There is a cultural-anthropology study waiting to be done about why in the United States we have over-the-top sports bars while the rest of the world somehow gets by with just bars and pubs with a little television in the corner.

Is it our national obsession with bigger and better that drives us to create multimedia carnivals festooned with hanging gardens of flat-screen TVs and sound systems that compete with IMAX theaters? And what about the food? Sport bars have created a cuisine all its own that includes modern classics of the genre like Cajun fries, curly fries, chicken wings, fried calamari, stuffed and fried jalapenos and double-bacon cheeseburgers. 

For better or worse, sports bar cuisine has become a subset of American food. France has coq au vin. China has pork buns. America has the barbecued chicken sandwich with avocado, Swiss cheese, bacon and onion rings.

In Los Gatos, Double D’s Sports Grille dominates the sports-bar category with its 20 flat-screen TVs and crowd-pleasing menu. But there’s a newcomer in town: the Los Gatos Bar and Grill.

The restaurant is owned by the same folks who own the Britannia Arms Downtown San Jose, San Jose Bar and Grill and Tres Gringos Baja Cantina in downtown San Jose.  Where Double D’s caters to the whole family, the LGBG’s niche is the adult crowd.

It is located upstairs in the urban, loft-like space formerly occupied by the 180 Restaurant. Except for weekends, it’s only open for dinner, which tends to keep families with kids away. The place is a sports bar until someone throws a switch well after dark, and LGBG becomes a club, complete with a cover charge, DJs and dudes with too much cologne eyeing chicks at the bar.

But I’m here to talk about the food. The menu works familiar territory but adds a few other items to make it a step above traditional sports bar fare. 

The restaurant gets the basics right, and it doesn’t get more basic than a hamburger. The Nor-Cal burger ($11.50) represents well with its combination of avocado, pepper jack cheese, hickory-smoked bacon and special sauce. The burger is a half-pound but well proportioned. The sandwich comes with shoestring fries or tater tots. I say opt for the tater tots. If you like your tots spicy, check out the Cajun tater tots ($7), which are not bad with a tall, cold beer.

I was skeptical about the restaurant’s lineup of Mexican food, but I’m here to report that the Baja fish tacos are pretty good. $11.95 is a lot more than what you would pay in Baja, but the beer-battered cod tacos with cabbage, pico de gallo and white sauce are the real deal. The only exception is the addition of jack cheese. Real Baja fish tacos are not made with cheese.

Good, too, is the Los Cabos ceviche cocktail ($13.95), made with shrimp, tilapia and avocado. It’s fresh and heavy on the lime. What do you know? It tastes pretty good with beer, too.

The menu strays into Asian territory, but that is trying to do too much. The grilled-chicken satay ($9.95) was like boiled chicken on a stick with a little sweet peanut sauce dribbled over the top. Stick with tater tots.

I was disappointed with the Diablo surf and turf ($17.95), a grilled flat iron steak with sauted shrimp in a vaguely spiced “Cajun” cream sauce. In spite of its purported marinate and grill time, the less-than-tender steak I had was strikingly bland.

Desserts consist of cheesecake ($7.95), churros ($3.95) and a big cookie with ice cream and chocolate sauce ($7.95). I didn’t try them. Does anybody order dessert at a sport bar? In America, they probably do.