On a hot summer evening, the living wall inside of Steins Beer Garden is a leafy green reprieve from the South Bay’s sweltering heat. The vertical garden, stacked to the ceiling with philodendron, is one of the many unique details found inside Steins’ new 6,500-square-foot space across the street from Vallco Mall.

With a focus on pairing quality dishes with craft beers, owner Ted Kim and executive chef Colby Reade clearly have a grasp on how to combine German and Californian influences for a first-rate beer garden and sports bar. A handful of flat screen TVs—including a giant one that hovers on top of the vertical garden—adorn the restaurant’s walls, making it easy to catch the game from any angle. Steins’ 1,500-square-foot outdoor patio, where local singers perform on weekends, makes an otherwise drab view more enjoyable.

Any trip to Steins must start with the essentials: a pint of one of 35 rotating beers on tap and a classic pretzel ($7), baked fresh in-house daily and served with caraway beer mustard, pub cheese and tomato jam. With 20 house staples and 15 rotating taps that feature local breweries and seasonal flavors, there’s a beer for every palate.

Steins’ menu mirrors that of its sister location in Mountain View, with a few exceptions. The new spot offers an upgrade on their signature breakfast for dinner dish ($17), featuring a Jameson waffle with cured pork belly, butter lettuce and maple Dijon vin. We opted for something lighter and started with Steins’ highly-recommended quinoa and roasted butternut squash salad ($14) which came loaded with Napa cabbage, jicama, cilantro and avocado relish—all topped with pumpkin seeds and a tangy house made chili lime vinaigrette.

Certain specialties, like Steins’ classic fried chicken sandwich ($14) and homemade veggie “meatloaf” sandwich ($13), remain the same, and for good reason—they pair excellently with any beer on tap and are both original renditions of classic dishes. Juicy buttermilk battered chicken was complemented with chili lime slaw, a tangy horseradish aioli, pickles and served on housemade ciabatta bread.

Steins’s veggie “meatloaf” was also surprisingly flavorful, and it’s considered a house favorite among both vegetarians and carnivores. Made with quinoa flour, flax seed, assorted veggies and topped with a red pepper pecan relish, the sandwich’s flavor was satisfying and filling. For an extra $2, splurge and add grilled onions or roasted mushrooms to balance out the quinoa.

Steins Beer Garden  10088 N Wolfe Rd, Ste 130, Cupertino. 408.564.6122