Karl Strauss is right on a corner in the center of La Jolla. The outdoor seating (an outdoor patio with wood-topped tables, metal chairs, black market umbrellas, outdoor heaters, and, of course, palm trees) is on the corner itself. The indoor space runs back long one of the streets from the corner and there are full windows along this side. A good sized bar and bar area are on the left as you enter and a dining section runs along on the right.
The actual bar is faced with large stone tiles, has a dark stone top, and is lined with dark wood and black padded stools. Further seating in the bar is provided by tall dark wood tables with the same stools. The brewery is visible through glass between the bar area and the dining area. Ceilings are very high with acoustic panels and rotating fans. The floors are stained concrete. The large dining section has booths with black padded seats along the windows and many tables with dark wood chairs.
The overall impression is modern, chrome, black, walnut, slightly austere, and masculine.
There were ten house-made beers available on our visit and there are regular cask nights. The Tower 10 IPA we tried was quite respectable and drinkable, if not the most exciting IPA we’ve ever tasted.
The food is upscale pub - burgers, some entrees, extensive salads, and extensive appetizers. The grilled fish taco and Mediterranean salad we tried were quite good.
Located in a downtown shopping area, the brewpub features a central brew room that is prominently displayed behind a curved glass wall. The bar area, off to the right, has a bar along the back wall and table seating near the windows while the main restaurant has both tables and booths for dining. Ten taps were operating when we visited and I worked my way through a sampler of the complete list. The sampler included a nice a nice group of dark side brews such as the Padre Porter and the Rye IPA but the Karl’s Holiday (Imperial Stout) was my favorite. We found parking on the street but I imagine there is off street parking available for shoppers.
Note: Cask Night has replaced Firkin Friday now of the 1st Thursday evening of the month.