Prefix: my disdain for Oinkster, and Filipino food, knows no boundaries. It’s been over 2 years since that Oinkster visit, and there were no more. But hey, S Irene wants us to repeatedly flagellate ourselves, and we should all be more like her? Plus, sometimes it’s really hard to get a last minute table at Church & State. So here goes the Little Bear visit..

… Sit down at an awkward communal table. By awkward, I mean it’s made for white people with long torsos. Or Filipinos with long torsos. Or just people with long torsos.

… Menus are dropped off. 5 minutes go by someone finally comes to take beverage order.

… 5 minutes go by, no beer.

… Beer finally comes, I made the fatal mistake of not putting in food choices right away. 10 minutes go by before waitress returns.

… It’s 20+ min before the order (a grilled cheese, a duck confit) goes in. If this was a Chinese restaurant, I would’ve already ingested half of dinner.

… 20 more minutes go by, no food. I scan for the server, she mouths she’d check on the food. 5 more minutes go by, food comes. Mind you, this started at 5:30pm when most tables were still empty.

[Ya know what, let’s just forget about the service disaster. Hey, it’s the first week, I’m not a total a-hole, just a partial a-hole.]

It took nearly 1 hour for the mains to arrive. Meanwhile, I’m pacing outside on Industrial, looking at people eating in Church & State and thinking: this was a retarded decision, especially because there’s beer priced at $10 for 25 centilitres (8.25 oz) at Little Bear.

By now, you should be expecting a report on the fantastically prepared duck confit. After all, SIV says Chef G can fake a fantastic Italian place, why not Belgian French? Alas, this was, bar none, the worst plate of duck confit ever. The duck was beyond salty, only compounded by even saltier farro/kale. Setting aside the salt, there was the ducky, and there ends the flavor profile. The kriek jus? Utterly pointless. Perhaps such atrocious flesh can be saved by the crisped duck chicharrones? Not so, someone forgot a step. “LilBear oughta be shamed for serving duck confit, w/ prepuce skin, right across Church/State. Limp fries waste of KCal” read the tweet for the night. It’s like you’re cutting up foreskin during bris, and then eating it. If I had to eat a dick, I’d imagine the beginning to resemble this particular duck skin. Yummaaay!

Yes, a restaurant is being judged on 1 visit and 1 dish. Because it’s open. Because I paid, in full, with 18% tip. So eff the contrived criteria of multiple visits post opening month. Not ready to serve? Keep the damn doors shut. Not ready to sear the duck skin? Don’t put it on the menu.

I’m no home brewer here, but I did check with a gent who spent time in Belgium chasing breweries in Monasteries. As suspected, Maes Pils is like Moretti is like PBR. Beer Advocate is full of pretentious beertards, but not too many Belgian beers scores as lowly 69. Maes Pils does. But hey, LB will pour you 16 ounces of that from their draft, cuz it’s “Belgian”. If you’re stupid enough to get tricked into it as the first pour, please go to the other end of the spectrum for the Great Divide Hades Ale that’s also on draft. Or Avery’s White Rascal which is cheap and tasty. Thankfully the taps rotate unendingly. But let’s do the numbers: nice beers on Verdugo Bar’s tap: 20. Belgian “style” beers on Little Bear’s tap: 14. According to our neighbor, price of Moinette Brune at Little Bear went from $7 to $10 in a matter of days. It’s like up in here.

2 joints immediately came to mind during the rush out the door: Hopleaf of Chicago, Trappist of Oakland. Little Bear’s kitchen oughta be ashamed, and shucks for Verdugo’s owner to be dragged through the mud in DTLA.

Also, someone explain to me how exactly are grilled cheese sandwiches, burgers and Bibb salads Flemmish?

Little Bear
1855 Industrial St
Los Angeles, CA 90021
The Little Bear on Urbanspoon


Winger, Mr. Big, Damn Yankees. $6 tulips of Rye, Smoked IPA, XPA, some fun fried carbs. That’s really all you need for a fun gastropub. The neighboring annoyance-turned-signature freight train track is just a bonus at Golden Road Pub, now officially open (though it’s been serving since Mid December).

House pints / tulips are $5/6. Guest taps are $7. The “Rye on the Palate” beats out any of the Golden Road’s hefe/IPA. For dessert, drink the sweet malty Schwartz Stout. As an digestif, the Burning Bush smoked IPA is perfect. To rock out to big hair and MTV 80s videos, the new-ish anejo beer sounds rather interesting.

And lookie:

Baby at Golden Road

I have empirical datum suggesting that kid would be miserable at Little Bear.

So you were born in Honduras, grew up in the 90s, and don’t know a single word to “To Be With You”? Fear not, here’s the music video:

Hate “I Remember You”? Actually, that’s just not possible . Even the geekiest of the Asian magnet schools in LA were brought to tears by Skid Row durings spirit rallies in ’89. Anywho, have some general issue with the music? Pop some copper into the jukebox and force Bon Iver’s grimness down everyone’s eustachian. It’ll help Golden Road pub sell more beer.

Versus the Abercrombie-esque, wooded Little Bear, Golden Road is downright drafty and industrial. But this is a pub, in front of a brewery. Do you really want to know about the food? They have giant pretzels.

Golden Road brew pub, with its free parking lot and loud choo choo trains, FTMFTW.

(L to R: pulled pork sandwich, meatballs with a nicely edged cornbread, a rather fun miso crab salad)

Golden Road Pub
5430 San Fernando Rd West
Los Angeles, CA 90039
The Pub at Golden Road Brewing on Urbanspoon



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  • Oh, bummers about Little Bear ~ had high hopes for it (though I too was confused by all the non-Belgian dishes on its menu.)

    Would love to hear your thoughts on Haven’s Old Town (Pasadena, not Orange) outpost — my current fave of the new ones (though it’s based on one dish and a beer flight…)

  • Been trying to go to Haven’s. I think we’ll make it ~Mid Feb. Would like to hear your thoughts on Congregation vs Haven’s?

    As far as I’m concerned, there’s no edible gastropub in SGV. (38Deg’s food is borderline TGIF, Stuffed Sandwiches don’t count, etc.)

  • agree agree agree about little bear. over priced, shitty food, shit service…waste of good space. rawr.

  • Congregation, based on the Azusa location, has the lower price point going for it–if you’re purely going for most beer for the dollar (and I do mean just beer, cocktails are a no-no here.) 

    But I think Haven wins on all other factors… but disclaiming this was from one visit on a relatively quiet afternoon for lunner, and not full on Old Town clusterfreak at night.

  • When do I get to try your cocktails, carisunnie?

    Seriously though, I should’ve sent that duck confit back, but there was just no time to waste that evening. That said, I really went in on a good mood too; thought: oooo! This is gonna be like Trappist, and it’s gonna be AWESOME.

  • come visit me when im workin!! (Neat on tues, Blue Whale wed…other times just random) hope to see you soon!!!

  • Anonymous

    Ita about honest reviews fearlessly. You’re open a taking my money, take the heat of the criticism.

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