This particular Karl Strauss may have the best ambiance, nearly Japanese garden like and open air. The place was very busy on a Sunday midday so I tried one beer and left. The selection is the same as any other Karl Strauss.
(Visited 07/2008): This Strauss location is on the north end of SD not too far off the 805. Parking is fairly plentiful outside of peak hours.
The exterior is very pretty, with seating in a Japanese garden. There is a pond with fish and turtles, and hanging plants around. The inside has curved tables, mirrors and a small bar near the entrance.
The beer list is decent. Strauss has around 8 beers on draught with a couple seasonals. The beers are available in a sampler. They are average for the most part but a couple of the seasonals are solid.
Service on a weekday night was good. The server was knowledgeable about the beers in the sampler as well as the seasonal beers that were not on the menu.
The food at KS is pretty good. My dinner was the mac and cheese and it was enjoyable.
Overall this place earned points for the atmosphere and food where I can overlook not being a big fan of their run-of-the mill beers.
Nice menu. Great venue with the pub open to the Japanese garden. Small, U-shaped bar seats about 12. Lots of tables on various levels both inside and outside. Sufficient flat screen TV for sports viewing, although the boomy sound system should be improved. Beer flights available. Adequate free parking.
One of the most beautiful restaurants, because of the Japanese garden and coi pond outside, yet a very relaxing down-to-earth crowd. A couple of beers are good like the Hefe, Jeff and Jerr’s hootch, but I recommend the sampler for RBer’s. The food is good and prices can be a little high, so I recommend the chicken strip appetizer as a meal.
Visited here July 2012 for the Sunday brunch. The ambience is pretty cool, with the Japanese Garden setting. The building is looking a little run down compared to 15-20 years ago. Most of the beers on tap are from Karl Strauss. The buffet was a very good value.
Attended the Karl Strauss From Beach to Brewery fest on May 9th. Tons of different beers on tap, 20+. Great ratio of guys to girls, it was about 50/50. Everybody there was really nice, even the security! The extra taster ticket were a little steep, 5 bucks for a 10oz cup when you ran out of taster tix. Good thing my buddy Kevin was working.
Hank1980 (42) Athens, Georgia | July 6, 2008| Updated September 18, 2008
Pretty cool setting with a huge japanese garden. It’s pretty obvious this used to be a sushi/hibachi place. Food was pretty good and the beer was decent. All of the food I tried was good, and the portions were large. Overall, I’d say this is a good neighborhood place, but not really a beer destination. Not too many minuses, but not too many pluses either.
papajohn (25) San Diego (Mira Mesa), California | June 22, 2005| Updated November 22, 2011
Beautiful Japanese garden surrounding the the Koi pond. Good food and plenty of it, but it ain’t cheap. Service is good even though it gets pretty busy at lunch time. Good selection of house brews, but they are kind of light. Beer for people who don’t like beer, the yuppie crowd.
Over the years, most of Karl’s beers have improved considerably.
Good selection of house brews, with som really good seasonal and special releases.