Best Brewery: Imperial Western Beer Company
Not only has Cedd Moses brought on the talents of award-winning Devon Randall, one of a handful of female brewers who helped catapult San Diego’s craft beer trend to the rest of the state, but he resurrected an iconic piece of Los Angeles history after 50 dormant years at the same time — and you likely don’t need a car to get there.
Named after the legendary Southern Pacific train of the 1930s, the Imperial Western Beer Co. in the former Fred Harvey Restaurant space in Union Station transformed the massive kitchen space into an award-winning brewery. Equipment for the brew house is located in the underground tunnel that winds through the station, which is also a hub for all the L.A. metro lines. The grain comes in via the rails, is ground and then funneled up to the brewery to produce in-house craft beers like the Union Station pale lager, the award-winning Figgy Pudding, a light Fred Harvey and a dark Rough Rider. Depending on the brewing cycle, they average 18 beers on tap. —Michele Stueven
800 N. Alameda St., downtown; (213) 270-0035, imperialwestern.com.
Best Brunch Bowl: The Mar Vista Cranked Bowl
A combination of frozen bananas and fruit sourced from the Mar Vista Farmers Market across the street, granola, yogurt, mint and a drizzle of local honey, this glorious concoction gets its unique texture from being cranked through a vintage sausage grinder. The Cranked Bowl is a delicious mélange of cold, crunchy and creamy that will keep you full for the day. It’s a seasonal breakfast sorbet using everything from persimmons to watermelon, employing what chef Jill Davie calls her “Fugly Fruit” initiative, using imperfect produce that might otherwise be discarded. —Michele Stueven
12249 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista; (310) 751-6773, marvistafarmersmarket.org.
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