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New Names Push the Boundaries of Santa Barbara’s Craft Beer Scene

Plus Little Tokyo pizza updates, and a high school pop-up

Institution Ale Company
Lisette Rosales
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

A true institution

Camarillo-based Institution Ale Company is the latest craft beer name heading for Santa Barbara. The coastal community two hours north of Los Angeles has been growing its beer bonafides for a while now, with taprooms like Figueroa Mountain taking up some prime real estate in the otherwise wine-heavy Funk Zone right down by the water. Institution Ale will take up some 5,000 square feet of space right at 516 State Street, offering food like flatbread pizzas, pretzels, and more. The address is not far from the incoming dual-concept project that Modern Times is bringing to life later this year as well.

Prime time

Prime Pizza in Little Tokyo is gearing up for a fun summer, first by offering a vintage wrestling screening and lots of slices on Saturday night. The crew is also teaming up — starting next week — with nearby bar Wolf & Crane to let customers order a pizza through their bartender and have it delivered right to their seat. No separate bills, no nothing, just show up and eat between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. weeknights, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, or 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays. Free delivery, and the full menu is available except for slices.

Pizza walks

Speaking of pizza, LA Magazine has the low-down on a serious (and seriously possible) pizza crawl to undertake in Northeast LA. The run ranges from Pie Life in Pasadena to Triple Beam to Junior Pizza in Cypress Park, with plenty of other stops thrown into the mix as well.

Soom Soom casual

Brentwood’s retooled dining scene gets another new entrant this week, as Toddrickallen reports that Soom Soom Fresh Mediterranean is on the scene, landing an opening as of Monday at 11704 S. Barrington Court.

Another pop-up for the kids

The Orange County School of the Arts is doing another pop-up, with culinary arts and hospitality high school students setting up a six-course meal in Santa Ana on Friday, June 1. The kids actually recreate a fine dining atmosphere and then work the line, run dishes, greet people at the door, the whole nine yards. Tickets are $68.

Gasolina is gone

The Oxnard outlet of Gasolina Cafe is closing this weekend, but they aren’t just leaving their underused food hall space quietly. Instead they’re going out with a bang, offering a flamenco and tapas party to anyone who shows up.