Sunday, 21 August 2022

Costa Mesa

We're being picked up by Keven Keane at 11:30. So we have time to potter around a little.

When we go downstairs at the appointed time, he's waiting outside. We've never met, but I am aware of his former blog. I can see the look of puzzlement and disappointment as he takes in the tatty entrance to the hotel.

“My wife said I was crazy letting a total stranger take me off in his car. I hope you won’t lock me in your torture basement.”

“No need to worry about that with your two bodyguards along.”

Soon we’re zooming along one of LA’s many motorways. They seem endless. As do the often scary cars. Weaving around lanes in a crazily dangerous fashion. My tactic is to ignore the traffic and concentrate on the scenery. Otherwise, it’s too scary.

Our first stop is Yorkshire Square. Which is, unsurprisingly, owned by a Yorkshireman. On the way the kids keep spotting things that look familiar. From Grand Theft Auto. The game seems to have formed their image of the city.

I see a plume of black smoke ahead. When we reach it, there's a car blazing away at the side of the road, surrounded by 4 or 5 fire engines.

"That's an electric car. That's why there are so many fire engines." Lexie says.

"That's reassuring."

It's almost impossible to put the battery out when it catches fire."

"Even more reassuring."

"You're being sarcastic, aren't you?"

"Moi? Never!"

Yorkshire Square specialises in English beer and has an impressive array of handpumps. Me and the kids kick off with a Mild. Which is fair enough take on the style. And goes very well with the sausage rolls we get as well.

We’re sitting outside. Thankfully in the shade. It’s still a bit on the warm side.

“It will be cooler in Cost Mesa.” Kevin reassures us. “As it’s next to the sea.”

I hope that’s true.

Next, it's the turn of Wuthering Stout. Which is a little pale and on the thin side.

We don't linger long. Next stop is Rasselbock, a bar specialising in German beers. We sit in the beer garden. Luckily, it's not too stupidly hot.

"Andrew, you don't look like you're melting for once."

"That's because it's not stupid hot here."

Well, look at that. They've St. Bernardus 8 on tap. I resist the temptation to order that and plump for Rasselbock Don't Look Bock. It's an amber Bock, surprise, surprise. And is quite tasty. 

Most of the beers are German. Not German-style, but German-brewed. That's fine by Andrew. He has a Kölsch. He likes his pale and fizzy beers. Especially when it's hot. We don't stay long. Just as well. I'm starting to get peckish.

The main event is at Kevin's house. Starting with a charcuterie board while the smoker fires up. There's some really nice English cheese which I get stuck into.

"The bread is really nice." Lexxie says. And he's right.

We sit outside in the falling rays of the sun and watch lizards scuttle around the garden. It’s all very relaxing. Other than the occasional aircraft flying nearby. It is, indeed, cooler here.

Kevin's partner, Gina, joins us while the tritip is smoking. In an impressively high-tech smoker, where everything is computer controlled. I'm genuinely amazed by it. Makes our barbecue look like something from the stone age.

Kevin has brewed a pin of Golden Ale. Pulled through a handpump, it looks lovely, with a fluffy white head. It tastes pretty nice, too. The kids seem to agree, judging by how enthusiastically they're getting stuck into it.

The tritip is amazing. Very, very tasty. It puts my roast of the same cut to shame.

We chat about this and that until the kids polish off the Golden Ale. Then the single malt comes out. This is a lot of fun. It helps that here close to the coast that the weather is significantly cooler. And the company is good.

"Do you want some dessert as well as the booze, Andrew?"

"I'll just have the booze."

"That's the most Andrew statement ever." I quip.

"Shut up, Dad."

On the way back downtown we have a good chat with our Indian Uber driver, who's a really nice bloke. But, amazingly, doesn't like cricket.

When we get back everything is shut. Up in our rooms, though, there’s still beer and whisky.

Bourbon is my sleepy time chum.

Yorkshire Square Brewery & Pub

1109 Van Ness Ave,
CA 90501.

Rasselbock Kitchen & Beer Garden
4020 Atlantic Ave,
Long Beach,
CA 90807.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was great seeing you Ron and your Special Forces Team. Thank you for the books! We'll cross paths again soon sometime.