Basic pub meals shines at Loma Brewing in Los Gatos

Bar area photographed at the Loma Brewing Company in Los Gatos, Calif. on Monday, December 4, 2017. (Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group)

It was big news in the beer world when Loma Brewing Company won the 2017 California Commercial Brewery of the Year award at the California State Fair. Everyone was clamoring for a spot at the modern Los Gatos brewery’s bar, and a pint of the stone-fruity Appeasement, which won first place for American India Pale Ale.

We knew brewmaster Warren Billups’ beers were great, but how did the pub-style comfort food compare? The answer is mixed. The brewery has housed a full-scale restaurant since it opened in 2016 and, more recently, a coffee shop serving Four Barrel Coffee (that gem is open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily). Inside the restaurant, with its high ceilings and distressed wood-paneled walls, there are cozy booths in addition to two- and four-top tables.

The menu has plenty of affordable options and beer-friendly nibbles, which is exactly what you want in a brewery restaurant. I’d recommend starting with a mix of Snacks ($5-$10), like the soft, house-made Loma Pretzels with jalapeño pub cheese ($9) and slightly more substantial Appetizers ($12-$15), including the giardiniera-topped Deviled Eggs ($8) or the Chicken Wings ($12), which come with a secret Loma wing sauce or house buffalo sauce.

From there, stick to what you’d expect a pub to do well, like the Burger ($15), a custom Wagyu blend cooked your way and topped with melt-y white cheddar, caramelized onions, lettuce, pickles and a luscious sauce on brioche. The Fried Chicken Sandwich ($15) is also quite good: a giant, seriously crunchy slab of fried chicken breast, house pickles and two-cabbage slaw on brioche. Ask for extra slaw or a bigger squirt of aioli dressing, which contains Loma’s house-made hot sauce made with fermented chiles. I didn’t detect heat in my bites.

Bratwurst & Mash ($19) is another crowd-pleaser. With your juicy Stephen’s Meats brat you get perfectly griddled potato salad along with caramelized onions, and a kicky porter and mustard gravy. Executive chef Aubree Arndt currently incorporates beer into five items on the menu including the Mussels ($15) and Fried Brussels Sprouts ($12), which both feature Loma’s hefeweizen.

In our experience, dishes outside the pub-food comfort zone fell flat, or somehow missed the mark. Neither the ginger yogurt nor the jalapeño herb vinaigrette dressing on the Beet Salad ($12) lived up to their zingy descriptions, though the pickled cantaloupe was a nice touch. The turmeric yogurt topping the Moroccan flatbread ($15) — while bright and healthful — tasted acerbic and lacked depth. A thicker, chunkier layer of the feta-almond-cilantro pesto would’ve helped, and provided texture. And finally, pan-seared halibut, the Market Fish ($27) at the time of our visit, featured delightfully buttery cauliflower mash and a flavor-packed fennel confit, but the fish itself was overcooked.

Loma Brewing Company is a great destination in downtown Los Gatos for award-winning beer, bar bites and swift service (on weeknights in the dining room). Did I mention it’s also kid-friendly? Stick to those bites and some trusted pub classics and you won’t be disappointed.

Loma Brewing Company

2 stars

Where: 130 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos

Contact: 408-560-9626;

Hours: Open nightly for dinner

Cuisine: Comfort food

Prices: $16-$28

Vegetarian: Several options, including the Loma Veggie Burger ($13), Vegetarian Ramen ($16), Roasted Vegetable Platter ($13) and two Flatbreads ($14-$15)

Beverages: Award-winning beers plus wine and craft cocktails

Reservations: Accepted via OpenTable

Noise level: Loud in the bar; moderate in dining room

Parking: Street parking

Kids: Children’s menu includes cheeseburger, spaghetti marinara and cheese pizza ($8 each)

Pluses: Loma Brewing Company excels at classic comfort food dishes you’d expect to eat with craft beer, including hearty sandwiches, chicken wings and house-made pretzels.

Minuses: The restaurant needs improvement when executing more complex dishes with layered flavor profiles. A few dishes missed the mark on our visit.

Date opened: August 2016

Restaurant reviews are conducted anonymously. The Bay Area News Group pays for all meals.


Restaurants are rated on a scale of one to four, with four representing a truly extraordinary experience for that type of restaurant.


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