The interior designers behind this cosy, clubby little gastro-bar are PIA Interior, the same talent who conjured up the enjoyable, Old Siam-style over-the-topness of the recently opened boutique hotel, Hotel Muse. Here, though, the 1920s Prohibition-era feel is not as flamboyant or overwrought, with a concrete rawness marrying with the dimmed lighting, wood accents and button-tufted, black leather chairs.
Whether you head upstairs, past the faux-vintage sketches of one of the partners’ pet bulldog – the titular ‘Little Beast’ – to the private mezzanine, or stay downstairs, this is an intimate spot suited to grazing and glugging, or a bit of both. As is the trend these days, it’s a collaborative effort between well-travelled friends with money in the bank. Rustled up by the female chef Nana Bunyasaranand, the food is New American, which essentially means that they serve exotic twists on old world standbys. Thus it is that the steak cut fries come with a truffle aioli, and the tuna tartare a ginger mayonnaise.
Exciting sounding stuff, not that it always works on the plate. The jerk chicken hearts with a pineapple salsa were overdone and quickly became tiresome, for example. Much better was the asparagus and watercress salad, a light, fresh palate cleanser; and the lamb meat balls with spicy sour cream and cucumber salad. Also good was the pork belly, the crispy exterior and fatty marrying well with the maple brown butter sauce.
‘Bites’ and ‘plates’ such as these come in tapas-sized portions intended for sharing, but, as the menu points out, Little Beast also dishes up heartier specials. We haven’t tried these yet, but confess to being seriously tantalized by the photos, which are posted regularly on Little Beast’s lively Facebook page. Think more adventurous flights of fancy such as chocolate and fig foie gras terrine, or savoury corn panna cotta with chanterelle salad and brown butter vinaigrette.
Backup comes from a handful of desserts (our pick: the snickerdoddle and salted caramel ice-cream sandwich) as well as malt whiskies, beers and some creative, old-world themed cocktails. A venue that would sit as comfortably in an episode of Boardwalk Empire as it does here in terriblyhip Thonglor, we’d say it’s currently solid rather than spectacular. However, like the fierce looking bulldog that is its mascot, we expect this Little Beast to mature fast, not least because the chef has a welcome adventurous streak.
44/9-10 Thonglor Soi 13 | BTS Thonglor | 02-185-2670 | facebook.com/littlebeastbar | Tue – Sat 5:30pm – 1am, Sun 5:30-midnight