During the summer, when the house is hot and stuffy and it’s cooler outdoors, we want to go out, but we don’t like leaving our doggies behind. Being out in public is part of their training and what better reward than being a good doggies then going out to a dog-friendly restaurant like Rock & Brews in El Segundo, located at 143 Main Street.
This restaurant is not only dog-friendly, it’s dog safe. The outdoor port area is entirely enclosed except for the entryway which has a trusty host/hostess standing guard. Dogs at dog-friendly spots are not always dog-friendly themselves, but don’t worry. If there’s a particularly growly dog already taking up space, your trusty host will find you another table.
When we visited, there were two other parties with their dogs in tow. One was decidedly unfriendly and needs more work on those Canine Good Citizenship requirements. Our doggies were able to fit nicely under the table to maximize their shade space. Water and ice was provided. Our dogs are trained not to beg while we’re eating, they were not, however, trained not to flirt with the other customers.
Rock & Brew Garden on Main is a partnership between KISS frontmen Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons with concert industry veterans Dave and Dell Furano and restauranteur Michael Zislis. They envisioned a backstage party atmosphere where you could relax, drink, eat and relax. That’s exactly what we did.
Of course, at a beer garden there is a lot of beer and other spirits available. You can even check out their beer menu as long as you remember not to led your favorite Fido do any sampling. Soft pretzels are well loved at our house so we had to order the Giant Soft German Pretzel ($8.95). This appetizer could be a meal in itself or an appetizer for four. The pretzel has a firm outside with a soft center. The spicy sweet mustard definitely makes this better than your usual pretzel experience. We look home leftovers and tried it with cheese. A bit of pretzel without the salt is okay although in general yeast breads aren’t food for dogs.
Beatles fans will want to try the Strawberry Field Salad ($10.95) This lovely cold salad is perfect for the hot summer weather. With a base of baby greens, the crunch of cucumbers and smooth buttery avocados, this salad was a delightful surprise. Who would have thought of strawberries with red onions and candied walnuts? The feta cheese adds an extra tanginess with a lemon pepper vinaigrette to tie all the flavors together. For doggie, cucumbers without an sauce are okay. Onions, avocados, and candied walnuts are a no.
If you’re a SoCal native, how could you pass up the the Surfin’ Surfari Shrimp Pesto (Yes, it is spelled Surfari) which is $13.95 for a 10-inch individual sized pizza or $22.95 for a 16-inch family sized pizza. For $1 extra (individual or $2 for family) you can even get it gluten free. The crust is thin, crispy and hand-tossed. This pizza is a wonderful blend of house-made pesto, shrimp, mozzarella and goat cheese, mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes. Large pieces of shrimp decorate the top in abundance. Most of this pizza are a big no-no for the doggies although we admit to giving them pieces of pizza crust from time to time.
We didn’t have time to try any of the burgers, sandwiches or desserts.As you might expect, other menu items are named for rock songs such as the Purple Rain Chocolate Drops (raspberry sauce supplies the purple on chocolate filled French donuts) or the Sweet Surrender Bread Pudding (which features a Jack Daniel sauce). The perfect Beatles menu medley might be the Strawberry Fields salad with The Yellow Submarine ($10.95). Ian would like to try that Rockin Brauts ($9.95) or the Tri Tip Tacos ($12.95). As a great fan of eggplants, I’m intrigued by the Unplugged Veggie Burger ($11.95). I understand there’s even a doggie menu in the works.
You like your brews? There’s plenty of draught brews–Lagers, Pilsners, Wheat beers, Malty, Hoppy, Belgian and inspired. Don’t worry if you want wine. They have reds and whites as well as a few specialty drinks.
Just because the restaurant is dog-friendly, remember not everything on the menu is dog-friendly. Beer, liquor and wine (grapes and raisins as well) should never be on a dog’s menu. Just as a warning, we want to remind readers that chocolate, avocado, garlic, onions, coffee, tea (caffeine), milk-based products, sweets, fat and bones, salt, yeast dough, and spicy foods.
You can feed them lean meat, apples, bananas and watermelon, carrots, green beans, zucchini, white rice and pasta, and chicken. Or you can always bring their favorite chews and a peanut-butter-filled Kong or something to preoccupy them when they aren’t being admired or they get tired of playing with the ice cubes.
Rock & Brews Garden on Main is located at 143 Main Street in El Segundo. Hours are Mondays-Fridays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturdays, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information call (310) 615-9890 or for reservations, the food menu and the beer menu, visit their website.