Review: Beer Belly

31 May 2015

I embarked on another epic trip that would bring me to 6 states in 12 days on a strange little project. However, it also means it lets me explore more historic cemeteries (I really should create a separate blog for that hobby…), and more awesome food in places less travelled. I began my journey after a cross-country flight to Los Angeles.

I was in LA for the weekend just to chill before I headed off for the more unusual destinations. I had a great first day in town, which ended with some nice BBQ from Bludsoe’s BBQ (the new location but the same good stuff as their Compton original location). Nice ribs, real good fatty brisket. But it was the second day, after visiting a few interesting historic cemeteries in the area (even finding the grave of Rasputin’s daughter!), I headed to K-Town for lunch.

Nope, not Korean, since in Northern Virginia I can get all the good Korean stuff as in LA (plus I’m planning a return trip to Seoul later in the year), so I headed to a buzzy gastrobar called Beer Belly. With a name like that you gotta imagine a lot of craft beers and belly-full rich food!

I got to the cute little gastrobar just as it was opening and I plopped down at the bar. I explored some of the craft beers as I placed my order. My, the food sounds absolutely awesome — and rich! As I was enjoying my first dark beverage the first of my fishes arrived.

pork belly chips

Yep, called nicely as “pork belly chips” this was about as decadent as it gets. Full of flavour, it’s just one of those things you know is bad for you but you eat it anyway. Wow… Then more arrived.

lamb meatballs

These are the lamb meatballs. Done pretty well, I wish the lamb came out a bit more though. Not a bad dish, the slab of feta was a nice touch. I enjoyed more beer, now shifting down to a local IPA. Then the last dish arrived.

chicken skin cracklins

Simple, called “chicken skin cracklins” these are so nice and easy to eat. Not overly breaded, it’s just perfect. All of this is extremely condusive to drinking, so they have a wonderful working formula! Plus friendly and chatty staff, it’s just a real cool place to hang out.

One of the servers (who I later chatted with in Russian) recommended the mac-and-cheese, so I went with her rec — not just because she was cute! After those 3 dishes I have much confidence on how this place does rich, comfort food. I had another beer, switching to another ale before the dish arrived.


Now this was nice, a full, rich and deep mac-and-cheese. They don’t play around here, it’s just good solid comfort food — almost as good as the type I was getting in OKC at Cheever’s Cafe a few weeks earlier. Fabulous.

I left very happy, but extremely full. A wonderful place that I’d be happy to have as a regular, with fabulous food, good drinks, and awesome staff. Highly recommended!

Beer Belly
532 S Western Avenue
Los Angeles, California

* Sadly, not a happy end note here. As I have noticed over the past half year or so, my body is starting to not react well to beer. I had forced myself on a 3-beer limit since because for some reason beer these days (don’t matter what beer, from swill to stout) just wrecks the pH of my digestive system to the point that I have come to a sad conclusion that I can’t even do 3 beers anymore. Odd, wine doesn’t do it to me. After 25 years of enjoying many a beers, I may be forced to quit it altogether…


2 thoughts on “Review: Beer Belly

  1. Yes, I think it is best for your health to quit beer in the end.
    Your mac and cheese looks like a pan cake or is it the way it served?

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