Public School 818 Is Now In Session

What: Public School, the full-service restaurant/bar brand that delivers "an education in the art of food and beer," opened its sixth location in Sherman Oaks across from the Sherman Oaks Galleria (in the former Sisley location) on March 9. While this one is Public School 818, the other locations in the LA area are Public School 310, 805 and 612. Opening progress […]

What: Public School, the full-service restaurant/bar brand that delivers "an education in the art of food and beer," opened its sixth location in Sherman Oaks across from the Sherman Oaks Galleria (in the former Sisley location) on March 9. While this one is Public School 818, the other locations in the LA area are Public School 310, 805 and 612.

Opening progress report: It's a welcome addition to the 818 dining scene for all ages with a seasonal, eclectic gastropub menu that is heavy on comfort food yet has select choices for lighter eaters. Although it is part of a chain, it doesn't feel formulaic. Seating is mostly well-spaced so you don't feel like you're eavesdropping. It is an especially ideal new dining/drinks option before or after a movie.

The Food: A chef-driven menu developed by executive chef Phil Kastel offers classic Public School dishes including: bacon cheddar tots served with Sriracha ketchup; Colorado lamb burger with tomato cranberry jam, arugula and brie; and flat iron steak with truffle butter. There is a selection of table-sharing appetizers including a charcuterie and cheese plate called The Cutting Board, crispy ahi tuna tacos and chorizo mac 'n' cheese. New menu items include hand-tossed pizzas made in a wood-fire oven; pan-seared salmon with wild mushroom farrotto (farro version of risotto); plus two very worthy sweets at a $5 price point that can't be beat: lemon meringue (layered lemon curd with a graham cracker crust topped with a decadent swirl of toasted meringue), and a Nutella cookie sandwich with bacon brittle, chocolate chunk cookies and vanilla ice cream.

The Drinks: The bar menu features 24 craft beers, with more than half of them rotating to feature seasonal and regional brews, along with artisanal, made-from-scratch cocktails and wine on tap.

Recess for Grown-ups: Happy hour is Monday through Friday, 4 to 7 p.m., with select beer and cocktail choices as well as $4 to $7 food items, including speck & eggs, Parmesan truffle fries and mac 'n' cheese.

Weekend Fun: Brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 a.m. Dishes include eggs Benedict pizza, stuffed French toast and fried Jidori chicken with green chili cornbread waffles. Imbibe but be careful of detention—with $10 "just about bottomless" mimosas, beermosas, micheladas and Bloody Marys.

Classroom Dining Design: All Public School locations differ. A math theme is the main equation at this 818 location, with an updated spin on a retro classroom using tile, wood and steel chrome furniture and light fixtures. Kitschy decor includes letterman jackets at the entrance, globes, math charts and vintage mixers. Seating is a mixture of communal tables, booths and traditional indoor and outdoor dining tables.

Extracurricular activities: A full-size shuffleboard table, two beer pong tables and two dart boards, along with an outdoor fire pit.

Party Time: A private dining room, known as "The Classroom" (of course), ­is available for parties and meetings.

Beer and Cocktail 101: Beer and cocktail classes will be held every two to three months.

Additional Comments: Public School 818 is located at 15300 Ventura Boulevard (at Sepulveda). Open Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. Call for closing times. Valet parking is available in addition to a large, free self-parking lot accessible from Dickens Street.  

 

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