Best Snob-Free Place to Down a Microbrew - 2011
We're glad that beer has gained some respect since the time, 16 years ago, we first stepped foot in the late Cafe Muse in West L.A. and discovered then-rare microbrewery ales (raspberry, peach) on tap. But perhaps it has gone a little too far when people talk about the terroir of hops and the spirits-like aging process of some "sours." The invasion of wine snobs makes you want to run for the nearest can of Pabst. Well, we have the antidote in the middle of Koreatown. Beer Belly is a supercasual but tastefully adorned gastropub by Jimmy and Yume Han where, yes, you can get that aged sour. But you can also chew on the spicy, potent Triple White Sage (on tap) from Craftsman Brewing Company in Pasadena or even just order the $9, four-beer sampler ("flight") with no guilt if you have no idea what you're downing. You can accompany that with duck-fat fries and buttermilk fried chicken. The stained mahogany, smiling faces and beer-tutoring owners inside this one-time garage make it feel cozy and welcoming for even the brew novice. 532 S. Western Ave., Koreatown. (213) 387-2337, beerbellyla.com.