Ashland Hill
 
 

A California beer garden with an international twist, and a splash of gin

By Jen Jones Donatelli

Upon entering Ashland Hill's airy, bright outdoor beer garden, it's hard not to notice the giant wall sign featuring this Raymond Chandler quote: "It seemed like a nice neighborhood to have bad habits in."

Indeed, this Main Street favorite can be habit-forming. Whether it's the signature shawarma wrap, made with chicken or falafel, or the "OG Burger," topped with bacon onion jam, watercress, and salmoriglio sauce, this restaurant's take on "New California" cuisine keeps foodies coming back for more.

So what is New California cuisine, exactly? According to general manager Chloe Scott, it's a mix of "worldly flavors." Case in point: the Asian-American flair of the wildly popular shishito mac and cheese. Ashland Hill's menu showcases everything from Mediterranean to German to Mexican influences, tied together by the common thread of commitment to local ingredients.

That local mindset extends to the beer list, with 16 taps featuring breweries like Golden Road, Santa Monica Brew Works, and Angel City. And these taps aren't ordinary either—resident local artist Brianna Silkaitis creates original art for each one, as well as for the chalkboard art seen throughout the bar.
While the bar offers an extensive beer and wine list (and Frosé for the Sunday Funday crowd), the gin program is where Ashland Hill shines. More than 60 gin and 10 tonic selections tempt enthusiasts to build the perfect DIY gin-and-tonic, alongside a variety of craft gin cocktails for those who'd rather outsource their mixology to the experts behind the bar. One of the more intriguing selections is the golden martini, made with Aviation Gin (barrel-aged in house), mescal, and Angostura bitters.

More than anything, Ashland Hill is just pure fun. The bartender has been known to dress up as "Shawarma Man," and your cocktail just might be served by a Rosie the Riveter look-alike. Turnt Tuesdays serve up half-priced wine bottles, while Yappy Hour gets four-legged friends in on the fun.

A hard habit to break, indeed.

hours

Mon–Thu 11 AM–10 PM; Fri 11AM–midnight; Sat 9 AM–midnight; Sun 9 AM–10 PM

price range

$12 (green salad) to $23 (steak frites)
x