Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Yeah yeah yeah. It was the Jewel Box and now it’s Monkey Paw. Apart from that, same crowd, same sunset blinding everybody looking out the front door.

None

Big difference: beers. They make half of them right here, in the tiny room next to the bare-bones saloon. And the rest are interesting craft brews, not your big-chain disguises like Blue Moon.

I’m in here (Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery, 805 16th Street, right beside the 5 Freeway, 619-358-9901)...

None

None

at Happy Hour (and it's a good one, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. daily)...

None

...and meet Cosmo the new brewer here.

He started February 27th. And here he is serving behind the bar while he’s brewing out back.

“Yeast makes the beer, not me,” he says. “They’re alive. We’re partners. That’s what’s fun.”

They pretty-much let him have at it with the half-dozen brewing tanks right behind this wall...

...but the other thing he likes about this job is its location.

“This has been my zip code for 26 years,” he says. “I went to high school up the road. This is my neighborhood. And now I get to play all day in it.”

Talk about local pub.

I end up getting his Guinness look-alike ($4 happy hour, dollar off regular price).

None

He calls it “Downs Family Irish Stout” after the Gospel group. He gives me a one-gulp taster of the real Guinness to show the difference. I can’t tell.

Then when I mention I gotta have something solid to help this down he points to a little hole in the wall. “That’s the order hatch for the food,” he says.

Menu’s full of greasy kid stuff. Everybody says their cheese steaks are great, specially the Naughty Monkey with their own sauce, plus pepperjack, spicy Serrano, and onion slaw. Comes with waffle fries. Except it’s $12, and I need to go cheap tonight.

Jess, the gal behind the food hatch, says the cheapest thing is their custom burger ($6). “But that’s like, bun, burger, fries. No frills,” she says.

“Done, I say. “OK, add bacon.”

That’s an extra buck.

So I’m halfway down my un-Guinness when Jess turns up with da boiger...

None

...She was right. Bun, burger, bacon. You’d get six McDoubles for these same six bucks.

But hey, not just paying for the food here. Plus, ketchup to the rescue and we have some color in there! Also malt vinegar squirted over the waffle fries, and flavonoids start sparking.

None

And here’s the thing. Without the usual mountain of stuff, lettuce leaves, slippy tomato slices, flick-out dill pickles, it’s actually a pleasure to eat and just taste the meat.

I hear it’s the guys who own Hamilton’s and Small Bar who took this over. With their fanatical interest in on-the-spot beers, I swear it’s the best thing that could have happened to the late-lamented Jewel Box.

Cosmo says he prefers hoppy to malty, and he's got a bunch of his own concoctions coming out over the next few weeks. Can't wait.

Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close