Best Belgian Beer Bar - 2012
In a region where hoppy beers reign, an establishment exclusive to Belgian beer and food is a welcome change. Distinguished yet casual, Little Bear fits in comfortably on Industrial Street in the Warehouse District downtown. At the base of the looming lofts converted from toy factories, the spot's iconic red door opens to reveal a bright and airy interior. The well-appointed beer list offers a broad selection, from quality locals to rare imports, which change frequently. (It also alerts you to which kegs are on deck for tapping, which is an ingenious strategy to bring you in next week.) Plus, a dedicated list of sour beers will seduce any connoisseur. The fare is traditional Belgian meets modern American. Carbonnade de Flamande is perfectly at home next to a short-rib grilled cheese, and it's all the work of Ryan Sweeney (Surly Goat, Verdugo) and Andre Guerrero (Oinkster). Not long after you sit down, those IPAs you're used to begin to seem like childish younger cousins, eager to be as sophisticated as their worldly European kin. 1855 Industrial St., dwntwn. (213) 622-8100, littlebearla.com.