Some time ago we had explored paying a visit to the restaurant Little Beast in Eagle Rock. Starting as a popup by Sean Lowenthal and Deborah Schwartz, it found its eventual permanent spot in 2013 in a historic craftsman home built in 1911.
Well, we never did make it over there. Then, we read last summer that the restaurant had new owners: Monique King and Paul Rosenbluh, who also own Fox’s in Altadena as well as Cindy’s which is just across the street from Little Beast. We remembered a long-ago wonderful dinner at their previous restaurant Firefly Bistro in South Pasadena and definitely planned to pay Little Beast a visit. Months slipped by though and what really got us off our butts to get over there was hearing from our friend Jason Zucker that he is now manager at Little Beast. Getting to see Jason again was the last little nudge we needed to drive down to Eagle Rock – okay, Jason also did tell Michael that they make a great burger!
Strolling to the entrance of Little Beast on the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Loleta Avenue, it felt like visiting a friend’s home for dinner. We enjoyed the ambiance of the patio, where it really did feel like we were at our own table at someone’s backyard dinner party.
If you check out the online menu [www.littlebeastrestaurant.com/menu], note that the in-person menu is a bit more extensive. Jason told us that the menu is seasonal and that the new owners are adding items regularly as they add their own touches while keeping customer favorites, such as the aforementioned Little Beast Burger, among others.
The wine list has some impressive offerings both by the glass and bottle, such as Carol Shelton Wines Wild Thing Viognier, Cass Winery Roussanne and Bedrock Old Vine Zinfandel, as well as Beer & Cider selections. Jason said that the wine list is being expanded as well. Corkage for you BYOBers is a very reasonable $18 per bottle. They also have a very interesting program of signature craft cocktails.
Now on to our meal… We started with the Chicken Liver mousse with “cherry-white port gelee, pickled shallots, crispy bacon, warm bread”, which was a terrine of creamy rich goodness. Karen ordered the Crispy Skin Striped Bass with “parsnip puree, black eyed pea salad, tomato oil, preserved lemon, charred kale’’. She said it was cooked perfectly and along with a side of Little Beast Carrots with apple mustard BBQ and Fuji apples, she enjoyed the entrée immensely. Of course, Michael ordered, the Little Beast Burger [“dry aged prime beef, tomato onion jam, lettuce, rosemary 1,000 island, house pickles, aged cheddar served with organic greens or wedge potatoes”]. This made the short list of Michael’s favorite burgers, but he said he will need to have it a couple of more times to determine the exact ranking – hard work for sure. Dessert was the Butterscotch and Chocolate Pudding Duo, which was as good as it sounds.
Service manages to combine extreme professionalism and courtesy but zero level of stuffiness, preserving that feeling of visiting a friend’s home.
We are looking forward to visiting our new and old friends at Little Beast again very soon. You know that the Perlises are into backyard dinners.
1496 Colorado Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90041
Michael and Karen Perlis have been pursuing their passion for wine for more than 30 years. They have had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show them the way and after a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as they possibly could, they had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Michael and Karen do their best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers.