116 Santa Monica Boulevard,
Santa Monica, CA
Written by guest reviewer, Chris Davis
When I think of British I think of 80’s pop bands, tea,Trafalgar Square, crappy weather, Monty Python, and those red telephone booths they have. But what about the food, you ask? Well that part is something they’re not really known for as a whole.But…. then there are their fish and chips.When you come to the Los Angeles area you usually expect the following: Palm trees. Hollywood boulevard. Movie stars. Writers and actors trying to make it but work at Starbucks, and some ultra trendy food that costs you your first child and is the size a mouse.Well they have all of that, but nestled on the corner of Ocean & Santa Monica Boulevard they also have Ye Olde Kings Head.
“The British are coming!” “The British are coming!”
Well don’t go spilling your Earl Grey tea just yet ~ they’ve been here since 1974.On looking outside you’d think it was just another wannabe pub with some English stuff on the walls, more trendy food, and a bar. But, you’d be wrong.
A class act I tell ya.
But I digress. Onto why I really came here: the food. I looked at the menu for a good 15 minutes after I fully knew exactly what I was going for but I like to see what else might strike my curiosity.
Ok ok ok.
Who am I kidding, I told Danielle, my cute dainty bartender/waitress, “I’ll have the fish and chips, but of course……
OH, and a Black & Tan with a Jameson back”
While I wait I notice there’s a few fellas at the bar and they are Aussies!! And as Barcelona is playing (and losing) we spark up conversation about our native lands. Mine being San Francisco, and his being Perth. So now we’ve gone international but my food arrived and all talk stopped. I think they understood why.
Let me just say I’ve never been to the UK but I’ve had fish & chips over the years from many places and from what was placed in front of me, I can confidently say that I’ve been lying to myself for years up to now.
Here was what was handed to me with a smile:
On first look it was something out of a travel magazine, and near perfection. It took me a minute or two to get my hands on it because it was piping hot. I let the heady glass of delicious Guinness and Harp cool my fingers.
The fish is a heavy battered cod fried to an amazing crispness that other places just can’t get quite right. This place NAILED IT. The “chips” or French fries as we in the states call it are a thick cut, almost like half of a steak fry. Served with a side of tartar sauce and a host of condiments, the malt vinegar and lemons were my weapons of choice that day.
I came around mid-day before my flight back home to The Bay Area so there wasn’t much of a crowd but the waitress was on point and good with conversation. The Aussies and one transient drinker made for a nice cool afternoon. Inside it’s dark as you would think a pub would be but was extremely clean and well put together. There are dart boards for tournaments and along with the well stocked bar, they have a Scotch selection worthy of a long stay. The price of the food was moderate for the area you’re in and well worth it for the portion size.
So on your next trip to the west coast of Southern California make sure you stop by this little nugget of Britishness. Afterwards head over to the pier and do some other tourist stuff!
I give Ye Olde King’s Head and 8 out of 10.