The soon-to-open bear themed diner features scrumptious comfort food.
Located just south of Woodland Hills Mall on 71st street, the Black Bear Diner doesn’t just serve great food but also a wonderful atmosphere and kind people. With its homey decor and playful music around, you almost forget that you are next to a busy road and not in a small-town diner. It officially opens to the public Monday, September 10, but I was able go to a preview on Saturday and get the full experience of a regular brunch meal. And what an experience it was.
Walking in, you first see the mural of a park scene with two bears in it. Then you focus on the industrial pipes that are uncovered, giving the diner an even more rustic feel. Finally, you focus on the hostess, standing at what looks like an upturned log, smiling warmly at you. After you sit down, they hand you a newspaper, but when you open it is actually the menu. With play-on-word food choices, such as “The Grizz” or “Bear’s Choice,” there is seemingly no end to the bear-related fun.
Speaking of the food, it was delicious. I got the Bear’s Choice, which comes with two eggs and then two choices of something else. I specifically got two eggs, scrambled, two sweet cream pancakes, and two pieces of applewood smoked bacon. When it came out, less than five minutes later (impressive for a completely filled restaurant), I was surprised at how big the portions were. The bacon and the eggs were what one would normally expect from a breakfast serving, but the pancakes were as big as my head! I was not able to finish both of them.
I was seated near the bar, which, like any classic diner, was facing into the kitchen, and all the seats had fun little quotes on them from various people. From my viewpoint, I was able to see most of the restaurant, with families and couples having fun, all the while the staff was flowing in and out, bringing people their food and drinks. The staff was incredibly nice and helpful any time I asked. The restaurant mascots were even walking around and taking pictures with the kids and families.
Overall, it was a fun diner with a friendly atmosphere. The decorations made you feel as if you were in a small-town diner in a skiing village, and the food tasted like it was from homemade recipes. Sadly, I was unable to get dessert, but next time I go, I will definitely get the bear claw. I highly recommend the Black Bear Diner, as this “beary” great restaurant is sure to blow you away.