Beer Belly

Koreatown nightlife has found a middle ground between exclusive clubs and kitschy dives. Beer Belly is one of several new neighborhood gastropubs concentrating on great craft beers as well as brew-friendly bites. The food menu changes nightly, and chef P. Wesley Lieberher always keeps the spot’s star beverage in mind. A brown paper bag contains hunks of tender fried catfish and comes with fries (Catfish n’ Chips). Grilled broccoli florets are for dipping in a beer-infused Cheez Whiz. There might be steak tartare one night and peppery meatball skewers the next; what’s ever present is a fearless sense of experimentation. After all, this is beer food, and it’s being washed down with 12 rotating brews on tap—most from in state, all relatively rare. Did we mention the Twinkies and Oreos, served battered and fried? » 532 S. Western Ave., Koreatown (213-387-2337 or beer D Wed.-Mon. Beer and wine. Gastropub $

Photograph courtesy Beer Belly/facebook