If you’ve been to the downtown L.A. Daily Grill lately, you may have noticed a separate bar space just past the host stand. That’s Public School 612 (AKA PS 612), a new gastropub concept from the owners of the Daily Grill restaurants. This is the first of what the owners hope will be many PS 612 locations.
The bar opens every day at 4:00 p.m. and features food and drink, including a nicely edited beer list. There’s also a Recess happy hour on weekdays from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a bar bites menu that tops out at $4. The drink specials don’t include the bar’s cocktails, but there’s a $4 handle of beer (that’s actually available all night long), a $5 Skinny Margarita and a $10 carafe of wine.
I was recently invited to try out the Recess menu, and I definitely found some favorite items. The Adobo Short Rib Tacos are tasty and tender, even though I didn’t really find the vinegar flavor I was expecting with a name like adobo. But no matter; the tacos were good (and hearty) anyway.
The Schezwan Calamari surprised me. I was skeptical at first, but the spicy Chinese flavors worked really nicely with this traditional Italian dish. I think I may actually prefer this preparation.
I also tried some items that are on the regular dining menu, and the 1903 Fish & Chips served with remoulade was a standout. The fish was light and flaky, and the fries were nicely fried, too.
There’s also a dessert menu that’s kind of a secret, mostly because the items aren’t listed. Why aren’t they listed? Because they ran out of room on the menu! Seriously. So make sure to ask for these two delicious items: the beer float and the peanut butter and jelly cookies with milk.
This beer float, made with vanilla ice cream and Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, is my favorite beer float. The chocolate stout just makes sense — it’s not too bitter, but just bitter enough to give it some bite.
The peanut butter and jelly cookies are also a great choice. The peanut cookie is rich, and the sweetness from the fruit jelly balances that out.
As for the drinks here, stick with the beer. There are beers from Craftsman, Allagash, Unibroue, Telegraph and The Bruery, among other quality breweries. Oh, and you can play darts in the back. It’s a recipe for good times.
Note: This meal was hosted.