I love drinking by train tracks. I came to this realization later in life, but fortunately I now have two nearby places to indulge in my passion. First came the stylish Atwater Crossing Kitchen, which excited me with its outdoor drinking, hosting of art events (aren’t we due for another X-Ten Biennial?), a great menu, and of course, trains whizzing by to my endless delight. Now I’m enjoying Golden Road Brewing, the train track-adjacent brewpub by Tony Yanow (Mohawk Bend) and Meg Gill.
Perhaps you have already tried their deliciously hoppy Point the Way IPA or Golden Road Hefeweizen at various bars and markets around LA. I recommend you visit the brewery on the border of Atwater and Glendale for a bigger selection of their craft beers like Get Up Offa that Brown and limited release El Hefe Anejo, a tequila barrel aged Hefeweizen infused with agave and mesquite honey. The list from their Guest Taps ranges from the easy-drinking Alesmith IPA to the adventurous Stone Smoked Porter with its creamy hints of chocolate and coffee (albeit a little too adventurous for this light-weight reviewer.)
On a recent visit I had a burger from the grill and sampled the delicious pretzel. Warning- the spicy Dijon mustard dipping sauce will blow your mind, or more specifically, your sinuses. Take precautions and add the Pimento Cheese Dip to your order for safety. Golden Road has a plethora of vegan dining options which is helpful for those of us who have no idea what to do with our vegan friends.
The welcoming space has both indoor and outdoor seating, with large communal tables perfect for big groups or for mingling with your neighbors. Even my cold, cold heart began to thaw as I watched a conservatively-dressed mom in her sixties interrupt a couple of mustachioed bikers to ask about their full-face motorcycle helmet sitting on the table. To my delight she ended up wearing that helmet as the bikers pointed out its finer details. There are even communal dog beds scattered around the tables in the sun so that dogs can relax and discuss full-face versus three-quarter head gear.
Just when I thought the afternoon had peaked, an Amtrak train came rushing by with its booming horn and blast of air, stopping us all mid-sip. There’s nothing to be done but smile and wait, a perfect way to pass another sunny day in Los Angeles.