Little Bear

Andre Guerrero’s bustling newcomer is dedicated to the foods—and more important, the drinks—of Belgium. The woodsy tavern is half bar, with a hefty Belgian beer list assembled by Ryan Sweeney (Verdugo Bar, the Surly Goat) and dishes that are brew friendly. Cheesy gou-gères act as buns for sliders that includesous-vide pork belly and fried oyster (our favorite).Water-zooi—a traditional stew—could be the creamy base of a chicken potpie. The cassoulet is a carnivore’s delight, with pork belly, duck confit, spicy sausage, and smoked slab bacon.

15 Best Bars: No. 14, July 2012

Try to ignore the scent of Belgian fries wafting through the air—you’re here for the beer. Ryan Sweeney (Verdugo Bar, the Surly Goat) plans the list that—surprise, surprise—is heavy on brews from Belgium. The dimly lit tavern isn’t the only, or the largest, downtown option for beer lovers, but it attracts a discerning bunch. Belly up with a cold one to a wood post that doubles as a cocktail table. Good tip:Barhopping? Drinks at Church & State across the street are boss.