A Break, A Sumptuous Burger and a Local Beer

Simmzy’s pub brings a breath of fresh air to Washington Boulevard’s Beach block.

Written by Constance Dunn|Photos courtesy of Simmzy’s Pub

Stopping into your favorite restaurant usually involves more than just dining and imbibing. It’s about experiencing a pause, a blip of relaxation to your day. This pleasant sense of getaway is among the highlights at Simmzy’s Pub in Venice. Opened in late July, it’s the newest location for the sit-down eatery, known for its craft beers and stacked house burgers, and owned by Manhattan Beach-based Simms Restaurant Group. It joins a handful of other patio bars and restaurants in the abbreviated block at the end of Washington Boulevard, right before it meets the sand and the Venice pier.

There’s a breezy, open-air dining room and a big chalkboard announcing a generous menu of lagers and ales, many of them sourced from regional breweries, and some internationally. “We like to have different styles on tap,” says Manager Steve Anas. “But not every style is made in California. So we always support the local community, we have a great relationship with Santa Monica Brew Works and El Segundo Brewing Company—these are just two examples of local breweries we carry. But there are styles of beer you just can’t find in America, so sometimes you have to go out of the country to find those styles, which is what we’ve done a bit here.”

(Don’t fret wine lovers, there’s always at least a half a dozen varietals on deck, and the sangria flows on weekends.) “It’s a little retro,” says Anas, describing the look of the place. “There’s that surfer feel that we like to put into all of the restaurants, that beach feel.” Since this is Venice, there’s a skateboard theme, too. Arbor-brand skateboards functions as light sconces  in restrooms, and wheels and trucks are used as purse hangs underneath the bar.

The star menu attraction, and a mainstay of Simmzy’s four locations, is the Simmzy’s Burger, an Angus beef patty topped with chow chow onions, melted cheddar and a creamy, homemade garlic aioli. The more ambitious can order up the Bacon Blue Deluxe, heaped with blue cheese and candied bacon, or up the ante with a Blue Cheese Haystack—fries topped with blue cheese dressing, garlic and spicy sauce.

One might be hard-pressed to imagine going for greens in this sea of meat and cheese goodness. However, Simmzy’s has a small and well-conceived collection of salads, including Anas’ current break-time favorite, the Shrimp, Citrus and Avocado Salad. The blue-ribbon difference in Simmzy’s recipe, Anas explains, is not just the queso fresco or homemade vinaigrette dressing, but the smoky undertones in the grilled shrimp. “One of the things we have here, which is distinctive, and that you can taste in the burger, is that we cook over white oak,” he explains.”So it smells like an old Southern barbecue.” He points to a tidy pile of the wood, stacked steps from the grill.

Though the Venice branch of Simmzy’s is fairly new, its clean-cut atmosphere and foodie menu have already gathered quite a local fan base. Currently, you are sure to enjoy a sedate lunch if you stop by on the weekdays, but look for heavier crowds at dinner and all day on weekends, starting at brunch and usually not tapering off until closing time, which is 11 p.m.

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