United States > California > San Diego
Travlr (1324) Washington, Washington DC | January 17, 2011
76 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 9/10 OVERALL 15/20
Nice little place geared toward locals, where everyone knows everyone. Extra bonus is the view from the patio of a nearby small airfield, with all sorts of little puddle-jumpers taking off and flying overhead, plus a view of the fighters beating up the pattern at Miramar. Excellent bottle list, much better than the small tap list. Worth a stop.
t0rin0 (1130) Do Not Resuscitate, California | January 19, 2013| Updated January 20, 2013
84 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 13/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 9/10 OVERALL 17/20
Visited Jan 19, 2013.
Busy place with no parking to be found. Despite the lines I got my beers pretty quickly. Sat outside and enjoyed some 10/19 and 19/10 along with some Compunction. Cool place and good prices. Not really near anything I want to visit but I think I will be returning.
brokensail (755) Orange County, California | January 20, 2013
86 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 13/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 18/20
You wouldn’t expect to find this place in its particular shopping center. Surrounded by Korean shops and restaurants, it’s located in a small shopping center. Parking is tight and limited, so you’re better off just parking around the corner on the street. Small interior with a patio space out front. Service was quick and the place was packed. Nice selection on this visit as it was Russian River weekend and also their anniversary. Nice prices, too. Definitely worth a stop. Didn’t eat anything, but the food looked and smelled great.
Dogbrick (658) Columbus, Ohio | March 4, 2009
86 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 13/15 FOOD 8/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 18/20
(Visited 07/2008): O’Brien’s is a small pub on the end cap of a strip mall off Balboa Ave, pretty much between the 805 and CA-163. The parking lot is fairly large.
The space is small with the bar along the left and seating on the right. There is also a small patio.
The beer selection is impressive, especially considering how small the bar is. The tap list includes beers from Stone, RR, Craftsman, Alaskan, Alpine, New Belgium, etc. A couple of the beers seemed to be limited in nature too. The bottle list had at least 100 beers available.
Service was good on a weekday early dinner. The bartenders were efficient and knew their beers.
No complaints about the pub grub either. My burger was tasty and enjoyable.
Overall it took me a few trips to SD to get around to visiting something other than a brewpub but I am glad I had a chance to make it here. I would absolutely visit here again just to see what new beers they have.
MartinT (521) Montreal, Quebec | August 19, 2004
74 AMBIANCE 2/5 SERVICE 5/10 SELECTION 13/15 FOOD N/A VALUE N/A OVERALL 17/20
Do not fear the pseudo-sports bar exterior and the ’’Ladies Welcome’’ damp and dark hole-in-the-wall interior. These guys concentrate on having the hoppiest beer selection of the region and they are doing extremely well at it. The tap list was 90% hop monsters with a scotch ale and a Flemish Sour lost amidst the bitter pints. The bottle list is also very impressive and one could peruse through it and decide one of each very easily if our brains were not so puny. What I preferred about this place was the focus on hard to get regionals, something which I do not see very often (sadly) in our beer world. I would spend the whole evening with the guys here and never lack ideas because of their excellent selection. I would not bring the wife again though, this is really not a welcoming atmosphere, unless you are ready for a loud, sweaty and testeronefull evening.
GT2 (517) Carlsbad, California | November 8, 2012
90 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 9/10 SELECTION 15/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 17/20
Hard to rate O’Brien’s normally as I was there for Million Zillion Speedway night- and well, if that doesn’t get a 15/15 for selection I don’t know what would. Ambiance is cozy, relaxed sports bar. Decent amount of patio seating. TVs abounding. Long wooden bar to sit at or grab some small, snug tables. Tap list is updated regularly on a dry-erase board. Staff were quick and efficient. Location is a bit out there in a suburban strip mall. Plus side is lots of free parking and a ton, like 20, Asian restaurants around like Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, hot pot specialties, Ramen specialties. Really good stuff. Food at O’Brien’s is upgraded bar food: Parmesan garlic fries, loaded nachos. Everything was good, but more snacking type stuff. Staff handled the chaos of the event very well. Everyone there got to try all 16 Speedways, which seems impossible to me. Even allowed full 10oz pours of the varieties after the line died down to nothing. Really impressed with the logistics here. Like for the rest of San Diego, the beer community is closely knit so strike up a conversation with someone if you are by yourself. You’ll learn a lot and have more fun. Value, I mean $8 for a 10oz pour of Coconut Vanilla Speedway? Good lord.
Sammy (513) Toronto, Ontario | January 17, 2014
64 AMBIANCE 1/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 11/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 13/20
Big tatood person’s bar with lots of people swearing and the like. So we sat outside, although some intoxicated people thought we could talk to them there. Some different and decent micro taps.
Tmoney99 (376) Cincinnati, Ohio | May 16, 2011
88 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 14/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 18/20
Easy to find location in strip mall off Convoy. Parking lot in front of building. Corner of building with entrance and patio in the front and bar on left. Tables on the side. Friendly staff. Good selection of beers on tap with 17 Russian River beers from tasting the night before. Good lunch menu. I had a sandwich, Very good. Well worth the visit and I will go again when back in town.
BMan1113VR (355) Los Angeles, California | March 14, 2009
84 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 14/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 17/20
Somewhat crowded for a Friday lunch time. Odd location in a strip mall, with plenty of parking. Comfy seats and a small bar. Awesome bottle selection that would make any ratebeerian salivate. Taps were awesome too. I had RR Benediction, Alpine Nelson, Karl Strauss Bourbon Aged Trippel, and there was a ton of other good stuff, but I was in a "new beer mood". I had a chicken sandwich on marble rye which was pretty good.
Scopey (352) Croydon, England | March 20, 2012
78 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD 5/10 VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 16/20
We stopped past here after visiting Alesmith and Hess. The location is a bit unusual - it’s surrounded by Asian eateries. The exterior/Interior is "Irish themed" dive bar. The tap list was solid, but not outstanding when I visited. It was however full of interesting Californian microbrews I hadn’t heard of before. The bottle list was pretty extensive and I managed to get a Framboise de Amorosa . They even had BA Speedway Stout on the list.....but unsurprisingly it was out of stock -damn! Food was so-so. All round it’s a good place for beer, but not outstanding given some of the other places in the SD area.
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