On the way back from opening day at Del Mar we stopped at Karl Strauss in Carlsbad for dinner and beers. Their oatmeal stout was nice without the oily tannins of some oatmeal stouts. Reminded me more of a cream stout, but without the sourness. Amber lager was blah. Red Trolley Ale was very nice, excellent, in fact. Their Belgian red imitation was one of the better fake Belgians I've had, but still can't seriously compare to the real deal. So many Belgian style ales seem to just be laden with off flavors that aren't working together.
The place was also a bit pricy as brewpubs go. If you guys in LA/OC make the road trip to Del Mar, I'd recommend the San Marcos Brewery instead. It's a little out of the way, but worth the extra few miles. More convenient would be the Rock Bottom in the Irvine Spectrum - the "Chicken-Fried Chicken" is awesome, huge and cheap. The beers only so-so.
Don't let the beer thread die!