Kirbie's Cravings

La Jolla Brewing Company

La Jolla Brewing Company recently opened, replacing the former La Jolla Brew House.

Under new ownership, the restaurant has been transformed, with a fresh interior, new menu and beer options.

I was recently invited to check out the new spot, and after perusing the food menu, I was definitely curious.

Since this is a brewery, the restaurant offers several house brews as well as other craft beer options.

They also offer a beer sampler flight for $10.

We shared a beer flight, which allowed the server to discuss which beers paired better with the various dishes we ordered.

Fries 3 Ways

We started with this from the appetizer section. The portion size was humongous and perfect for sharing. The thin-cut crispy fries are seasoned three different ways (truffle parmesan, garlic herb, old bay) and accompanied with three different dipping sauces (tomato marmalade, basil aioli, citrus aioli). The fries were delicious all three ways and we’d definitely order this again.

Duck Egg Rolls

We also ordered the duck egg rolls, crunchy thick-skinned egg rolls stuffed with duck confit, herb cream cheese and beer braised onions. The stuffing had a slight bitterness from the beer braised onions. I’m not too much a fan of cream cheese, so I could have done without it for the egg rolls.

Crab macaroni and cheese

We also shared a small plate of creamy three cheese macaroni with mini crab cakes and crab meat mixed in with the pasta. I enjoyed the generous amount of crab meat along with the slight heat added to the cheese sauce.

LJBC Burger

The burger patty consists of loosely packed ground chuck mixed with short rib. It was a decent burger, but not nearly as memorable as some of the other menu items.

Jerked Banh Mi

I enjoyed this interpretation of the traditional Vietnamese sandwich except for the bread. While LJBC uses a French baguette, they used the crusty, chewy artisan kind rather than the fluffy and soft Vietnamese-style French bread. The chewiness made it hard to eat and the aioli caused the bread to turn soggy.

Overall though, we had a good time here. We enjoyed the appetizers more than the main dishes and we enjoyed the nitro beers which were less hoppy. It’s hard to find a place that offers good beer and food, so I am pleased La Jolla Brewery Company has come onto the scene. It also has its own parking lot, a definite plus for those worried about finding parking in downtown La Jolla.

Please note, as indicated above, we were invited to dine here and our meal was complimentary. I was not further compensated for this review and my opinions are my own.

La Jolla Brewing Company
7536 Fay Ave
La Jolla, CA

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6 comments on “La Jolla Brewing Company”

  1. I’m not at all surprised that you deleted my previous comment. I was already questioning your credibility and this confirms it.

    For anyone who reads this before Kirbie deletes it, the issue is not clearly identifying at the beginning of her posts when she is reviewing a complimentary meal. A simple statement of being “invited” and the disclosure at the end does not meet the “clear and concise” definition established by FTC guidelines for exactly this situation. This practice is misleading to the readers of this blog.

    I’m not going to waste my time looking here for a response, which I know won’t come. I’m positive you will continue to run a successful blog and won’t miss my few page views per week. If your conscience is clear while towing the shady side of the line, so be it.

    • Dear Concerned,

      First, before you accuse me of deleting your comments and crossing to the shady side, perhaps you should get your information straight. No comment is visible to viewers until they have been filtered through the spam plugins and then accepted by me. As I am not on my website 24/7, it can take a few hours or a day or so for me to read the comments, approve of them, and respond. You may “see” the comment once you’ve submitted it, but if you were to go off to another page and look again or use another computer device, you’ll see it’s not there as it is waiting approval, which is told to you to when the comment is submitted. So no, I didn’t just delete your comments, they were simply sitting in the moderation area since it’s the weekend and I was busy and didn’t have time to look at the comments yet. And FYI, when you write comments that are several paragraphs long and use a fake name and fake email, those are the type of things that spam plugins alert and filter out as spam.

      Second, your citations to FTC guidelines is incorrect. There is nothing in the FTC guidelines that says it has to be at the beginning. It says you must clearly and concisely state it. My disclaimer isn’t buried deep in the middle of a post. It’s clearly italicized/emphasized, at the bottom, right before the restaurant information. Just because you don’t believe this is sufficient, doesn’t mean that is the case. The guidelines don’t support your argument that it isn’t. In fact, one of the articles you site to discusses how a simple #ad hashtag at the end of a sponsored tweet is sufficient. So if three little letters at the end of the tweet are sufficient I don’t see why an entire disclaimer at the end isn’t. This is commonplace practice among bloggers to put the disclaimer at the end.. In addition, I do give forewarning at the beginning of the post by letting my readers know I’ve been invited to dine there. I do that precisely so that if they don’t want to read the rest because it’s a comped meal, they can stop reading.

      Moreover, the FTC guidelines apply for clear endorsements. The article you site gives a specific example of a blogger getting a free meal and “recommends” that it should be disclosed but does not say it is a clear example of endorsement. Endorsements usually concern a company paying someone money or giving them something with the understanding that the person will be promoting their product. A comped meal is not the same. Yes, they covered the meal, that’s the incentive they offer for bloggers to make the effort to come and eat there and hopefully write about them. But the invitation to visit a restaurant is not the same as a normal sponsored or endorsed event. For one thing, there’s no agreed arrangement. Restaurants ask me to come in, and hope I write about them. I am not obligated to do so, and if I don’t like my experience, I don’t write about them. If you look at all the examples in the FTC guidelines, they refer to people who were specifically PAID to endorse. Or given a free product in exchange for a review. In this situation, the company has agreed to give something for free or pay someone in exchange for an actual post/ endorsement/ tout. This is not the same as them saying “hey we’d love for you to try us out, and if you like us maybe you’ll write about it.” Because if I don’t write about them, there’s nothing they can do. they can’t go to court and say, “we comped her meal, she owes us a review.”

      Finally, while you may think I am being influenced in my opinions, you can go ahead and think that and obviously I doubt there is anything I can do to change your mind. But just because you read my blog doesn’t mean you know me. I don’t accept every meal opportunity that comes my way. I actually turn down more than 50% of them. The ones I accept are the ones I am interested in. So yes, I was interested in La Jolla Brewing Company. I happen to have diverse tastes and a diverse group of friends. I have friends who visit me specifically for beer, so I do like to research all the craft beer restaurants in the area. When Stone Brewery in Liberty Station opened up, I was there opening weekend because I couldn’t wait to try them out. Not to mention all the other brewery restaurants I’ve blogged about over the years which were not comped meals. And just last Friday, I recommended Juniper & Ivy and La Jolla Brewing Company in the same breath to a close friend of mine because I knew he would like both.

      I know that accepting paid meals can be a controversial issue. I personally frown upon blogs who post almost exclusively on comped meals. And if you don’t like those posts, so be it. It’s an issue that has come up before, but at the end of the day, I can’t please everyone. Yes, I do want to keep integrity and a clear conscience. But I believe I can still do that while posting a few comped meals once in a while. I make sure not to accept too many of them and I make sure I am honest with my opinions when I do take on one. My friends read my reviews and go to restaurants based on them just like my readers. They never feel the need to ask me “okay so how do you really feel about this place?” because they know I’m honest in my reviews. I post dining restaurants about 5 times a week and eating out can get quite expensive, so yes, if a restaurant I am interested in wants to help alleviate my bills, I will take them up on it.

  2. For sources, put “FTC blogger disclosure guidelines” in any search engine of your choice.

  3. I’ve been an occasional reader of your blog for a few years. The quality is way above average, the photos are nicely done, and the work you put into it is admirable. That said, I really feel the need to post a criticism I’ve had for quite some time about the way you handle reviews like this one.

    While you might not have been paid money for this review (and others like it), you were invited by the restaurant and given food and drink for free. Your review is sponsored and amounts to an advertisement. It’s highly unlikely your experience was the same as a typical nondescript paying customer. Even if you didn’t notice anything different about service, I’d be willing to bet the kitchen was just a little more careful with your order and that your server was just a tad more attentive than normal.

    Posts like this one may represent your unfiltered opinions, but it really hurts the credibility of your “real” reviews. As much as you want to believe they are unbiased, they are inherently not. Looking at the restaurants you call your favorites, would you have really have bothered with the La Jolla Brewing Company right if they didn’t reach out to you? We appear to have very similar tastes and I know this kind of restaurant is nowhere on my radar. I’d bet anything this didn’t excite you like the opening of Juniper & Ivy, yet the space dedicated to each on your blog is the same.

    You need to make it “clear and conspicuous” at the beginning of a review when you are comped. This isn’t a suggestion or request–it is an actual FTC rule punishable by a monetary fine. The disclosure cannot be buried in the text or tagged on at the end. There have been many times when I haven’t realized your review was sponsored until reading the dreaded disclaimer at the bottom that amounts to “oh by the way, I ate here for free.” Almost every time, it’s not until after looking back carefully do I see the initial mention of being “invited” placed inconspicuously in the text.

    I’m aware that the monetization of blogs isn’t a new concept; it happens in every industry and is the goal of many bloggers. It’s brilliant marketing by industry to reach out to people on social media without having to pay to advertise. You do nice work highlighting our local dining scene and obviously this hasn’t stopped me from visiting your blog. I certainly hope you do not choose to censor this message and address it head on, hopefully as a highlighted post where all your readers will be made aware of the changes you’ll make.

  4. This place looks much better than the previous incarnation. Is it the Brewery Company or Brewing Company? The duck egg rolls sounds really interesting to me and the mac & cheese looks nice and creamy. Weird that they choose that type of bread for the banh mi – I guess they were trying to do something a bit different! No dessert?! 🙂

    • Yes it is Brewing! Gah, I messed up but corrected it now. Well I think they were trying to follow the banh mi by using French bread, but theirs was just too chewy for this and it soaked up the aioli too much. Oh well. I ran out of room for dessert, so sad =(

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