California's Bar

Exercising states' rights at Mohawk Bend

To say that beer gets top billing at Echo Park's newly opened Mohawk Bend is no allusion to show business; the names of fabled craft beers are spelled out on the former theater's marquee like yesteryear's summer blockbuster.

Judging by the lines that form outside, the neighborhood's response to Tony Yanow's latest restaurant has been akin to a hit film. The draw of 72 taps of California-brewed beer (with the occasional out-of-state guest), a bar stocked with only California-distilled spirits, and two kitchens serving vegan- and omnivore-friendly food, respectively, is strong.

The row of taps is dauntingly long. Still, it's simpler to ask your bartender to go from one end of the bar to the other, pouring a tulip glass of Craftsman's floral Fireworks Saison ($5.50) after a goblet of North Coast's Old Rasputin ($5), than it is to drive from Pasadena to Ft. Bragg.

Separate kitchens allow the Dork Burger ($14) to sear on a different grill than the one used for the quinoa-lentil burger ($12). Nonetheless, there's a continuity that crosses the blood-bloodless rift: By focusing on sustainable meat and seafood from providers such as Carlsbad Aquafarm–whose mussels are steamed with fennel and vadouvan ($14; click here for the recipe)–there's an easy peace between these kitchens divided.

Mohawk Bend, 2141 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; 213-483-2337 or mohawk.la