Just in time for the weekend, Filling Stations is a weekly post that highlights one of Los Angeles’ destinations for craft beer, be it a bottle-shop with a great selection, a restaurant with great food to go with their beer list, or a bar serving excellent beers.
Tony’s Darts Away
- Neighborhood: Burbank View Larger Map
- Type: Restaurant and Bar
- Yelp Page
- Selection: 4/5 Price: 4/5 Staff: 5/5 Food: 4/5
Opened in 2010 Tony’s Darts Away was the first property in LA craft beer mogul Tony Yanow’s portfolio which has since grown to include Echo Park’s Mohawk Bend and LA’s biggest craft brewery and pub Golden Road. When Tony converted the former Burbank dive bar he retained it’s great neighborhood vibe and added 30 taps of California craft beers and awesome vegan eats.
Tony’s Darts Away lies on Magnolia Blvd in the quaintest stretch of “old town” Burbank, and there is a lot of great touches packed into the space. There’s a patio to relax with your brews, a bunch of tables to hold court at, a pool table to wile away the time, and 15-seats at the bar when it’s time to get serious. And there is always a great selection of beers pouring from the 30 taps with a big focus on California-brewed IPAs. Check out their handy (and frequently updated) on-line taplist here.
It’s an unassuming spot that is backed by some big players in the LA beer scene. Besides the stewardship of Tony Yanow, the bar is stocked by LA’s favorite “beer champion” Paige Reilly (so you know that they get the good stuff). The whole staff of the joint is top-notch, and they are always happy to help you navigate the tap list with recommendations and tastes.
Decor is dive bar-meets-basement rec room with board games, a library of beer books, and some nice breweriana on the wood-paneled walls. It’s a cozy space to sit down with a beer, and there is even enough street parking to keep things simple when heading into Burbank. The crowd is usually locals and beer lovers and it seems like they’re all your friends when you sidle-up to the bar. They certainly all have something to say about the food coming out of the tiny kitchen.
There is a decidedly vegan-slant to the menu at Tony’s, but there are plenty of meaty offerings, from their signature “Disco Fries” (aka poutine) to a selection of sausages. If you are a meat-eater, don’t just skip over the vegan dishes when perusing the menu; some of the best things coming out of Chef Randy St. Clair’s kitchen just happen to be vegan. If the menu has a dish that includes a “sunflower seed and seitan cutlet” just order it and thank me later.
Tony’s is serious about responsible food sourced locally and organically when possible: “Our goal is to have a zero waste bar and an almost zero waste kitchen. All of our beer, wine, soda, meats, and breads come from California. When available, all produce is sourced within California. Organics are used when available locally.” The choice to serve only California craft beer was perhaps an audacious one in 2010, but in the nearly 3 years since Tony’s opened the the explosion of craft beer in California has underscored the viability of the idea. In an interview with Food GPS Yanow discusses the three main reasons for his decision to focus solely on California beer:
First, the quality and freshness of local beer can’t be beat. By offering only California beer, we’re able to serve beer the way the brewer wants it served – not something that was shipped across the country and passed through many hands. Second, I think it’s important for California businesses to support each other; we’re all in this economy together and it’s never been more important to support the small guy and buy local to help employ people in our community. Finally, the environmental impact – or carbon footprint – of shipping beer, nationally and internationally. I’m working hard to keep our ‘beer miles’ as low as can be.
It sure seems that the decision is paying off as Tony’s Darts Away is often packed to the rafters with beer fans. Our favorite time to visit is for a leisurely weekend brunch; the half-pint pours offered on many taps make for great way to try a few things and still be able to stand after brunch.
Besides serving up a killer line-up of California craft brews to quench your thirst and delicious eats to keep you full, Tony’s will keep you entertained with their regular and special events. There’s Beers and Beats nights on Sundays where anyone with some vinyl and chutzpah can take to the DJ booth, and Tuesdays at Tony’s with a curated flight or theme on special, Pub Runs, Beer Busses, and multi-player pool tournaments on Wednesdays! Plus you can always grab a board game or toss at the dart board; check out their Facebook page for more event details.
If you haven’t beer up to Tony’s Darts Away yet, you should really make the trek into the wilds of Burbank. It’s one of the best craft beer spots in Los Angeles, and if we lived closer we’d be there way too much.