadena and I live in Torrance, we decided we would meet in downtown LA. We had considered Olvera Street, but were unable to determine what restaurants are actually there, much less if they would be open at 7:00 PM. While looking over Google Maps I noticed Weiland Brewery. We looked over their online menu to determine if they would have something for my vegetarian daughter. Upon confirming they had veggie burgers as well as salads we decided we would meet there.
There are two locations for Weiland Brewery and we picked the location at 505 S. Flower. I got the directions and soon found myself at 5th and Flower and encountered a problem. The first (and lowest) address on that block is 515 Flower. There are no signs visible [from the street anyway] and I saw nowhere to park. Since Flower is a one way street I was forced to go around several city blocks before I found myself at 5th and Flower again. I approached slowly and still no hint of where this restaurant might be.
Since I was on a motorcycle, I pulled up onto the sidewalk and called my daughter to see if she had already arrived and could provide some insight. As it turned out, she was in her car, directly behind me. We decide that Weiland’s must be in the back of the complex and we noticed an underground parking entrance on the east side of the street. When traffic cleared, we cut across the street and parked our respective vehicles.
Since it was 7:00 PM in a business office complex, it was pretty deserted. I noticed some lit up shops towards the rear of the complex and figured 505 must be behind 515. Before we got too far I noticed a security doorman and asked where 505 might be. He asked if we were looking for Weiland’s. When I told him we were, he informed me that 505 was actually two floors below 515. All I can say is I am glad I asked.
We rode the escalator down two floors which dropped us off into an area that looked a lot like a food court, in a basement. I imagined that Monday through Friday around noon it was probably pretty busy, but at 7:00 PM it looked like a good place to get mugged. We soon came to Weiland’s and I will admit it was nothing like I imagined. Besides being a large, rather stark room, it was virtually empty. We were soon seated.
Our server was friendly and we ordered a Sprite for my daughter and a WBR IPA for me along with an order of their vegetable spring rolls while we checked out the menu. The IPA was tasty and the spring rolls surprised me. They were not fried at all, and were large and tasty. We placed our orders with great anticipation. My daughter ordered a pear and gorgonzola salad with a side of garlic mashed potatoes. I ordered the garlic roasted chicken.
My daughter and I were engaged in conversation when our server re-appeared saying there was a slight issue with our orders. Apparently they had run out of the mashed potatoes which would take another 20 minutes to prepare. We were hungry, so accepted her offer of garlic fries instead.
My daughter really liked her salad. The pears were boiled and prepared with some spice she could not identify, but she loved the flavor. The chicken and vegetables on my plate were quite tasty. The one thing we both got in common was the garlic fries and wow, I was glad they ran out of the mashed potatoes. I have found it difficult to find good garlic fries without having to go to a San Francisco Giants game. Usually there is either not enough garlic or too much. These were perfect. I don’t even usually eat my French fries and I devoured all of them on my plate.
After finishing we asked about their dessert menu. They did not have a menu per se, but our server informed us of the ice cream and brownie options, none of which appealed to us. When my daughter asked our server where she would go for dessert there was no hesitation in her response. She directed us to a trendy place a couple blocks away that had a multitude of desserts. We both appreciated her honesty.
As stated, Weiland Brewery Restaurant is located in the basement of the 515 S. Flower business complex by City National Bank. I can not say that I would make a special trip out there again, but if you work in downtown Los Angeles by 5th and Flower I would not discourage you from checking it out. There is an underground parking entrance directly across the street on the east side of Flower. I saw a sign for valet parking, but I could not tell you how to get to it. There was no sign of life, so maybe we were just there too late.
They have two Happy Hours, one from 3-7 PM with a second one from 10-Closing (whenever that is). I tried the WBR IPA and a Bayhawk chocolate porter. Both were tasty. The garlic fries were killer. The service was nice and the price was fair (about $40 for two people). All in all, it was a pleasant experience once we found the place. It is definitely one of those places you have to want to find, because it is a well hidden treasure.