Restaurant Review: A New "Eat Pub" Goes Local in the 818

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We’re getting into step in the 818 as the tavern/pub movement slowly grows.  The latest is The Local Peasant, which replaced Cozy’s in Sherman Oaks. Currently in its soft opening, the paint is barely dry and the signage isn’t yet up — but still, this is the place to be for great food and drinks in a pub atmosphere.  It’s reminiscent of Laurel Tavern in Studio City — only the menu is much more extensive and the place itself is four times the size.

The best Fish & that little container of malt vinegar! PHOTOS: Karen Young

It has that real pub feel with white tile walls and steel fixtures mixed with a combination of wood and stone. The front room hosts a large bar with wall booths and wood tables.  Chalk boards list drinks  written in a classic old-fashioned font. The back room is filled with large communal tables made of reclaimed wood.  There are a few flat TV screens on the bar, but it’s more for  interest, rather than a sports bar effect. The tiled restrooms are even worth a look with The Local Peasant etched in the stone sinks.

Local is a word that rings loudest to The Local Peasant’s three business partners,  Mario Guddemi, Sal Aurora and Karl Makinen. All from New York City, they grew up in the restaurant business with similar Italian-American values and traditions — they enjoy family, friends, great food and conversation.  With an emphasis on “local,” their intention is to bring a “community living room” feeling to The Local Peasant — and that is, warm, inviting and unpretentious.

Mixology Cocktail Hour: Lemon Basil and Cellopeno are just two of the drinks served.

Alcohol is locally sourced within California with the exception of a few beers from Belgium and England.  There are 20 beers on tap and six bottled ($5-8) with more on the way. The wine list is currently being compiled, but are from from local wineries in Malibu, Santa Ynez, Paso Robles and the Central Coast. With some of the wines kegged, they are  pouring them into clear square glass swing-top bottles and glasses ($8-$12). They’ve also got mixology cocktails with Pre-Prohibition and post prohibition themes ($9).  The classics — Old Fashioned, Top Collins, Daiquiri, Side-Car and Vodka Buck combine with the mod — St. Germain, Gordon’s Cup, Watermelon Mojito, Basil Pepper and Cellopeno (their version of a margarita type drink).

Pair drinks with $4 simple bar snacks like marinated olives, deviled eggs with applewood bacon smoked crisps, and warm chili lemon spice nuts.

Portabello Mushroom Burger (it's a mile high and no meat!)

The menu itself is an eclectic twist on classic pub food using locally produced seasonal food and very reasonably priced.  As stated on the front door, The Local Peasant is an “eat pub.” The top price currently on the menu is $14 for Halibut. The evening I went with two friends, we ordered  four dishes and dessert: Short Ribs ($12) prepared in a red wine sauce with vegetables and accompanied with pureed butternut squash was tender and mos flavorful; Fish and Chips ($11)  are generously presented on a wood plank with malt vinegar and dipping sauces for ‘chips,’ which are shaped like square logs of hash browns, and unlike any type of fry we’d eaten before — delicious and addicting. The fish is moistly prepared with red snapper and beer battered; the  Portobello Mushroom Burger ($11) is quite an incredible, well textured vegetarian sandwich — piled high on a soft brioche is a portabello mushroom, roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, sprouts,  avocado, pesto and topped with a crispy fried onion ring; the Grilled Peach Salad ($9) is a light delight with arugula, shaved fennel,  candied walnuts, goat cheese and coarsely chopped Santa Barbara peaches lightly dressed with a sweet orange vinaigarette.

The Grilled Peach Salad is market fresh,

Other must try dishes on the current menu: The Peasant Burger (with cheese, onion and  fried egg), Lamb Chops, Chicken Waldorf Sandwich, Mac & Cheese (with bacon and black truffle oil!), Ceviche,  Margharita Pizza, Heirloom Burrata Salad, Drunken Chicken with mashed potatoes and sour cream) and more. The menu will change according to freshest availability and the seasons.

For dessert, so far they offer two selections — apple cobbler and an ice cream sandwich.  Difficult decision, but we went with the ice cream because we were told the cookies were freshly made. Although, I’m sure the cobbler would have been just as good.  Needless to say, the ice cream sandwich blows local competitor sandwiches away. You can smell the soft cookies as they are brought to the table. The ice cream is generously scooped in between the two soft cookies.

Short Ribs are deliciously tender.

Everything is just so well thought out — down to the vintage looking dish rags used as napkins and the small glass containers with tin tops with rustically punched holes for salt, pepper and malt vinegar.  All that adds to the fun and charming ambiance.  Add that to great food at a reasonable price and I predict The Local Peasant to be a big winner in the 818.

The Local Peasant   14058 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks, CA 91432 Neighborhood: Sherman Oaks (818) 501-0234. Website coming soon!  For updated news from The Local Peasant, please text your email to 818.741.2974.  Hours: Monday – Friday, 4:30- 1am,Saturday and Sunday, 12noon -1am.The kitchen closes at 11pm weekday and 12 midnight Sat and Sunday. Several brunch items will roll out soon for Sat and Sunday 12noon – 4pm. Stay tuned!

Ice Cream Sandwich = Insanely good!

The front door.

Karen Young is the Founder/Editor of  Got a question or idea? Email

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

  • Heidi

    Can’t wait!

    Sherman Oaks needs some great new places to meet up with friends!

  • Melissa C.

    I can’t wait to check this place out. Nice article, Karen!

  • Ana

    I love this place. Food is great, beer is good, and there’s actually places to sit. Going back again this week.

  • AllanC

    Most definitely a must try. Hope the Fish and Chips are as good as the Robin Hood.

    • Karen

      My friends who I was with that evening are Fish & Chips experts. They loved the dish, especially with the malt vinegar. Those ‘chips’ are amazing too..very unusual.

  • Shack

    Fantastic! I can’t wait to try this place. Exactly what the 818 needs!

  • L.R. Wehrli

    Sounds like a great place to take visitors coming in for the holidays. I can’t seem to find their website. Maybe they don’t have one yet?

    • Karen

      They don’t have a website yet. It will be up in a week or so.

  • Ileana

    Good food
    Great chef !!

  • Ty

    Was here last week. Lovely food, people and atmosphere! Finally a gorgeous place in walking distance to while away the evening hours! Love on first night, this is what ‘a local’ is all about!

  • joan lengyel

    Can’t wait. Will be winging in from the East coast. All the best Karl and partners.

  • Amy Jurist

    Going here tonight because of your article! thanks for highlighting it. short ribs and fish and chips… here i come baby!

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