Monday, May 24, 2010

Ladyface Ale Companie

I went to the Ladyface Ale Companie Alehouse and Brasserie on Saturday. This is a new brewery and brasserie in Agoura Hills.  It is in a stand alone building that is part of a little strip shopping center located just west of the 101, about forty minutes from downtown Los Angeles.  Like most of greater Los Angeles, the Agoura/Westlake/Thousand Oaks area has long been a beer desert.  My impression is that Ladyhouse has gone a long way to change that.

Ladyhouse is a Belgian-centered brewery.  Its house beers on tap included a wit, a blonde (Belgian pale ale), a Belgian amber ale and a tripel, along with a porter and an IPA.  In addition Ladyhouse had nine guest taps that included two beers from Oskar Blues, Pizza Port's Wipeout IPA and Lost Abbey's Judgement Day, Allagash White, and beers from Sierra Nevada and Green Flash.  I got the sense that the guest taps changed on a regular basis.  The brewery and brasserie are in the same building.  The brasserie's interior has a European feel to it, but with a strong California influence.   There is a large outdoor patio filled with tables and Parisian brasserie-style chairs.   The patio offers unobstructed views of the Santa Monica Mountains, and I can imagine this patio being a popular spot during summer evenings when temperatures in that part of Los Angeles routinely reach 100 degrees.

I ordered Ladyface's Blind Ambition Belgian-style Amber Ale.  This was a copper colored beer without much foam.  It was quite malty with spices and prominent Belgian yeast. It did not have much of a hop profile.  This was a solid, drinkable beer, and a good beer for someone who likes Fat Tire but wants more flavor.  

The second beer I had was the Ladyface IPA.  The description said it was brewed in the English style.  I usually take that description as a euphemism for bland and not too hoppy.  Not so with the Ladyface IPA.  It had a good hop bite right from the start, and it lingered long into the finish.   I thought this was a piney IPA, and it reminded my of Alpine's Duet.   This IPA was excellent and a solid new entry into the league of West Coast IPAs.  I suspect this IPA will gather a following, even though Ladyface is focused on crafting Belgian-style beers.

Ladyface's food menu is limited, mostly appetizers, salads and sandwiches.  I had to try the Pommes Frites, after all this was a Belgian brasserie.  They were offered with various seasonings and dips.  I chose the cracked pepper and sea salt seasoning and garlic mayonnaise dip.  The fries were outstanding.  This may sound like a no-brainer, but I have found getting good fries is not that easy.  Sure, fries are commonplace, but memorable fries are rare, and I would call Ladyface's pommes frites memorable.

If I had one knock on Ladyface it's that its wait staff did not seem to knowledgeable about the beers being offered.  Ladyface did not keep any descriptions of the beers on its tables, which would help its servers.  The hostess finally gave me a binder (training book?) with detailed descriptions of the beers.  This is a minor quibble for an excellent new place to get a good beer.

1 comment:

Omar Kalifornia said...

I had their beers at a festival, but after your review I might give them a visit. Great info!