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Sweeney's Ale House

17337 Ventura Blvd Ste 100A
Encino, California
Sweeney's Ale House

Sarah Bennett


  • 4 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Underneath it all, Sweeney's is an Irish bar, but it has a distinctly New England-ish nautical theme thrown in (think: cross-stitched fishermen and old weathered oars on the walls). Like all the other Goat Group bars -- from Surly Goat to Blind Donkey to newly opened The Woodman in Sherman Oaks -- the decor is there, but not over the top, and, though massive at nearly 5000 square feet, the space is minimal yet inviting (two shuffleboard tables and a karaoke stage helps too). Allowing each of his places to be reflective of the neighborhood, Sweeney's latest venture is already the kind of place where the music is more likely to be Modest Mouse than Top 40 and the flat screens are more likely to be screening Crocodile Dundee than the football game. The food program is a little scatterbrained, with a long selection of American-style small plates that are really just clever takes on pub food. Instead of fried macaroni-and-cheese balls, there are fried elote balls, topped with parmesan and served with a mayo dipping sauce, so as to evoke the flavors of street-served corn cobs. And instead of your regular Irish nachos, Sweeney's personal favorite foodstuff is the basket of thick-cut potato chips, which come topped with enough cheese, bacon and chives to pair with every beer.

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