• Hot Knives strike again at WeHo’s newest bar, Surly Goat

    January 30th, 2010mr meanervegan cheese, vegan events

    UPDATE: the surly goat is now open, and it’s awesome!

    Two of the nicest and most talented guys you’d ever wish to meet are Alex Brown and Evan George, a duo of vegetarian chefs, beer experts, writers and god-knows-what-else collectively known as Hot Knives.

    The last time we raved about Hot Knives was after attending some patio sessions at Glassel Park’s Verdugo Bar last summer. We whiled away a couple of warm afternoons drinking from an amazing beer selection while Alex and Evan served up some imaginative and very, very tasty vegan food. We’ve also long been fans of their blog where they wax lyrical about beers of the world and publish recipes to die for.

    Imagine, then, how pleased we were to receive an invite for their book launch party to be catered by Hot Knives themselves at a brand new bar that shares some common ownership with Verdugo Bar. We couldn’t believe our luck with a one-two-three punch of Hot Knives’ food, 27 special beers on tap and a book about one of my favorite subjects: BEER!

    This being January and LA storm season there wasn’t much patio action going on, but West Hollywood’s newest bar, The Surly Goat, couldn’t have been a better setting to munch on some food and learn about Hot Knives’ new beer book, “Greatest Sips”. The new bar (it opens to the public Wednesday February 3rd) is in the former 24K club spot and is a welcome addition to a part of town that doesn’t have many great places to drink, being situated a block west of Fairfax on Santa Monica Blvd. The beer selection pretty much mirrors Verdugo Bar (virtually all of it vegan) and there’s a cool, dark environment that’s a pleasure to be in. I know The Surly goat will be on my list of regular haunts, and I’ll probably be at the bar on a highly regular basis!

    Upon arrival we downed a couple of Blind Pig beers from Russian River, and made our way to the back of the bar where Alex and Evan had laid out the most amazing spread. To call Hot Knives perfectionists would be an understatement.

    They wanted just the right kind of bread to pair with their food so they invented a recipe and made a bunch of crispy baguettes (yes, they do taste as good — or better — than they look).

    First order was to grab a hunk of this unbelievable bread and smear their special vegan cashew ricotta cheese all over it. The cheese was a perfect texture, something like cream cheese, but crumbly and tangy just like ricotta. I could seriously have eaten not only every baguette but also the entire hoard of cheese as well as it was so fucking good!

    Just when I thought that I’d reached a state of sublime existence (due in part, I’m sure, to the Blind Pigs) Evan pointed out the second vegan plate which was a spicy habanero seitan loaf. The seitan reminded me a little of the seitan which they put in the Banh Mi sandwiches but the spiciness here was off the charts. A little crispy on the outside yet soft and chewy on the inside made for the perfect combination of mouth textures, while the delicate flavoring hid that fire in your mouth that only habanero chilies can deliver.

    Balancing the power of the chilies was a smooth, cold and creamy sauerkraut sauce (I think they called it a mustard) which just begged to be splashed all over the food. Of course, we had multiple visits to the food tables and were not surprised to see everything disappear pretty quickly.

    We had a chance to briefly leaf through the book “Greatest Sips”, written by the Hot Knives dudes in their inimitable style. Ours is on order now, at the mercy of USPS and will be an indispensable guide for beer drinking at The Surly Goat and elsewhere. Not only are the guys perceptive experts in beer, but they love to tell you about what food to pair it with and even what music to listen to while drinking it. No, I’m not joking! The insight is hilarious and I’m sure a little tongue in cheek. Here are Alex and Evan to tell you all about the book themselves:

    Greatest Sips from Hot Knivez on Vimeo.

    Hot Knives are vegetarian chefs, so they do use non-vegan ingredients in some of their cooking, and are huge fans of cheese..but we won’t hold that against them, rather we’ll hope that they do one day decide to become vegan so that they will be inspired to make more and more inventive and tasty vegan foods.

    Also, on the beer front, do remember to check out Barnivore, a super site that answers questions about vegetarian and vegan ingredients in just about any beer you’ll ever want to drink.

    Alex and Evan, thanks so much for feeding us today!

    For more info on The Surly Goat, check out Eater and LATimes.

    Oh, and finally, The Surly Goat hasn’t got its food menu together yet so they won’t be serving any of this gorgeous food (and maybe never will). Hopefully, though, the Hot Knives guys will show up from time to time and take care of filling hungry vegan bellies.

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16 responses to “Hot Knives strike again at WeHo’s newest bar, Surly Goat” RSS icon

  • I was there this afternoon – I’m in one of the pictures above! Where oh where was quarrygirl? I’d love to meet you one day.

    Yes the food was incredible and Evan and Alex are awesome, righteous dudes.

  • awesome news, just what we need in my neighborhood!

  • Oh awesome, I love Hot Knives! Can’t wait to check this place out.

  • I am so gonna be here a lot. Look at that beer selection!

  • i’ve never had anything by the hot knives, and this makes me feel like my life is incomplete.

  • The seitan Hot Knives made for the Verdugo patio session is the best seitan I’ve ever tasted. I seriously wish these guys would do more (public) events. Great chefs!

  • I was there as well! I wish only the best for Alex and Evan – their success would be a huge triumph for vegetarian and vegan cooking in LA….And it couldn’t happen to nicer people.

  • Hot Knives. Means a number of things here.. 😉 But that sounds like mucho fun, esp the seitan with habernero!! Any munchies attack would defo be sated methinks.. add in the beer and a fine night no doubt!

  • Quarry Girl inspires NYC girl to move to LA in search of Hot Knives.

  • Tee hee hee! “Nut cheese”!

  • New Belgium La Folie on tap? Not freaking fair!

  • not only do i love black butte (though I am getting worried, VONS now carries it, which means InBev will probably buy them out soon) but i used to try to buy beer at that same liquor store in eagle rock…looks like the selection has improved dramatically

  • wow that food looks terrific.

    the bahn mi sandwiches they made a few months ago at verdugo were DOPE. this looks just as good…or better.

  • I’ve been meaning to check out Surly Goat. Thanks for the review! I wish they really did have all that food!

  • big fan of verdugo bar, can’t wait to try this place. 27 beers!!!

  • I guess Surly Goat is planning something for Valentine’s Day. I wish they would get their menu together so I can see what they’ll have! Grr.

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