Move over Hard Rock café… There’s a new sheriff in town, and its name is Rock and Brews! I had the honor of being a VIP guest of both Gene Simmons and his long time friend and band mate Paul Stanley of the world renowned rock band KISS at the ribbon cutting ceremony, and official opening for the new LAX location of Rock and Brews (the first in any airport, with more locations to come). Gene Simmons, the “King of the Tongues” certainly had them all wagging at this fantastic event, right along with his many partners. I was very fortunate to be introduced to Dave Furano, Dell Furano, Michael Zislis (co-owners and founders) and both Deborah and Robert Crews (co-owners at LAX), all of whom we need to tip our glasses of cold Oktoberfest ale to.
Dave and Dell Furano are music merchandising powerhouses, Dave being the former concert tour manager for such acts as the legendary Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, and Doors and his brother Dell controlling the music merchandising… i.e., all the stuff we love to buy to show our love for Rock and Roll! Michael Zislis is a hospitality genius. The founder and owner of both Shade hotel, and Rock’n Fish, he knows how to indulge a customer, providing an unparalleled experience in hospitality and comfort. Deborah and Robert Crews, the owners of Crews of California, are the masterminds behind of some of the hottest and most frequented retail stores and restaurants in LAX, such as Lemonade, See’s Candies, Klatch Coffee, and The Concert Bar. These winning seven are the reason we will be partying it up both to and from our destinations! Like Rock N Roll itself, this location is very well played indeed.
The food here is amazing, with of course a huge selection of equally amazing draft beers. The favorite munchie seems to be the Fireball burger, a hand formed ground chuck monster. This bad boy is smothered in pepper jack cheese, spicy relish, chipotle aioli, avocado, and fresh tomato, all on a warm soft bun. It just might have you sticking your tongue out, making Gene Simmons very proud. Next on the list would have to be my personal favorite, the Bill Graham BBQ chicken pizza… oh man, this one had me deep in the mosh pit. After tasting it, I tried hard to put the smack down on anyone who got close to taking a slice! It also boasts a hefty list of delicious ingredients including mozzarella and gouda cheese, bbq sauce, fresh cilantro, red onion, and fire-grilled chicken breast. As a self proclaimed foodie, I can honestly tell you that this is one of the best bbq pizzas I have ever had. I think that brings us to the VIP section, where the brews await. I counted 36 different beers on the menu myself; some local favorites include Hangar 24 DIPA, El Segundo White Dog, Beach House Amber, and some rotating faves such as Lost Abbey and Monkish Brewing. Make sure you come and get ‘em fast before they go up in flames!
Let’s not smash our guitars before we have an encore…aka DESSERT!!! Try the “Purple Rain” drops. These delicious, puffy, golden beignets are filled with chocolate and drizzled with raspberry sauce. Can you say groupie? Or how about the Real beer float? No root, just beer, made with ice cream and Maui Brewing’s Coconut Porter. Yum. If that’s not a back stage pass, I don’t know what is. After mingling with a few guests, and enjoying the ribbon cutting, I was lucky enough to spend a moment alone with Dave Furano. I asked him the one question was dying to know.
Q: “Why a restaurant?”
A: “It’s my way of capping off such an amazing career. In LA we are so lucky to have rock and roll and great food every day. I wanted a way to bring it to places like Boise Idaho, and Des Moines Iowa. Places that don’t have as much variety, or who don’t get to rock out like we do. I wanted to spread my love of good food and rock and roll to the masses.”
I’m certain both those cities will be looking forward to their Rock and Brews locations, and they will be proud and lucky to have them. So if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to party like a rock star for real, wonder no more. Now you have Rock and Brews. Party hard!!