Southland Beer

Bars, Beer bars Koreatown
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
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 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Southland Beer
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Southland Beer
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Southland Beer
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Barley Forge El Tećnico at Southland Beer
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Hickory smoked pistachios at Southland Beer
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Smog City The Nothing at Southland Beer
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Southland Beer
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Southland Beer
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
9/9
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Southland Beer

Beer fans will enjoy this low-key, no-frills bar and bottle shop in a Koreatown strip mall.

It may be a little tricky finding this place at first. Nestled deep in a quiet strip mall a few blocks down from the Wiltern, Southland Beer isn't the first place that comes to mind for Koreatown imbibing. Inside, a craft beer haven dreamt up by two librarians—Tim Sturn and his wife, Orchid Mazurkiewicz—awaits. Nineteen ales from relatively nearby breweries like Smog City, Monkish, Barley Forge and El Segundo flow from the tap, some on nitro. There’s even a draft line reserved for cask-conditioned beer—more recently, MacLeod Ale’s Yankee Mick. But that’s not what sets it apart from Beer Belly up the street. Southland is the area’s first tasting room and bottle shop rolled into one. Tucked off to the side through an archway aptly labeled “BEER” in marquee lights is every brew hound’s dream: refrigerators and shelves chock-full of carefully selected bottles priced to-go. For an extra $2, imbibers can sample the suds on-site. Close quarters, communal seating, games and some interesting food pairings (aged Gouda and a double cream stout, for example) make this dressed-up hole-in-the-wall a solid neighborhood spot.

Vitals

Good for: Post-work and pre-show drinks, though to be clear it’s beer (and only beer) you’ll be drinking. But don’t worry, there are brews for all palates, like mild ambers to funky sours. Share tasting notes in between rounds of Jenga, and order a few snacks—popcorn, hickory-smoked pistachios, or perhaps a slice of pecan pie—to hold you over until dinner. Southland is ideal for locals tired of the usual crowds, but an agreeable halfway point for friends coming from the east and west as well. The Wilshire/Western purple line station is within walking distance, but parking isn’t too bad either—the adjacent lot is free.

The scene: There always seems to be a spare stool along the 20-seater table. The ambience is no-frills, with music kept low and not a television in sight. It’s too well-lit to be a dive, but casual enough to feel like a second home.

Drink this: It’s always a good idea to order whatever is on cask. On our visit, it was the Yankee Mick’s—a smoky, velvety American Brown Ale hailing from MacLeod Ale Brewing Co. based in Van Nuys. Those with a sweet tooth can sip on the decadent Bittersweet Imperial Coffee Stout from Colorado’s Left Hand Brewing. At 8.9 percent, a 10-ounce pour should give you a nice second wind. And for something completely different, give Almanac’s Wakatu Sour a try. Dry hopped and aged in wine barrels, this American Wild Ale has a refreshing, lip-smacking tartness that will wake you right up (in case that coffee stout didn’t).

Our tip: If you like your bars nice and empty, you won’t have to worry about the place filling up until at least 9pm. We already mentioned the free parking in the mini-mall’s shared lot, but there’s also unlimited street parking on 9th street just west of Western.

By: Danielle Jacoby

Posted:

Venue name: Southland Beer
Contact:
Address: 740 S Western Ave #112
Los Angeles
90005
Opening hours: Sun-Thu 4-11pm; Fri 4pm-Midnight; Sat 1pm-midnight
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To improve this listing email: feedback@timeout.com

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Average User Rating

3 / 5

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LiveReviews|3
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Bryan C
tastemaker

You wouldn't expect to find a place like Southland in K-town. But it is definitely a welcome change of pace. The bar is very small and cozy, and the beer list is carefully curated. The bartenders and folks that run it are consistently friendly and helpful. The food is unfortunately a bit limited, but the interesting beer selection on tap & in bottles certainly makes up for it. Parking is easy as well since they have a free lot. Overall, it is a quaint and comfortable spot to grab a drink with friends - nothing that will blow you out of the water, but definitely a simple, welcoming ambience & neighborhood hidden gem in some respects. Recently they've started hosting great trivia nights as well. If you're in the area and looking for a spot to relax and grab a beer, Southland is very much worth your time. 

Haley S.
tastemaker

If you like your beer with ambiance akin to an intimate wine bar, this is the place.  Curated selection on tap, with knowledgeable bartenders to point you in the right direction.  Also a sizable to-go selection if you live in the neighborhood.  Squeezed into the corner of a nondescript K-Town strip mall (so nondescript the strip mall's marquee currently lists none of its businesses), it's small, but even when mostly filled, you're still able to have a conversation with your friend without screaming.  They have a decent selection of bar bites, but some are overpriced (looking at you spicy cheese spread plate) for what you get (double the bread that accompanies the cheese and prosciutto spreads and maybe I'd feel differently).  This is a solid neighborhood spot to grab a beer and catch up with friends.

Erin Kuschner
moderator

Southland Beer seems like a bit of an anomaly in this Koreatown strip mall, but that isn't a bad thing. The space is small - you walk in and are faced with a communal high top and a row of stools at the bar to choose from, and that's about it for seating. The bartenders here are super nice and very knowledgeable about each beer on their well-crafted list, plus there are some treats to choose from—gourmet popcorn and cake from Cake Monkey, among a few other items. What's missing is a bit of ambiance, but I'm not sure if that's really the goal for them. Right now, it's just a comfortable place to grab a craft beer before heading to your next destination.