Beth and I took another recent tour of Los Angeles nightspots with Susan, Gordon and Kristen DesCombes in celebration of Kristen’s 23rd birthday (and in honor of what would have been Marilyn Bosson Skidmore’s 57th birthday). Ahead was a planned visit to several downtown whiskey bar destinations, but our first stop was dinner at Beer Belly on Western, just a block north of the Wiltern Theatre at Wilshire (parking is a bit tricky at the Saehan Bank lot).
Presenting “crafty food” and an assortment of craft brews, Beer Belly stood out from the moment we arrived, thanks to the people who work there. All – from the greeters to the bartenders to the waitresses – showcased their loveable personalities and fabulous people-skills. The service was truly outstanding.
Once a month, Beer Belly stages a signature “One Night Stand” event in
which they showcase a specific craft brewery. Saint Archer Brewing Co. was the brewery in the spotlight on Feb. 19, with eight of the San Diego brewery’s best offerings on tap. While Kristen and Susan opted for the flight offering the Blonde, Pale Ale, Scottish Ale and IPA, Gordon, Beth and I went with the American Stout. Sus later tried an IPA, while Zach Timm joined us and also chose the Stout, after sampling all of our beers that were on the table.
While the beer was delightful, the crafty food was even better: “Death by Duck” fries with sweet onion sugar, duck and raspberry mustard), Bacon Fat fries (cooked in bacon fat and including bacon bits), and Brussels (Brussels sprouts with apples, onions and pancetta prepared so even Brussels sprouts haters will love them) for starters, followed by the Beer Belly Grilled Cheese (four cheeses, bacon and a fried egg), Duck French Dip, the Beer and Chipotle Braised Short Rib and Fat Stacks of Cheddar Mac (featured multiple cheeses and bacon).
Very much satisfied after our meal, we headed back downtown for post-dinner refreshments at some of LA’s hidden whiskey bars and historic establishments. I’ll save those experiences for my next blog entry. Needless to say, we were done eating for the night, except that as Beth and I headed back to Upland, Gordon and Sus took a detour to the Original Pantry for a late-night breakfast – a fitting tribute to the gentrification of downtown Los Angeles by patronizing an LA institution that’s been open 24/7 since 1924.