Hey, kids! This is Gustavo–but the review below isn't by me but rather submitted by occasional contributor Charisma Madarang, one of the great minds behind the UC Irvine publication Jet-Lagged. Enjoy!
Located beside a Chipotle and a Pavilions at the newly opened Landing shopping plaza on the Balboa Peninsula, Crow Burger Kitchen sticks out from its fellow tenants like the ultra-chic kid who wore military boots with their Catholic school uniform before it was cool. The restaurant's design is sleek with metallic chairs, industrial lighting, and a blackboard filled with numerous beers and detailed brew lingo chalked on that anchors the energy of place. Their impressive list ranges from the local (San Diego's Big Eye IPA) to Belgium's Le Blanche–32 on tap, 18 on bottle and not a Coors Light in sight.
But when your eyes fall on the Yeti Imperial Stout by the Great Divide Brewing Co., you'll get what–to paraphrase Jules in Pulp Fiction–beer aficionados refer to as a moment of clarity and order it.
At 9.5% ABV with an International Bitterness Unit of 75, you're in for a hefty treat. The drink arrives in a stemmed pokal glass filled to the brim with the dark chocolate-colored stout. Upon taste, the creamy headiness hits like the much-awaited desert you've been waiting for after a 9-to-5 shift. The sweet caramel flavor follows next and while you can taste the 9.5% streaming through your veins, it's pleasantly subdued by the malt of the Imperial Stout. A Yet's thick flavor is heartbreakingly delicious, a meal in itself and the perfect pint to cozy up to during the coming chilly season.
Crow Burger Kitchen, 3107 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach, (949) 673-BRGR(2747); www.crowburgerkitchen.com.