Red Leprechaun Meatball Soup

The Meatball Soup at Red Leprechaun is perfect for a chilly day.

While The Red Leprechaun is faithful to its roots as a traditional Irish Pub, there have been changes since it opened back in 2012.

An Irish pub has its own reputation, owner Tracy Ames said. The old saying “No strangers here, only friends we haven’t met” is prominently displayed.

“We’re keeping the feeling, but also transforming into a gastro pub,” Ames said.

It’s friendly to families, too. There’s even a large rolling toy box that children can pull out to get at the toys.

At first, there were no TVs, in line with a traditional Irish Bar.

 “We added TVs during the Olympics,” Ames said. “The phone rang off the hook with customers who wanted to watch.”

You have to sit in the dining area to see the televisions. Ames said she wants customers sitting at the bar to continue to interact with each other.

“And we raise the big screen when there’s nothing to watch,” she said.

About The Food

The top seller is a relatively new item on the menu: The Tri-Tip Appetizer (medium rare thin slices with gorgonzola sauce on a baguette, garlic aioli, fresh greens and a hint of balsamic dressing ($13).

Second is the Angry Blue Burger: Angus ground beef, blue cheese garlic aioli and Jalapeño hot sauce ($12.50) with a choice of salad or fries.

Third, it's Fish and Chips, which is made with craft beer in the batter to give a unique taste.

Fourth is corned beef and cabbage with mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies (Only $13).

The corned beef is still brined for seven days and than cooked for five hours. They make all their sauces on site, including salad dressing.

For first timers, Ames said if customers like something spicy, she suggests Irish Nachos — potato wedges with steak, tomatoes and jalapeño sauce.

Other recommendations for new customers included the crab cakes and obviously, the corned beef and cabbage.

Breakfast

They have some fun breakfast choices as well. The French Toast-Bread Pudding ($7.95) is sliced bread, egg-battered with Guinness cream and served with candied walnuts and syrup.  Irish Breakfast Nachos ($10.25) are bacon or sausage, house potatoes, and melted cheese with Jalapeño sauce and topped with two eggs.

Entertainment

The second Thursday of every month is a bluegrass jam that morphs into a folk revival. The second Saturday is the popular Whooligans. How popular?

“You have to have a reservation,” Ames said. “We sell out."

There also is a recurring pub quiz trivia night. Check the website for the next scheduled quiz.

Beverages

The Red Leprechaun features a wide variety of craft beer and the Irish Coffee is the perfect way to top off a meal: fresh coffee, Guinness Cream and house-made butterscotch.

Important To Know

They'll celebrate their fifth anniversary with a special party on  Aug. 12.

Also upcoming is Karl Strauss beer dinner with the date to be announced.

They open at 11 a.m. Tuesday-Friday and 9 a.m. on weekends. Happy hour is 3-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday.

In back, there’s a nice, dog friendly “paddio.” It’s an Irish place, remember?

The Red Leprechaun is at 4000 E. Anaheim St. Parking is on the street and in the back. The phone is (562) 343-5560 and the website is www.redleprechaun.com.

And fortunately, the website has a countdown clock to St. Patrick’s Day.

Kurt comes to the Gazettes with 30 years experience in broadcasting and journalism. He has produced and/or directed hundreds of television programs, including news, sports, entertainment, election coverage, town meetings and telethons.

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