Thursday, December 25, 2008

Why LA is better than SF - Father's Office v. The Toronado

The whole "which city in Cali is better - LA v SF" is a topic that all Californians (and some non-Californians) have probably treaded more than they'd like. Yeah, I'll admit it, I think the Angelenos do a lot of things better. In fact, I think LA is waaay better than SF. At least in the things that matter to me :)

Aside from the 10 months a year of awesome weather, I've discovered yet another reason why LA is awesome (at least compared to SF)... the better beer pub.

Monday night, the last night of my epic SF visit, I was fortunate enough to visit the Toronado. Apparently this place is an SF institution in the lower Haight for beer and truckers and a kitschy cool that can never be replicated by high-powered chain restaurants. Everyone was raving about this place - my friends, the people I met up with inside, everyone. Indeed, it is a sight to behold and the crowd flowing through the night varied from local yuppies, guys finishing their shifts at the auto body shop, and later - the underage hipsters who probably used fake ids to get in.

The locals who brought me here were raving about the historic significance of this place and how it had "so many" different types of beer on tap. But I still think that at the end of the day, Father's Office (FO) is simply the superior brew pub. I certainly enjoyed my time at the Toronado, but here's a head-to-head comparison

1. The Beer - obviously the most important part of a beer pub. Toronado certainly had a respectful and carefully selected variety. But in terms of quantity, FO definitely wins. There may be 100s of different tap-pulls on the walls, but the actual beers you can order are only listed on the far wall and number about 20 on any given night. FO has closer to 50 different just as carefully selected beers. Though I did have a glass of hot spiced meade which I quite enjoyed at Toronado...

Winner - FO

2. The Food - Toronado doesn't sell food, but they let you bring your own or order from the sausage joint next door. Which is all cool and dandy. But really, can anything compare to the FO burger?! I think not!

Winner - FO

3. The Atmosphere - Toronado is this weird cross section of blue collar joes, urban hipsters, and just plain freaky weirdos off the street. FO Santa Monica is a casual woodsy neighborhood pub whose popularity outgrew its physical size. FO Culver City is a sleek bar/lounge that still retains the casual feel of the SM location with a mix of locals stopping for dinner, groups of friends, and random couples on dates, and the occasional celebrity sighting (I saw Evan Handler aka Harry Rosenblatt of SATC fame here once).

Winner - tie

Overall score: FO 2, Toronado 0.

You do the math.

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