The gastropub just might be the new cupcake, and you won’t hear us complaining. Not when they’re like the new Simmzy’s in Burbank. Just opened in January, you now have a spectacular eating option for your post-Ikea shopping meal that doesn’t involve meatballs. Instead you get local, organic food, superbly sourced drinks, and a place where kids love to play (and then clean their plates).
Playtime For You and Them
They play outside, you relax with a drink—24 beers on tap, 10 wines, all rotating. And drinks that flirt with the divine offerings at the poshest of nightclubs, with everything from bitters to tonics made in house (as they told us, everything but booze, ketchup and mustard are made in the kitchen). It’s also local, organic, and sustainable—all the things you’re looking to feed your kids, in a casual and welcoming atmosphere.
We mentioned that while you’re sipping your tomatillo infused Bloody Simmzy or custom made Mule, the kids are busy playing, right? After ordering, the kids can duck out to the grassed patio to play bean bag toss, and bring their own hand crafted libation (lemonade) with them. Or they can stay inside and play with the Wikki Stix that are brought to the table. Move over Google glasses, Wikki glasses are about to be a thing.
They’ll glance at the kids menu and bark their order before heading outside. The kids menu is short, but built for kids and parents alike. There’s a burger, cheese burger, “awesome” grilled cheese (it is) and plain chicken tenders (which are even more awesome, and you will sneak some, just so you can try one of the dips that comes with it: garlic aioli, avocado buttermilk, BBQ or blue cheese). Pick from green salad, shoestring fries or sweet potato fries to accompany the entrée. Normally, we’re proponents of the sweet potato, but in this case we have to recommend the shoestring. They’re not too crispy, yet not at all soggy. The kids won’t share, so order your own.
Speaking of your own, you can choose from a salad (kale, ahi, shrimp, chicken and short rib are all stellar toppings), fish tacos, burgers or sammys. While the burger receives justifiable raves, we also wouldn’t miss the pulled pork panino, the juicy grilled chicken or the salmon sandwich. And if you’re looking for a veggie option, the black bean veggie burger will leave you more than satisfied.
If you’re here on the weekend, there are a few egg options that are served until 2:30 p.m. They’re all classics, and all delicious (though we confess a particular fondness for the Breakfast Sandwich).
On this section of the menu, there are only 2 offerings, but that’s all you need. Mostly because you’re still so full from French fry stealing (parent tax). Their most popular dessert is the Apple Filled Donut (and with words like salted caramel, pistachio, and ice cream accompanying it, it’s no wonder), but since when do kids pay attention to what the masses like? They want what they want, and when your kids see the S’mores Chocolate Pudding, it’s game over. Sneak a bite of the warm marshmallow topping before they start fighting over who gets to lick the last smudge of pudding.
Oh, The Vibe?
It’s a little laid back beach and a little 70’s lodge with a hipster sporty vibe. That sounds like a hodge-podge, but it’s not, and the aesthetic is modern yet homey yet welcoming. You can sit by the open doors that lead out to the enclosed patio, where the kids can run and play and it feels like a summer day by the beach. And the waiting area downstairs is cozy and chic but comfortable with relaxing chairs and friendly staff chatting you up while you wait.
Our favorite space is actually the private dining room and lounge upstairs that are perfect for parties (kids or parents). And if the beanbags on the patio lose their charms and there is no party upstairs, kids are welcome to wander up and play a game of chess or watch sports on TV with parents.
Family Knows Family
So, how’d a sports bar get so family friendly? It’s all in the family. Mike Simms, the owner, grew up running around the kitchen and under the tables at French Market in West Hollywood and The Kettle in Manhattan Beach; they’re his father’s and grandfather’s restaurants. Then he, his father and his 2 brothers opened Tin Roof Bistro, Simmzy’s Manhattan Beach, Manhattan Beach Post, and Fishing With Dynamite. Now with two girls of his own, he knows that parents want great food, even better booze, and the chance to share it with their kids in an atmosphere that keeps kids eating and entertained.
Parking is free in a giant lot (which for locals might be no biggie, but for those of us who crossed the 5 to get here, it feels like winning the lottery), and if this drive seems to far for this to become your weekend hang, don’t worry. The original outpost is still in Manhattan Beach, the Long Beach location is always hopping and ground has already broken on the planned spot in Venice Beach. The new Simmzy’s is open weekends for brunch and weekdays from 11 a.m. to midnight.
3000 Olive Ave., Burbank
Got a favorite burgers and brews spot to let us know about? We’re always looking for great casual places where kids are welcome. Let us know your secret spot!
All photos courtesy of Meghan Rose and Simmzy’s.