1496 Colorado Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90041
I've heard about Little Beast for quite some time now and having had lived in Eagle Rock for over 10 years, it definitely feels like home every time I am back in the area. Little Beast was highly recommended by friends all over. This just felt like the right place to celebrate John's birthday. He didn't want a big party or dinner so I promised him I wouldn't throw him a surprise birthday party like I had the past few years (whooops).
Little Beast is located on the corners of Colorado and Loleta Avenue. There is valet parking as well as street parking on Colorado if you are lucky. We arrived 10 minutes before our reservation, but there wasn't any trouble at all to seat us. We were seated outside in their patio which was lovely. There is a canopy outside to shield you from the rain if any, and heat lamps to keep you warm if chilly. Glancing through the menu, I already knew I wanted the Crudo and the Octopus from their small plates.
First things first, drinks.
Beer for my brother and I, and Stumptown coffee for John (french press).
It wasn't long at all before our small plates came flying out from the kitchen.
California Sea Bass Crudo
The crudo is composed of blood orange, cucumber, radish, yuzu vinaigrette, crispy wonton in between and topped with a frisée poof. This was definitely a palate opener. It was pretty hands down that this was the best rendition of this dish we had. As simple as it sounds, I think the most important part of a crudo is having an extremely balanced acid ratio which was beautifully balanced by the yuzu and the slight spiciness of the fresno chiles. I'm sure we can order 2 of these next time.
Indian Butter Octopus
To be honest, we didn't expect the octopus to come out like this. The "Don't judge a book by its cover" is playing hard on this one. That first bite I took, I felt my eyes roll back. The spices were beautiful and complimented the octopus so well. The fingerling potatoes seemed roasted or fried before it was tossed into the sauce, the flavors were harmonious. The brussell sprouts were also drizzled lightly with a simple vinaigrette which cut through the slight richness of this dish.
Charcuterie is always a fun item to order. The meats were beautifully laid out on a wood board with delicious pickled condiments like caperberries (one of my favorites, great on carpaccio) and cornichons. We also received a plate of bread to go with out meats and I can't believe how much of it we actually ate.
Hickory Smoked Spicy Pork Meatballs
Ok. So you might not believe it, but I think these are the best tasting meatballs that I've ever, EVER put in my mouth. Let me tell you that the sauce on it's own is dynamite. I've never had smoke executed so perfectly like they did with these meatballs. I could have this in a jar. Buy it frozen. If I lived across the street I would be here for this a few times a week and THAT WOULD BE DANGEROUS. I think this was the best thing we had that night. And the reason why I say that is because it's a meatball. How can one meatball taste so different from another? I think, that if you can make one item that is extremely universal to our tastebuds, and then slug a curve ball like "WTF that was not what I was expecting!" it deserves to be the best thing of the night. They were moist, smokey, spicy little balls and I guarantee you will love it.
Roasted Mushroom Rissoto
The mushrooms used were king oyster, maitake, and porcini. The risotto also included thyme, black truffle, and parmesan. The flavors were creamy with a sharp roasted mushroom funk you would expect in any mushroom risotto dish. Black truffles always leave a nice touch to any dish no matter what it is. It's totally necessary.
Braised Short Ribs
The polenta was nice and creamy that balances the saltiness of the sauce that was used to braise the short ribs. The short ribs were also a good portion considering all the items we've had so far. It was definitely fork tender with nothing much for you to do but to spoon the meat around the polenta into your mouth. The veggies were carrots, turnips and asparagus.
The Caledonia Prawns were served over fried wild rice with porkbelly, edamame, carrots, cilantro and a honey soy vinaigrette. This was from their special items menu. The flavors were definitely different from what we had all night. John and David weren't too fond of the wild rice, but I loved the texture. Also, the honey soy vinaigrette was money. I can totally see this sauce glazed over a roasted pork belly. UGH!
I HiGHly recommend Little Beast whether you are from the area or visiting. Little Beast definitely made a bold statement to the neighborhood that you don't need to travel an hour through traffic to have fantastic food. They definitely know what they are doing, you just better make your reservations to find out.
1496 Colorado BoulevardEagle Rock, CA90041 (323)-341-5899