5 of 25: Sure, first impressions count but if you went into Bar Food in Brentwood last year when it first opened, you probably were confused by its Japanese restaurant remnants paired with the gastropub menu and the Irish owner. And even though it serves up wonderfully unique bar food and has 24 beers on tap, the venue’s Web site with its Comic Sans font would be enough to turn off any curious diner, regardless of what all those glowing Yelp reviews said. I didn’t care though. I felt like I stumbled into a hidden gem. Yay for me and HA-ha to all those folks squeezing into Q’s and Cabo Cantina.
But when I had stopped in recently after too many months away, I found a brand-new Bar Food with a brand-new snazzy Web site, complete with new Web address, to match. And not only were the sake jars lining the wall now replaced with a collection of decorative beer taps but owner Jason Killalee even added a selection of bourbon, scotch and whiskey to his beer/wine menu, and fancy escargot vol au vent to his food menu. No longer is this a diamond in the rough.
The newest element that’s sure to have people flocking here in droves, however, is the new ALL NIGHT happy hour, formerly 5-7pm. Yup, now you can get house beer for $3.50, house wine $5 and even have a nice dinner of tasty bar food for only $6 each any ol’ time you want. And yes, the free happy hour hot dog is still available, but only til 7pm.
But my ultimate fave combo which I have every time I go here is the spicy tuna ($6) with the savory, finger-licking-good edamame with black bean sauce ($4) and the pear, blue cheese and arugula salad ($7.50, not on the hh menu). My bf and I split the edamame and salad but order our own spicy tuna dishes. They fill me up but don’t leave me feeling bloated or gross.
If you are looking for something heartier, though, Jason serves up a mean Guinness beef stew ($15.50) as well as Shepherd’s Pie ($14.50). Perfect for the chilly weather. And one day (maybe after that 13.1 half marathon, heh), I really want to try that mac & cheese with the scallions and bacon ($8.50). Yummy!
Although Bar Food is all prettied up now to showcase its good eats and drinks, Jason realizes that its name still makes it hard for folks to find on the Internet (just try Googling “Bar Food”). So right now he’s holding a contest where the person who can help make the gastropub’s name more search engine friendlyÂ will win round-trip tickets to Dublin as well as a four-night stay in a hotel in the Emerald City. Unfortunately only one submission per email so make it a good suggestion!
POST EDIT: Contest is now closed but Jason says he’s going to do another one.