When we heard that a friend was the executive chef at a new bar downtown, we knew we had to pay it a visit. With the baby in tow, we got to Beelman’s pub at the old-person dining hour of 5:30 in the afternoon.
The chef, Tom Block, bought us a round of drinks and we ordered the Phantom Limb and Airplane Mode. The Phantom Limb was balanced, fragrant, and really good. The Airplane Mode, an interesting draft cocktail, was smooth and herbal. At the time, I thought, “If the drinks are this good, the food must be great too.”
The food at Beelman’s isn’t fussy, but also isn’t your typical pub burger and fries. Yes, if that’s what you want, they do have burger and fries on the menu. The fries were actually really good — fat, crispy on the outside, hot and fluffy on the inside. But I encourage you to branch out and try some of their other dishes.
The smoked beet salad surprised both Will and me. Living in LA, we’ve had our fill of boring beet salads. It’s up there with kale salad as the most overdone type of salad. But this one was so good that Will ordered seconds. The smoke flavor was subtle and the dressing was spot-on. We ordered this with a vegan modification and didn’t even miss the dairy. Our second serving came with grated horse radish on top that made it even better.
Then there are the green beans, which were good, but not as exciting as our other dishes. They had a snappy bite to them and the bits of chile pepper were a nice addition.
I can never say no to smoked salmon, so I ordered the house-smoked salmon. It was great! I loved that the slices of bread were not over-toasted so that they shattered as soon as I bit into them. I loved the slight spice rub on the salmon. It was like eating a delicately smoked pastrami, except made of salmon.
I wavered on whether or not to get the spaetzle since I wasn’t that hungry, but Will said I should and I’m so glad I agreed. The spaetzlel was one of the highlights of the meal. Rich, cheesy, and comforting the way I imagine mac and cheese is to other folks. The fresh peas and favas was just icing on the cake. I was sad to come back from feeding the meter to see a good portion of my spaetzle was stolen by Robin.
The chef then sent out the roasted mushrooms for us to try. These were oyster and hen of the wood mushrooms cooked with a splash of sherry vinegar for brightness. They were really tasty and I could imagine them going down well with a tall glass of beer. I wanted to try the grapefruit lager, but it was so popular that it was sold out that night.
It’s amazing how many great dining options are popping up downtown now that it’s being revitalized. If I were working downtown or even lived there, I could see this becoming a regular place to stop by, have a few bites to eat and something to drink. I’m already planning for another visit there to meet a friend who lives nearby.
600 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90015