Black Bear Diner 24021 Hawthorne Blvd Torrance, CA 90505 (310) 974-9002 www.blackbeardiner.com
The Black Bear Diner is located on Hawthorne Blvd just north of Pacific Coast Hwy in the location previously occupied by Bob’s Big Boy. The restaurant opened in late February 2013 after a significant remodel. Seating inside is a combination of booths, small tables and a lunch counter. Diners are seated by a hostess and payment is made at the end of you meal at the cash register by the door much like any Denny’s. Parking at this location is very tough. Avoid parking at the KFC and neighboring business as the other business owners enforce no parking signs.
CARL: As an amateur restaurant reviewer I feel an obligation to keep up to date on the latest new restaurants. Despite its location a stone’s throw from the Lunch Pig Worldwide Headquarters, I missed the opening of the new Black Bear Diner. I probably still wouldn’t know about it if it weren’t for Wednesday night when I was hanging out with some of Torrance’s finest and they were recollecting their experience at the new Black Bear Diner. I was warned of long wait times, parking troubles and slow service but, as always, I need to see for myself. I knew we had to get over ASAP and put The Black Bear Diner to the test. To start things off we did indeed have parking troubles and we had to circle the parking lot a few times to find a spot. We even witnessed a tow truck (reportedly called by the management at KFC next door) towing a car. So yes, parking was indeed an issue. Next up was the wait for a table and, sure enough, we were given a pager and told it would be 15 minutes. I didn’t time it but I’d say it was closer to 20 minutes. OK, the wait was long as reported. Now for the surprise – the service was prompt and friendly. Our waiter was quick to offer drinks and bring menus and was helpful in helping to decipher the menu. I opted for a recommended Western BBQ Burger with French Fries. The burger was a large size, the bun was tasty and the ingredients seemed fresh. Despite the $9.39 price tag, it was a good deal. I am a HUGE fan of French Fries and these passed my test. Not the best ever but very good for thin fries. I enjoyed the fun wood carved bears, the busy ambiance and the experience in general. Black Bear Diner loses a star for the parking and the wait but it is still a great option for a different lunch. 4 Pigs.
Black Bear Diner is like eating at what a real Country Bear Jamboree might be like
Oliver: Black Bear Diner is a bit like going to the Country Bear Jamboree at Disneyland. The theme is well done and is everywhere once you walk up to the front. They have a bunch of really detailed Black Bear statues through out that really make it a fun place to be. My son enjoyed them and we even took a moment to get in a few photos posing with the bears.
One of the things that I thought was very cool was the menu’s. They are printed on newspaper pulp and made to look a like a local newspaper from 1955. It was fun to read news from Torrance in 1955. Inside is the menu and there is one for Kids and Adults. The kids menu has all the things you would expect including my boys favorite, chicken strips. Their kids meal come in at $4.99 and was a good deal. Large pieces of chicken and plenty of dip. It was super tasty.
Big Foot Chicken Fried Steak
I went for the Big-foot Chicken Fried Steak. It comes in at $13.99 which is quite a bit over the Lunch Pig $10 mark. I let it slide this time since we were coming to what was still a newly opened place and I wanted to get a taste of their most popular plate. I was told to expect large portions and that is exactly what I got. It starts out with a giant portion of “chicken fried steak” covered in gravy, I went traditional and got a serving of mash potatoes covered in more gravy and a serving of black beans to mix it up a bit. To start the order there was an option of soup or salad, soup options were chicken noodle and clam chowder. I chose chicken soup and it was very tasty. The steak is a ground steak with a delicious breading and deep fried. It tasted excellent. Chicken fried steak has long been a favorite of mine and I have to say that Black Bear nailed it. Not only was it huge, it tasted great. It took me some time to eat this entire meal, but I did, every part of it. There was a downside to this delicious meal though, it could be up to 2380 calories, but this is a special sort of meal you would probably not eat everyday, but it is tempting.
Black Bear Diner is a fun and tasty meal
The restaurant was hopping, a steady stream of Johnny Cash played and bears surround you. In all the places Lunch Pig has gone this place was by far the busiest and had the most amount of restaurant “energy”. This is a fun place, friends will love to be taken here and it is friendly to all ages. Senior citizens love it, kids love it and everyone in between will love it too. There are some minor things like parking and being busy, but that is part of the charm and that is a good problem to have for a startup. 5 pigs