image Dining

Beer and Balls

By Devin Strecker

June 27, 2014

Just a few of the ways the delicious meatballs at Ball and Chain can be served.

Just a few of the ways the delicious meatballs at Ball and Chain can be served.

Awhile back, we here at Only in Hollywood attended a conference in Minneapolis, MN, where we were introduced to the concept of a “meatball joint” – a restaurant and bar specializing in different types of meatballs.  The place was called The Devil’s Advocate, and let’s just say I personally made more than one trip there during our short visit to the twin cities.  I thought to myself, “why don’t we have somewhere like this in Hollywood?”  Well, now we do!

Ball and Chain is now open at 1643 N. Cahuenga in a sleekly redesigned space featuring a curved, tunnel-like interior covered in shiny black subway tiles.  Behind the bar are shelves lined with what must be hundreds of different bottles of various sodas and beers, and a tap with twenty rotating California craft beers.  The friendly staff will help you select your gourmet meatballs from five different varieties, with five different sauces, served in five different styles.  To help you make sense of it all, I’ll share with you some of what I tried on my first (of what will be many!) visit.

  • The angus beef meatball, prepared with garlic and herbs, served with old school marinara sauce on top of spaghetti was hearty and comforting
  • The turducken meatball includes – of course – turkey, duck and chicken, with garlic and herbs, and was served with classic pesto sauce and creamy polenta, making for a unique combination of flavors and textures
  • The daily special when I visited was a chicken satay ball with a thai-inspired coconut-basil sauce and it was definitely my favorite!

So, basically, you choose your meat, your sauce, and then decide how you want the meatballs served – on a bun, with a side, or – as I would recommend – as a “ball flight” which is a sampling of all five balls!  There are also vegan-friendly balls, if meat isn’t your thing.


Ball and Chain drew a big crowd for its ribbon-cutting event hosted by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce on June 26, 2014. (Photo by Sylvan De La Cruz)

I also tried several of the delicious craft beers, including the Anderson Valley  Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, the Green Flash Hop Head Red, and the Venice Beach Brewing June Gloom, which was my favorite.

Who knew meatballs and beer were such a winning combination?  Apparently, owners Marc Kreiner (The Morrison) and Kristofer Keith did – and thankfully they are letting us all in on the discovery!  Just to sweeten the deal – they also have “donut balls” and ice cream floats, and make sure to bring some money for the jukebox!

Devin Strecker serves as manager of communications and social media of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance.  He previously spent eight years working for the nearby Hollywood Media District BID, starting out as an administrative assistant and working up to operations coordinator.  He graduated from Fort Hays State University, near his hometown of Paradise, Kansas, with a degree in information networking and telecommunications, emphasis in media studies.  He is a musician with his own band, Devin Tait and the Traitors.

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