The Compass

Reclaimed and Done Right

Beachside on the sunny streets of coastal California and located about 30 miles north of the city of San Diego, lies the coastal city of Carlsbad. The locals will call the most northern community the Carlsbad Village and it’s scattered with good places to eat and drink.

As I walked through the heart of Carlsbad Village, I noticed that the new gastro pub was open.  Everyone has been talking about the new place and as it was finally open, I decided to walk up to check it out.   As I first walked up to the door I noticed the name “The Compass” on the sign out front and knew I must have gone to the right place.   When I opened the door I was shocked to find a comfortable, rustic modern feel since this place was a dive bar location for many years.  The reclaimed barn wood bar, red leather booths, tables and brick wall were all new.  Made of stained wood, they created a very classy feeling to go along with the fancy beer menu written in chalk on the wall.

Speaking of beer, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  They had such a huge collection of some of the best local craft beers from San Diego and also some of the best from around the world.  I thought to myself, “hmmm, what beer should I get?”  Maybe the Sculpin IPA by Ballest Point or Union Jack IPA from Firestone or Shark Attack Red by Port Brewing which were all on draft along with about ten others.   I don’t think I’ve been presented with such a good selection of quality beers in a non-brewery, local feeling spot ever.   So I did what any steward of good tasting beers would do…I had one of each!

During my time there I got to know the bartender, Scott who, might I say, had an awesome beard to go along with his witty comments.  He told me all about the beers and amazing food menu which included some fancy Roasted Bone Marrow and Brussel Sprout dishes as well as a delicious Baked Mac & Cheese.   Being a gastro pub, I expected nothing less.  I went with the burger since I’m more of a burger guy then ended up sharing it with a buddy of mine who showed up.  This wasn’t any regular burger either but made with some free range, no hormone super cow or something, and tasted like ground Filet Mignon.  As my buddy Chris and I destroyed our burger some skinny jean wearing, mustached men came in and downed some PBR tall boys next to us.  We thought to ourselves this place is awesome because you can bring your girl for date night and have upscale food and cocktails or you can show up with your friends after a surf and chug down a few PBR’s with a juicy burger .

As the placed filled up over the next few hours, I noticed that the clientele was very broad mix consisting of rich Europeans on vacation wearing Armani jeans and fancy glittered tight muscle shirts and paying with black metal Amex cards to my dead beat buddy who put his beers on my tab and bailed to go surf another session across the street.

The Compass also offers wine and whiskey flights (they have an extensive whisky selection) and a new 7-day a week happy hour to complement the great menu.  If and when you stop by the Compass, ask for Scott the bartender and order one of his “Ghost Pepper Martinis”,  if you’re up to the challenge that is!  LOL

As I left, I thought to myself this place is awesome.  From the amazing beer menu, creative yet amazing food selection but most importantly because of the staff who make you feel welcomed and wanting to come back for more.  So stop in to enjoy a brew, you may even find me there sharing a burger and a couple long necks with my buddy before he ditches me to go surfing again. – Racey113

300 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, CA     760-434-1900
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