I guess the word has gotten out to the craft beer fans and foodies in the South Bay area; Jimmy’s Bar & Grill in Redondo Beach is the place to be on the second Wednesday of the month for their outstanding beer dinners. These photos were taken at Jimmy’s July beer dinner last night featuring the latest production brewery to open in Torrance, Scholb Premium Ales.
When we first started attending Jimmy’s Beer Dinner Series back in September the attendance was probably about 30 people. In the months following the numbers fluctuated a little, but I don’t recall there being more than maybe 50 people at any of them. Yesterday afternoon, Jimmy’s announced on their Facebook page that they had sold out at 60 attendees. I guess not everyone got the message because by the time all was said and done they had over 75 attendees at the dinner. It really was a sight to see.
Scholb Premium Ales had their grand opening three months ago, but Marc Dix, chef/partner at Jimmy’s and Alex Bouffiou co-owner/chef of Barley Hops Grill, had no problem teaming up with Scholb’s head brewer Patrick Schulz to provide an “Americana menu” to celebrate summer in Southern California.
The dinner consists of five beers and four courses, which means that the dinners always begin with a welcome beer; last night it was the Havanuther Session IPA. It is not unusual for Dix to begin his dinners with an IPA which serves to get everyone’s taste buds up and running for the meal they are about to experience.
The first course was a coffee rubbed smoked tri-tip served on a bed of tangy green bean and mushroom salad; this was paired with Scholb’s Contemplation Porter. While a porter is probably more often found at the dessert portion of a beer dinner menu, the smokiness of the meat paired quite well with the porter. It should be mentioned that HopSaint Brewing Company allowed Dix to use their smoker for the tri-tip; it is great to see “competitors” working together to help each other succeed.
Personally, one of the advantages of having 75 people at the dinner meant more time between courses. Usually, between taking photos and notes and doing my social media updates the food and beer is coming out so quickly that I cannot keep up and usually end up bringing home leftovers. Last night, everyone was able to leisurely enjoy their meal with no rush; which also meant we did not fill up as quickly.
Our second course consisted of a spinach salad with applewood bacon, roasted portobello, egg, fried red onion and a warm bacon dressing, paired with Scholb’s Cherry Wood Smoked Brown. The smokiness of the bacon paired with the subtle smokiness of the Cherry Wood almost made you feel you were at an upscale barbecue.
Continuing with the Americana theme, Dix turned over the kitchen to Bouffiou who wowed everyone with his braised country style pork ribs set atop a serving of mashed potatoes with a pan jus gravy that Bouffiou got from an old family recipe. I had to wonder if we were somehow related because it definitely reminded me of a gravy my mom used to make. I could not help by notice that this was one dish that seemed to disappear almost as soon as the serving was set before the guests. To compliment this course, Scholb’s Torrance Summer IPA was poured. This IPA was pretty hop forward, with lots of citrus which served to act as a palate cleanser and helped the taste buds really appreciate the flavors in the meat and gravy.
Our dessert was banana bread with a peanut sauce drizzle and “bacon dust” served with Scholb’s Scottish 90 Shilling.
As you can likely surmise, carnivorous craft beer drinkers had a very good time with the food, drink and camaraderie, but what if you do not drink beer or don’t eat meat; what then? Well, do not despair; Jimmy’s Bar & Grill wants everyone to come and have a good time. If you do not drink beer, you are probably not reading this, but just in case, you can still participate in the dinner sans beer for half the price ($25.00). One of my guests last night is a vegetarian; it was no problem for her to order off the regular menu which she said was full of options for those that do not eat meat.
Jimmy’s Bar & Grill is located at 2701 190th Street in Redondo Beach and they are open seven days a week. The next in the Beer Dinner Series will be held Wednesday, August 10 and will feature Coedo Brewery of Japan. I am really looking forward to this as I have had little experience with Coedo and with Alex Bouffiou’s Asian influence with Barley Hops Grill it should be quite interesting. I highly recommend making reservations for any upcoming beer dinners at Jimmy’s Bar & Grill as they seem to be really gaining in popularity. Cheers!
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