In the DTLA Arts District, across the street from Church & State Bistro, Little Bear opened earlier this month in the former home of Royal Clayton's Pub. The Belgian Beer specialist is a bar and cafe and has sixteen selections on tap as well as an extensive bottle list. The food menu tends toward gastropub options.
One of the signature food items is the gougeres which come with either sous-vide pork belly, duck confit or fried oysters inside a gourgere, sandwich-style. They come three to an order and are different than any gougere I have ever seen before. Expect to find sandwiches as well as dishes like duck confit and the Belgian classic of waterzooi on the menu.
I enjoyed several of the draught beers but the best beer I sampled was the Jandrain-Jandrenouille VI Saison, which is available by the bottle. Ryan Sweeney of Verdugo Bar and Surly Goat curated the beer list. Sweeney is one of the best beer-men in Southern California and has relationships with breweries such as Russian River that are loath to take on additional accounts, so he brings access as well as expertise to the table at Little Bear. The list is a mix of beers from Belgium and Belgian-style beers from California breweries such as The Bruery (their Wanderer is pictured below) and North Coast. The most interesting selections are on the bottle list, so bring some friends and try a few large format bottles.
The bar has been busy thus far, so plan on a wait for a seat unless you arrive on the early side.
Little Bear: 1855 Industrial Street, DTLA. 213.622.8100 | littlebearla.com