• Mohawk Bend: 72 Craft Beer Taps and a Vegan Chef on staff. Can somebody pinch me?

    July 19th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, mohawk bend

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’re probably aware of the hoopla about the new Echo Park pub and restaurant: Mohawk Bend. Just like Sunset Boulevard, the street upon which it sits, Mohawk Bend has gone through many twists and turns as it wound its way through the acquisition, planning, construction and then opening processes – something that the City of LA makes as arduous as possible for small businesses.  The good news is: Mohawk is now scheduled to open next week, and as far as we’re concerned it will be the best place to eat and drink in Los Angeles.

    So, what IS Mohawk Bend, and why has it garnered such intense interest? For one, the back-story is intriguing. Owner Tony Yanow (yes, that Tony) took a century-old theater which has been derelict for almost 30 years, and transformed it into one of the most astounding eating and drinking spaces in all of LA, if not the West Coast. It’s got 72 taps of craft beer (including two cask systems), an incredible food menu of locally-sourced ingredients (yeah, 60% of the food menu, and almost all beers are vegan: how about that?), with several distinct dining/drinking areas each of which has subtly different vibes. As Tony put it: “We wanted to create not just a place in Echo Park, but THE place in Echo Park”. There’s not a soul who would argue that he didn’t do just exactly that.

    We were lucky to be invited to the pre-opening press/blogger event and from the moment we walked into the front patio area we felt comfortable, welcome and at ease. That’s the way Tony wants it to be, and he’s magically captured the neighborhood pub feel of Tony’s Darts Away while scaling it up massively and successfully into a veritable theme park of craft beer and gourmet food.

    From its inception, the menu at Mohawk was designed to be extremely vegan-friendly. It’s a collaboration between two chefs—one of whom is a vegan herself, so as you can imagine, we’re well looked after. They’ve taken care of every last detail, down to separate fryers, utensils, and cooking preparation areas. The restaurant has succeeded in creating classic pub fare that everyone loves, with a vegan twist that’s extremely impressive.

    Chickpea Beer Nuts

    Upon arrival, we immediately started munching on bar snacks—almonds, pistachios, and absolutely amazing chickpea “beer nuts”. Although Mohawk had several appetizing cocktails on offer, we stuck to beer. A couple of Bootleggers Old World Hefes and a sampling of the appetizer selections really hit the spot.

    Bootleggers Old World Hefe with a plate of housebaked bread and dipping sauces.

    The bread and dipping sauces were ridiculously good! I’m telling you, freshly baked bread really does make a huge difference.

    California olive tapenade

    While not all of the dipping sauces and toppings available were vegan, most of them were. My favorite had to be the spicy white bean…

    Spicy white bean topping, served with grilled house rustic bread

    For our main meal, we were seated on the patio and Mohawk provided us with multiple dishes to be eaten family-style. First, the fire roasted artichokes served with creamy vegan dipping sauces.

    Fire Roasted Artichoke

    ...Served with 2 aiolis: red wine, meyer lemon and mint

    Absolutely delicious! The sauces especially were something to write home about—one was a red wine infused “mayo” dip, and the other was a tangy yet creamy lemon/mint combo.

    Sera's signature cauliflower with turmeric, herbs, pine nuts

    Next up, some pots of fire-kissed vegetables including turmeric cauliflower with pine nuts…and potatoes with caramelized onions, roasted garlic cloves, and chili flakes (not pictured). By this time it was getting dark and my camera wasn’t doing the food justice, but believe me it was exceptional.

    Holy Trinity: tomato sauce, basil, vegan mozzarella

    Lastly, we sampled the “holy trinity” pizza (vegan-style) which came with tomato sauce, basil, and a mix of Teese and Daiya vegan mozzarella. The pizzas at Mohawk are something to behold, due to the homemade freshly baked crust. Supposedly this stuff takes 3 weeks to make, and it sure shows in the taste. We left after this pizza was served, but on our way out even more insane looking dishes were flying out of the kitchen. I cannot wait to go back and literally eat every vegan option on the menu (see below!), and try every last beer and cocktail in the place.

    Mohawk Bend Chefs! (Team Vegan is on the right)

    The main interior area at Mohawk is spacious yet intimate: nicely sized four-top booths run down the center, flanked by flexible seating to accommodate everything from a match.com first date or a sizable office party with equal comfort. Oh, and if your party is really big, you can take it to the Ramona Room (named after the original theater) an area at the back with natural lighting, comfortable seats, an open fireplace and plenty of greenery that feels like you’re in a patio outside.

    Through the main artery of the space runs a large family-style table with the bar on one side and the kitchen on the other. I really liked sitting at the bar which is small and cozy for such a large place (thankfully there will be table service throughout, so one doesn’t get jostled while enjoying one’s Old Rasputin while sitting at the bar), and there’s counter seating at the kitchen area which is larger and more open if that’s your thing.

    The open kitchen

    The front patio has yet another open fireplace and even more seating where you can watch the activity and street action at this busy intersection.

    The staff are all incredibly nice – welcoming, eager to please, always asking you if things are OK and clearly trying their best to make your visit as pleasant as possible. Mohawk Bend has something for everybody, and provides the first space in LA where vegans and non-vegans can truly hang out together with no compromises – especially if they like a tipple or two, but even if they don’t, Mohawk Bend is most definitely worth a visit for the food alone.

    Oh, and it’s not just beer behind the bar either: Tony and his Bar Manager have assembled some unique Californian wines (served on tap for freshness and to reduce waste) as well as a range of Californian spirits, many of which are not served at all in LA. Of course, if cocktails are your thing, they’ve created some innovative mixed drinks with all this alcohol which look, and taste, amazing.

    Mohawk Bend is place where everything is individually special in its own right, from the custom-made beer glasses to the separate food preparation sections on the kitchen (the vegan areas and cooking utensils are all color-coded in green) to the patios, comfortable seating and world-class cuisine. You might think that all this adds up to be a bit overwhelming – but it’s so carefully orchestrated with an underlying subtlety that everything adds up perfectly, coming together in just the right way.

    Tony Yanow may just have built the best bar in LA. Check it out and judge for yourself.

    Mohawk Bend
    scheduled to open sometime next week (We’ll keep you updated on that!)
    2141 West Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
    Mon – Sun 11:00 am- 2:00 am

    PS: As a public service, we’ve taken the time to post all the vegan items on the menu for your benefit…just so you can start planning your first meal at Mohawk. You’re welcome!

    Fire Roasted Artichoke two aiolis, red wine, meyer lemon and mint
    Fire-Kissed Vegetables
    Sera’s signature cauliflower with turmeric, herbs, pine nuts
    Potatoes, caramelized onions, roast garlic cloves, olive oil, sea salt and chili flakes
    Roasted Roots: Nantes carrots, radishes, dill
    Cazuelas: Little Casseroles
    Tony’s Favorite: polenta, leeks, broccoli, vegan cheese
    Grilled House Rustic Bread spicy white bean topping
    Herbed Flatbread with
    Sonoma olive oil, sea salt and dukkah / black-eyed pea hummus / California olive tapenade / peperonata / spiced roast eggplant
    Matchstick Potatoes togarashi or rosemary gremolata (ed note: i have no clue what that means!)
    Today’s Soup
    Add a Daiya and truffle olive oil sandwich
    The Local mixed leaves, Farmer’s Market vegetables, toasted pepitas, lemon-maple vinaigrette
    The Flash Gordon flash-grilled Little Gem lettuce, citrus, avocado, dill dressing, ume pickled onions
    Keenwah organic quinoa, shallots, herbs, romaine, wild arugula, pistachios
    JJ Kale salad served raw OR warm with garlic and chili, balsamic vinaigrette, topped with julienned jicama.
    Pub Grub
    V is For Vegan housemade quinoa and lentil burger on grilled rustic bread, avocado, grilled onions, romaine, basil. Served with housemade pickle and horseradish slaw.
    Squash and Chips tempura kabocha squash, potato slices, carrots and peppers, yuzu ponzu
    Holy Trinity (vegan option) tomato sauce, basil, vegan mozzarella
    Salad Daze avocado and lemon dressed lettuces on zucchini, caramelized onion and aioli
    C’est Cheese (vegan option) vegan cheese trio
    Bitter and Twisted (vegan option) rapini, lemon zest, garlic, chili flakes
    Abe Farmer housemade seitan sausage, peppers, fennel, vegan mozzarella
    A Beer in Provence (vegan option) caramelized onions…

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37 responses to “Mohawk Bend: 72 Craft Beer Taps and a Vegan Chef on staff. Can somebody pinch me?” RSS icon

  • ditto on the above comment.


    Is this real life?!?! Can not wait til this vegan Disneyland is open BAHHHHHH!

  • Holy shit. This looks amazing.

  • Wow, every article I’ve read about Mohawk Bend has some really amazing pictures. I can’t wait to see it for myself. I really want to try the pizza after reading about the giant pizza oven they installed. http://www.drinkeattravel.com/mohawk-bend-restaurant-beer-bar-echo-park-preview/

    P.S. Is this the same Quarrygirl that never capitalizes her sentences? Your first sentence doesn’t really make sense.

  • day, week, month, year = made.

    cannot wait for this all in my mouth. i’m going to need to bring a second stomach just to house the beer!

  • syntax police!! thank you, first sentence fixed.

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    Seriously…that looks so cool.

  • Ahh! This place looks so cool! I can’t wait to try those artichokes.

  • There I Said It

    That vegan chef is a full on babe.

  • I may have lost my beloved Pure Luck after I moved into the neighborhood, but at least I have this to look forward to!

    The fire kissed potatoes are calling my name. And cocktails! Yay for cocktails!

  • Keep using capitol letters. Seriously.

  • eh, i probably won’t! haha.

  • QG, please don’t take writing advice from someone who can’t spell the word “capital”. Seriously.

  • Hahaha at the “capital” comment. 😉

    I never have trouble understanding you QG! THIS PLACE LOOKS AMAZING!!! Are they taking reservations for the opening??

  • i know they aren’t taking reservations right now, because they haven’t announced an official opening date yet. it’s gonna be sometime next week though.

    i’ll let you know when i hear anything, but for now the best thing you can do is follow them on facebook!


  • I don’t partake in the alcohol but this looks like a place where I won’t feel like an idiot for going just for the food.

    Those artichokes are calling my name. Thanks for posting the vegan menu options!

  • can’t wait! hope parking is good!

  • OK, going to be the “negative Nancy,” here. (no offense to any Nancy, of course) While it looks really nice and the food certainly looks great, I was really under the impression this was going to be more like Tony’s in that it was a bar with food, where you could go, watch a game, relax, etc. This looks a lot more like an actual restaurant restaurant. Was looking forward to a kind of bar like environment, in walking distance where I could actually eat while watching a game.

  • the indoors area definitely has a bar vibe, though i wouldn’t say it has the same “spots bar” quality as tony’s. there’s a huge focus on beer….and i will probably end up drinking here whenever i’m in the area (even if i’m not eating).

    all that being said, i have no clue if they’ll show games or not.

  • I seriously hope they DON’T show games and there isn’t a TV anywhere. Fuck sports. That is the only bad thing about Darts Away.

  • Uhhhhhh yeah…they detract from the rousing games of checkers.

  • There are big flat screens above the bars in the pictures. Are you worried they won’t be showing sporting events?

  • Looks like a couple. Just not the atmosphere I was expecting based on some of the original articles/interviews. And, based on Tony’s.

    And James, sorry, but there’s plenty of places I can sit down and eat. I was looking forward to a place with more a sports bar vibe where I could get rad vegan food and watch games. I’d go to Tony’s all the time if I lived closer.

  • VeganInLA, I’ve been to Tony’s Darts Away plenty of times for the food because I’m not much of a beer drinker. They’ve never treated me weirdly when I order a soft drink (only one on tap, though it’s always good no matter the flavor) or just water to go with my meal. One of the reasons I still like going there once in a while, even though I no longer live in Burbank. If you can find a night where they’re not absurdly busy (weeknights are your best bet – they’re still busy, but you can usually find a seat), I’d highly recommend it. The last time I was there I ran into the Doomie’s folks (the day after the vegan beer fest), so you never know who will be there!

    That said, I do like a nice cocktail, so I am looking forward to Mohawk Bend,especially since it’s near my new place.

    *dancing a happy jig*

  • WOW, I can’t believe a vegan or beer drinker would look at this place and complain about anything. Except for the fact it isn’t open yet!

  • Not complaining. As I wrote, I’m looking forward to it. Just not quite what I expected.

  • Carol Elaine,

    That’s good to know. It sounded like a bar where you were almost required to have a few beers so I haven’t tried it out yet. I don’t live close to either but would like to give it a shot.

  • Agreed. I hate TVs in eateries. Let’s have some human interaction, people!

  • yOu ShOuLd BlOg LiKe ThIs, Qg!!@!@

    Shut up, let her do her thing.

  • That’s the thing, thought this was going to be more of a have a beer, watch a game, like Tony’s. I get human interaction all the time, Zoe. Sometimes, I just like to have a beer, a snack and watch a game. I guess I’m weird….

  • What’s the 411 on the beer selection? I’m kind of hoping he moves away from the California IPAs, since they’re far from my favorite kind of beer, but I know he’s also really into local stuff. But hey, Russian River makes some great Belgians!

  • like tony’s, it’s almost entirely CA beer. they are going to have a few rotating taps, but i think they will only be from one featured brewer at a time.

    dang, i should have snapped a pic of the beer menu when i was there! it was great.

  • they make their own cola, root beer, and ginger beer there and they taste f’n awesome!!!! -so for all you non-drinkers!
    there’s also a vegan cast-iron cookie!

  • Will someone PLEASE open a vegan bar in LA so we don’t have to give money to places that serve ground duck and pork with duck eggs? Portland has one, Seattle has at least one, there’s a bar at Gracias Madre in SF, NYC has several.

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