(Visited 08/2010): Found this place somewhat by accident while visiting Universal City, although itís impossible to miss. It is located upstairs from one of the hubs on the main drag. Valet or theme park overpriced parking are the only options, although getting your stub validated does make it much cheaper.
This Strauss location has a patio/beer garden and the inside is very open. The oval-shaped bar is on the immediate right with a spacious seating area taking up the rest of the space. There is a chalkboard that describes all of the available beers. In addition there is a 6-beer sampler available.
Karl Strauss in general goes outside of the brewpub-safe styles and this location is no different. They do have their standard offerings on tap and in bottles but additionally had some seasonals and unique offerings such as Off The Rails, a Schwarzbier and Tower 10 IPA to name a few. The beers were all above average.
Our bartender was very personable and knew a lot about beer to boot.
We did not try any food on the visit.
Overall I donít know if this place is worth visiting in and of itself but it is a no-brainer for a beer lover visiting the theme park or City Walk.
Well, at least I only had to pay $10 to park in order to check this place out. :(. I was surprised at how busy the CityWalk was on a Wednesday evening. Tourists, or is it a trendy hangout? In any case, Karl Strauss was no exception - busy, but not packed. I bellied up to the bar and ordered an IPA, which was pretty solid. Bartender offered me a free taste of a brewed on premises IPA which was very floral, not bad. Prices shockingly reasonable ($6 pints) given the location. Bartender quite helpful. Not worth $10 in parking, but worth a visit if you are otherwise here.
Stopped on our way into Universal Studios. Plenty of seating inside and out. Cool U shaped bar. The service was frazzled with 3 people at the bar, not sure what happens when itís busy. Standard Karl Strauss beers and 6 special releases. $6/pint, much better than the $11.50 inside the park.
Visited here for dinner while on vacation in early August í13. Nice polished corporate-brewpub decor. Sat outside overlooking the Citywalk - nice atmosphere. Had about a dozen of their beers on tap - I went with the sampler which was pretty solid. Waiter was quite knowledgeable and attentive. Food was was good and plentiful - menu full of a wide variety of regional favorites - moderately priced for the area. Worth a visit.
Will return again, really enjoyed this brewpub that does actually brew on site. Ambiance is a little wierd, an otherwise classy interior brought down by kegs and cases of beer randomly placed all over. The waiter was very nice. I explained that I had already had most of the standards (but their were 4 special releases that I was interested in getting samplers of (10 beers on tap total). He brought out all 4, and brought back another two of my favorite two (all this at no charge on the bill [it red 4 samples @ 0.00 ]). Food was pretty good, my friend and I split calamari to start which was great. My chopped salad was good, and he said his burger was fine. Reasonably priced too. I ended up drinking the Red Trolley, Rye IPA (my favorite), the Altbier and the Scottish/Scotch ale (which the server commented was a bit off compaired to last yearís batch). Will return.
Visited here at opening time, large dining are and almost 360 bar. The bartender was very knowledgeable and very helpful. I had food and a flight for under $20. They have a rather large tap and bomber selection. Worth the visit if you have the time.
Stopped in after a full day at Universal. Great location, it was cool just walking around the area outside the park. Solid beers on tap and the food was very good. One entree was complimentary because they said it took too long to bring out. We have waited much longer for food before, so that was nice.
Pretty decent, lots of selections, some decent, all Karl Strauss, so that limits it a bit. Service and knowledge of the beer was decent. Went when family wanted one last Tram tour at Universal but I did not. Handy.