Dinner and Drinks at Tavern

Restaurant: Tavern [12, 3, 4]

Location: 11648 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049. (310) 806-6464

Date: March 10, 2011

Cuisine: Market driven Californian

Rating: Good for dinner too!

 

Every couple of months I get together with a group of friends who all have kids the same age for a “Dad’s night out.” Last time we went to Father’s Office, this time we chose Tavern in Brentwood. I’m generally there either for Brunch or for an early dinner so I was pleasantly surprised to see how jammed the bar was.

The cocktail menu. The bar was hopping big time at 8-9pm on a thursday. Mostly 30 something women too. A pack of cougars were on the prowl too.

“WildRover, Jameson’s Irish Whiskey, Fresh Basil & Tangerine.” This was a hell of a good cocktail. Like a whiskey sour with basil.

We pounded through 2 bottles of this pleasant CnDP, which Parker gives a 93. “The finest tradition cuvee yet made, the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape (70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre aged in foudre and concrete tanks) possesses a deep ruby/purple-tinged color as well as a bouquet of black currants, black cherries, garrigue, pepper, and lavender. It is a full-bodied, ripe, exceptionally elegant, pure wine to drink now or cellar for 12-15 years.”

Tonight’s dinner menu. Never exactly the same twice.

“Salmon crudo with cerignola olives, cucumber, and meyer lemon.”

“Endive salad with Schaner farm’s citrus, green olives and fennel.”

“Cauliflower soup with truffle butter and marcona almonds.” This was a bit blander than I had hoped. Maybe it didn’t have enough creme, or salt. Still pleasant enough.

“Wild mushroom and leek tart with aged goat cheese and herb salad.”

“The devil’s chicken with braised leeks, onionsand mustard breadcrumbs.” Captain Picard, owner of L’Idiot says, “you can’t afford the duck, you’ll have the chicken!”

“Braised lamb shank with saffron rice, merguez, peppers and pinenuts.” This was a damn good dish. The meat fell off the bone (which could be gnawed viking style at leisure). The rice is Persian, and the whole dish had a vaguely Persian thing going on.

“Niman ranch rib-eye with potato-bacon gratin,red wine butter and arugula.”

The desserts du jour.

“Chocolate and coconut coupe, chocolate ice cream, coconut sherbet and graham crackers.” This tasted like its component ingredients, and that wasn’t a bad thing. Rich and refreshing at the same time.

““Snickers Bar, salted peanut caramel and vanilla ice cream.” Very nice dessert. Inside the hard dark chocolate shell was a kind of peanut and carmel mouse.”

As you can see Tavern ain’t no slouch at dinner time either. The dishes are inventive, rich, made with good ingredients, and tasty. You can find some of my brunch reviews HERE, HERE, or HERE.

Brunch at Tavern 3D

Restaurant: Tavern [1, 2, 3, 4]

Location: 11648 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049. (310) 806-6464

Date: March 6, 2011

Cuisine: Market driven Californian

Rating: Not just your typical short order brunch — but better.

 

Tavern is a favorite midend brunch spot of ours. It’s much yummier than the typical short order grills, and not as gluttonous as the high end brunches (like this). I’ve reviewed it twice before HEREHERE, and HERE, but the menu is seasonal and so always changing a bit.

Today’s menu. Online version can be found HERE, but it’s always changing and never current.

Double cap. Not a bad restaurant cappuccino.

Simple pancakes for the boy (2.4 years old).

“Brisket hash with fried eggs and horseradish cream.” In its own way, a variant on the beef and horseradish tradition. But… um richer… and more breakfasty.

“Market fish (salmon) with carrot purée, gingered beets and lime salsa.” I didn’t try it, but looked very good with a really nice selection of fresh ingredients.

“Pumpkin waffle with pecan butter and maple syrup.” What could go wrong with this?

“Smoked fish with toasted rye & redwood hill goat cheese.” A very nice fish plate. The fish is fresh, and the goat cheese a nice improvement on cream cheese. I also like the very crunchy pickles.

“The Angeleno sandwich, artichokes, buratta, cavola nero, and meyer lemon. With prosciutto added.” I modified this vegetarian sandwich to add the good stuff (ham), and it turned out fantastic. The bread had the prefect texture and the burrata (more on that HERE), combined perfectly with the prosciutto and the marinated artichokes. The chips and pickles were awesome too.

“Fried Potatoes.”

“Sauteed Cavola Nero.” This wasn’t on the menu, but they did it anyway. The green is a kind of Italian Kale.

The dessert menu.

“Carrot cake with toasted walnuts and cinnamon anglaise.” Top example of the type, with a bit of creme anglaise in case the icing wasn’t rich enough.

“Snickers Bar, salted peanut caramel and vanilla ice cream.” Very nice dessert. Inside the hard dark chocolate shell was a kind of peanut and carmel mouse.

Tavern continues to hold up as a top breakfast spot, and pretty reasonable considering the level of sophistication.