This past week was a time for catching up with old friends and trying new foods. I recently met up with an old friend who was passing through LA for lunch. After trying to figure out a good place to meet, we settled on a place that has always been on my checklist: Beer Belly.
This is a place that's been on my radar for quite some time. I've read about Beer Belly on numerous blogs and LA weekly, and it's been mentioned to me by a number of people, so what better time to finally check it off my list?
First of all, their beer selection is excellent, though you should know that they have more beer than their chalkboard notes at the bar. I didn't realize this until we were paying the bill, but there is a whole list on one of the menu cards of canned beer. Definitely give it a look as the Maui Brewing Bikini Blonde would do well with many options on the food menu.
Speaking of the food menu, everything listed looks amazing. After taking my time, I decided on getting an order of pork belly chips (deep fried pork belly) to start, and the continued on this food journey with the Duck French Dip.
I've done the fresh dip before in a few places, especially LA's famous Cole's and Phillipe's which were both delicious, but I had never done one composed of duck meat before. Loaded with sage roasted shredded duck, and topped with provolone and horseradish aioli, with duck au jus on the side, this sandwich was excellent.
The duck was cooked just right so that it melted in your mouth with every bite. The provolone added a mellow and smoky gooeyness to the sandwich that contrasted with the sometimes sweet duck and the spicy horseradish aioli. The French roll was also a little crisp on the outside, but warm and fluffy on the inside and held together until the end, even with all of the dipping.
And speaking of the dipping sauce, the lightly flavored duck au jus brought out even more of the duck flavor in the sandwich. Overall, an excellent example of a French dip sandwich, and an excellent meal in general.
So, I can confirm that the word on the street about Beer Belly is true. If you're in LA, or for some reason in Koreatown, you definitely have to make a stop here for this sandwich and their beer selection. It's another great example of superb sandwiching here in SoCal.
Until next week, Readers...
The Duck French Dip
532 S. Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA