It’s a bear, hunting down the new Kodiak’s Restaurant & Bar in Farmingdale. The place doesn't jump right out at you; rather, it faces sideways in a furniture outlet strip mall set back a bit from Route 110. But once you know where it is, you'll walk into one of the hottest new scenes this side of the Hamptons.
The space that used to house Origins (a nightclub) has been totally transformed. Now it's a handsome, multi-level and cavernous den with a huge bar, over 25 flatscreen TVs and three billiard tables. The place has not one but two happy hours - 4 to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10 p.m. to midnight nightly, with inexpensive, inventive drink specials in the $6 range. An acoustic music artist provides background music Thursday nights, while live bands get going 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
And the food? Definitely better than conventional pub grub. At lunch, the “ball park” sandwich scored a home run: hot peppery pastrami piled onto a pretzel roll with spicy mustard and melted Swiss, plated with warm house-fried potato chips. A bacon cheeseburger was smoky, oozy, delicious. Next time, though, I'll skip the nondescript thin-crust pizza. There's plenty of low-priced choices for those who want a snack with their Margarita, like a bowl of onion soup or a salad.
Kitchen manager Christopher Werner and General manager Philip Krumpter collaborated on both menus and recipes. Their crew is enthusiastic and well-versed about the food.
Kodiak’s Restaurant & Bar is at 1815 Broadhollow Rd., Farmingdale, 631-414-7055
"Ball Park" sandwich at Kodiak's, Farmingdale