I'm pretty sure LA is the only place that it can be hard to find a restaurant marked by a gigantic neon sign. That's because in a city that's made up of a string of strip malls, neon signs are easy to overlook. And this one is tucked behind the parking lot of an unassuming boba place. It reads 'park' above an arrow pointing one way and 'drink' above an arrow pointing the other way, towards Beer Belly.
Aptly named since (refreshingly for LA) there's not one remotely dietetic thing on the menu. Even the broccoli rabe is drenched in burrata, and don't get me started on the duck fat French fries. Or do, because they're the perfect combination of crispy and greasy.
And the grilled cheese might just be the best I've ever had.
The bread is perfectly toasted and soaked in clarified butter with four different kinds of melted cheese hugging a piece of bacon and topped off with the tiniest drizzle of maple syrup. I know it sounds too indulgent, and it is. But it's also worth it.
Like the beer belly you'll have to show for it. And, of course, there's wide selection of craft beers on tap to wash it all down.
BEER BELLY: 532 S Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA / (213) 387-2337
Maia Harari is a writer and choreographer, born and raised in Los Angeles. You can follow her on twitter at www.twitter.com/maiacalypso
by Scott R. Kline