I’m always looking for new, local spots to satisfy my palate when my meds potentiate my appetite…especially around mealtime. July evenings, after the intense summer heat of the day transitions to mellow, breezy warmth is the perfect time to hit the sidewalks in a perambulatory exploration for a satisfying supper. The optimal walking weather makes it possible to medicate before stepping out for the evening meal, turning the simple quest into a fun adventure. You are probably more likely to encounter restaurants that fail to satisfy if you’re navigating blindly. Yelp is a worthy advance guide to mediate any aimless meandering, which can be devastating if the destination doesn’t meet some basic expectations. Fortunately we did consult Yelp a few nights ago and then navigated about a half mile or so to the unassuming on the outside, yet rollicking on the inside Irish pub & grill called Timmy Nolan’s, located on Riverside in Toluca Lake, CA.
Since type and quality of food is generally a higher priority than location or atmosphere, I’ll just say that Timmy Nolan’s serves delicious and satisfying comfort food with both American and Irish offerings. If you’re hungry for cold or hot sandwiches, club, melt, etc., burgers, beef, pasta, tacos…or perhaps fish and chips, bangers and mash or shepard’s pie, Timmy’s has it, and it is good.
Timmy’s is a two-story pub, with large screen sports, food and alcohol available on both floors. The upstairs is more restaurant-like, with more tables and a nice view of Universal Studios through a large front window. There are also bars upstairs and downstairs, though the downstairs is twice as large with twice as many lively customers drinking, mingling, snacking and viewing. Most of the dining is done upstairs, where there are more dedicated tables, booth and waiters. Staff folks are cheery and diligent at what they do, and there are more than enough bar, kitchen and wait staff to keep everyone happy and sated. Their menu offers lunch, happy hour, appetizer & dinner menus, all of which are similar in style.
It was fairly crowded on the first floor when we walked in, lively as heck but not rowdy or unwelcoming. We were mainly there for food so after a stop at the downstairs bar, made a beeline for the stairs and guided ourselves up to an open table. The vibe was more chill upstairs and though most tables were full, if felt a much more spacious and inviting atmosphere for eating than we found downstairs. At the bar we had picked up a few happy hour pints of deliciously sweet and heady Magners Irish cider, which complemented my medicated state really nicely.
Since different varieties and strains of cannabis can produce totally different effects, it is worth adding that I had enhanced my appetite that evening prior to our walk with some deliciously potent mini red velvet muffins (10mg ea) made by Topanga Harvest. One of the upsides of the new marijuana regs in California is that the state certified edibles are reliable in terms of dosage / potency and food quality. I’ve bought plenty of edibles in the past that didn’t live up to the potency listed on the packaging or that tasted horrible. The Topanga minis come in several flavors & varieties and pack a nice punch. The banana nut & red velvet are scrumptious; the chocolate is good but not as amazing. Other varieties include coffee cake, lemon cake, blueberry, apple cinnamon. The effects produced by these minis include a very manageable yet determined case of the munchies, which is how I felt while scanning the pub’s dinner menu.
I tried to order modestly since my eyes are always bigger than my stomach and bigger still if I’ve got the munchies. Focused restraint, I suppose. As I made my way through the sandwich offerings, I happened upon an item that in its simplicity of design and potential for tasting great would be a great test of the pub’s worth as a grill. I ordered a BLT. There are only a few steps involved in making a BLT: cook the bacon, toast the bread and stack the B, L and T between the two slices of toast with a little mayo. I consider myself a bit of a BLT expert, as one year I spent months walking the streets of San Francisco, each day looking for a new restaurant with BLT on the menu. Timmy’s BLT was fantastic – the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. Bacon was crispy and flavorful and not chewy or tough. Veggies were fresh, bread perfectly toasted with the right amount of mayo. Perfection made simple. I did not taste the individual ingredients, but the delicious sandwich as a whole. Yum! There were different choices for sides, but I went with the standard fries. Timmy’s serves up seasoned steak fries, cooked to crispy glory, that go perfectly with the sandwich. The cider tied all of it together for a very pleasant palate!
The food, drink, service and atmosphere at Timmy Nolan’s were all superb, and I do plan to go back before summer’s end. Now that it is so much easier to use cannabis in California, walking is more often the best option for local transport, and it is really helpful to find good restaurants in walking distance. The reward is a more satisfying and intense experience of the food and all of its flavors and textures. Just don’t let the munchies talk you into overeating.
If the food, drinks & atmosphere sound good but you aren’t sure about the price, Timmy Nolan’s is not just good, but affordable. At Timmy’s, you can get a pint of happy hour cider and BLT with fries for under $20. Consult your local dispensary to sample the Topanga Harvest edibles, or visit their website to find out where you can get some. Abondanza!
Timmy Nolan’s is located at 10111 Riverside Dr, Toluca Lake, CA 91602