Ever since we lit on Ladyface, our friends in The Valley are seeing a lot more of us. Today, a new brew-pub and restaurant grand-opens in Agoura Hills called The Lab, currently sporting five beers of its own creation, including a Belgian-style tripel called Take Her Home, a Bad Influence IPA, a milk stout called After Midnight Moo, and an Atom Ale XPA, brewed under the watch of Roger "Dr. Hops" Bott, who one caller to Beer Radio recently called "the most amazing beer maker you'll ever see." We don't know Bott and can't yet substantiate that claim, but we do know Moez Megji, the exec chef at The Lab, from his past stints at Fins Seafood Grill and MOZ Buddha Lounge. Wanna see what he's cooking here?
The science-themed spot calls itself a "gastro-pub" and uses the words "microbrew" (which we recently learned from Squid Ink was a pejorative term, of sorts, for craft beer devotees), raising our hackles of suspicion a bit. The menu feels playful, maybe not in league with the world's hardest-core gastro-pubs, but playing with cuts in comfort preparations like beer-braised meatballs, wagyu lasagna, BBQ duck quesadillas, and lamb burgers.
It's a rather huge menu to bite off and execute with precision, with raw bar items, charcuterie, pizzas, veggie plates, salads, and entrees of protein all playing together, as well as offal-inducing pleasures like sea salt marrow and beef tongue. Hopefully, the ambitious plan leads to a solid output, as this northern spread of The Valley could truly benefit by converting a few more of its dull sports bars into places with decent drafts and more adventurous menu items than chicken fingers and mozzarella sticks. At the least, it'd keep us coming back.
To celebrate the grand-opening tonight, The LAB is offering three dollar drafts all night.
The LAB, 30105 Agoura Road. Agoura Hills. 818-735-0091.