My good friend Derek Bougie, former brewmaster of Newport Beach Brew Co and Brewcaipa, is now the lead brewer at Angry Horse in Montebello and invited me to attend the first of many dinners at the brewery. I was excited to visit Angry Horse as it was my first time there, and it’s always nice to see my long-time friend.
We were there for the dinner with Chef Jose Vazquez of East Side Eats LA catering company paired with Angry Horse beers. It was an ambitious menu considering there was no kitchen in the back of the brew house, but they somehow was able to pull things off! Some dishes were plated and others were family style, and everything was executed quickly and with professionalism.
Course 1: Lettuce and Lager
Market Lettuce, Cherry, “Lager” crema, Golden Beet, Queso Fresco, Crouton. Paired with Red AF – a tart cherry saison, 6% ABV. It was a refreshing salad eventhough beets aren’t my favorite thing in the world. It was fresh and crisp and light, and I noted there was a hint of garlic or something umami-ish in the crutons that was really tasty.
Course 2: Some-Fin to Talk About
Hamachi Crudo, Tomatillo Vinegar, Chayote Slaw with San G Lager 6.2% ABV. The fish was fresh and light in flavor and the vinegar slaw was crunchy and tasty. It had lots of nice mouthfeel, and I admit I ate it pretty quickly.
Course 3: All The Good Stuff
Stone Fruit Granita, Lemon & Mint Vinegar paired with Lil’ Peach Kettle Sour 7.4% ABV. This was a nice enough granita, I just wish it was a little bit less vinegar-forward. I think I am sensitive to vinegar as a flavor profile, because my husband said he loved his. I did love the stone fruit flavors in this.
Course 4: Pretty In Pork
Pork Tender, Piloncillo, Serrano, Charred Market Sugar Snap Peas paired with Hey Z NE Style IPA 7.1% ABV. This was my favorite dish of the night. I’ve never had such tender pork, it melted in your mouth! The snap peas were a great addition, it added the little bit of texture the soft pork needed, and there was a slight garlic undertone that fit in nicely with the theme of the meal. The family-style dish was a nice touch, I made a nice portion for myself and poured some of the drippings over it.
Course 5: Peaches n’ Cream
Market White Peach Tart, Cherry Cream paired with Imperial Cherry Porter 10% ABV. The tart was delicious, rich but not heavy, and the crust was hearty and had some interesting sweetness. I thought it was almond but was later told it was graham cracker. It reminded me a bit of a cake my grandma used to make called a mazariner, which is a Swedish almond tart. It had that mix of nostalgia that makes baking so special. I would also like to note it wasn’t too sweet, it had a balance to it that most people don’t understand how to do well. There’s nothing like a cloyingly sweet dessert from people who just don’t get it to appreciate a deft hand’s skillful dish.
Overall I had a great time at Angry Horse and loved the beer dinner. It was obvious that it was a labor of love, and all the people involved really cared about what they were doing and were all working toward a common goal of making their community better. It’s cool to see a creative space where people are free to explore their passions and are free to make delicious food, pair it with unique and well-made beer, and celebrate with like-minded people. I highly recommend stopping by Angry Horse for a beer, and checking out their next dinner event. It was really fun!