Wow, here we are. The first full week of the Fall, and it's still over 90 degrees in Los Angeles. But do not let that deter you from enjoying the flavors of the season, as I have not.
I've had pumpkin everything so far, especially a number of pumpkins beers, but one of the best sandwiches for the season for me tends to be grilled cheese sandwiches. Paired with a delicious tomato or pumpkin soup and you have a definitive taste for Fall.
Keeping this in mind, I headed to a place I've been wanting to visit for quite some time: Little Bear. Located in the Arts District downtown, this restaurant has some amazing atmosphere. Dim lighting, with exposed steel and wood interior, this place is a perfect example of dining architecture in the downtown area (which just so happens to be spreading outward into the city).
Two problems here though. 1.) the beer menu. It is huge and very difficult to determine what I wanted to drink. Should I start off slow or go for one of those beers that those Belgian monks are famous for with 9% and above ABV? 2.) Which of these delicious sandwiches will I end up eating as there are five different grilled cheese melts available.
After settling on a Rochefort 8 Belgian amber tripel, I settled on the sandwich decision: Grilled Cheese Meat Loaf. A half inch thick slice of meat loaf topped with Vermont cheddar, housemade pickles and crispy onions of lightly buttered and grilled bread.
This melt was amazing. Like hands down one of the best sandwiches I've had in quite some time. Point, Fall.
The meatloaf is thoroughly seasoned, but not too overpowering. Savory beef flavor with Italian spices added into it will honestly make your taste buds dance. The melty Vermont cheddar adds a smoky and smooth flavor to contrast the high points of the meatloaf. The crispy pickles are there to add some contrasting tang and the crispy onions join the grilled bread in adding some crunch.
Oh, and the bread? Lightly buttered, lightly grilled and held on until the end. Excellently done.
This sandwich is one of the most flavorful and well-made sandwiches I have had not only in the past few months, but overall since I've begun this blog. Toss in a few Belgian beers, and this sandwich is an excellent choice for dinner and unwinding on a Friday night.
Despite being a little out of the way for some Angelenos, Little Bear is definitely worth the trip.
What an excellent way to ring in the first blog entry of Fall with an excellent grilled cheese melt and some delicious beer to accompany it. Now the only problem becomes living up to the first week of the cooler seasons.
Until next week...
Grilled Cheese Meat Loaf
1855 Industrial Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021