A Sunday visit to the Dankness Dojo, Modern Times new "all in one" located in the heart of Downtown LA. It's a prime location for a brewery/restaurant/coffee bar not far from the Ace Hotel and places like Pershing Square. First impression there's a lot going on and that's not including the patrons or assortment of MT employees pacing narrow walkways between tables and booths. Square footage being a precious commodity straight away you get the feeling this place is maximizing its potential.
No real theme inside just quirky eye catching employee designed art pieces that fill the wall space and promote selfies along with the occasional beer nerd photo. Open seating at the bar and small tables surrounding the full fledged cafe, booths reserved for guest who check in with a hostess. We didn't have to wait but a few minutes to be seated at a booth but I can imagine a busy Saturday night could incur some solid wait time.
30 taps that include core beers like Blazing World, Lomaland and Fortunate Islands but mostly special release beers and some variants. This also includes R&D small batch beers that can only be found in DTLA. Offered in 5oz tasters half and full pours but if you have ever visited Modern Times in San Diego this is nothing new. Bar seating is cozy with a partial view of the brew house and the cool feeling of being detached from a busy restaurant. We tasted a handful beers Grapefruit Radler, Topolobampo, Prisoner in Eden, Blanc on Blanc on Blanc on Blanc, Super Compiler, Beastmaster w/coffee, Blueberries and BA syrup and finally Essence Glider which I ordered a half pour of because the aroma is epic.
The menu is remarkably completely vegan from the burger all the way down to the creamer for your coffee. Something the downtown crowd will appreciate but also may come as a surprise to a casual brewery patron. We didn't eat much coming from brunch a few hours earlier. So to entertain our beers we order the "bar mix" a mixture of spicy,salty and smokey nuts and popcorn which came in a small bowl for sharing. We followed that with "Devils On Horseback" skewers of smoked seitan, cashew cheese stuffed dates and grilled pineapple covered with a bourbon aged maple syrup. If you are wondering what seitan is, it's a meat substitute made entirely of wheat gluten. Strangely enough the dish was palate wrecking peppery something you wouldn't anticipate just reading the description for the dish. On another note if food allergies are your thing as impressive as this menu looks your options are very limited. After speaking to our waitress about possible meal options my wife who suffers from celiacs choose to not eat then risk feeling sick for a couple days after.
The crowd can easily be recognized as a fresh mix of young beer fans, some who power walk to the next open space at the bar desperate to try that fresh haze, others that seem to take light years to finish a pour while pounding away on the keyboard of a mac book. A few large groups of what could of been first-timers to both a brewpub or a Modern Times establishment judging by their conversation. And of course the faithful brewery bum who's just excited a visit to MT no longer involves a 4hr round trip to San Diego.
All in all it's a cool spot with more of a bar vibe than a brewery but thats hard avoid in DTLA. Modern Times Beer is unique and the Dankness Dojo is an excellent representation of the brand. There's a reason way in just a few short years MT has grown exponentially they make delicious beer and are in the business to share it. So if you are in L.A. pay a visit to the Dojo it's worth your time.
cool factor - 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼
Price - $$
Beer - 🍻🍻🍻
Food - 😋😋
(⬆️ It's arbitrary.. I know)