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Tavern (Suzanne Goin in Brentwood)

Was walking my dog yesterday and passed by the open front doors. There were 2 or 3 women inside at the reservation desk! So, I asked when they were going to open and they said "Thursday"! That's the day after tomorrow people...yea! Finally, a place with great food AND a full bar in Brentwood!

I took some photos for you Hounds. Doesn't look ready yet, but they're working hard. There are always construction types doing stuff outside every time me and my dog stroll by, which is almost daily.

Also, I peeked inside and saw what looked like giant cake plates on a counter...or maybe that's going to be for cheese? Or huge pyramids of cupcakes? We'll see soon!

 
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  1. I'm going on Thursday night (assuming they're able to finish up everything). I'll report back!

    8 Replies
    1. re: mollyomormon

      I'll look for you, I'll be there too!

      1. re: yogachik

        Darn! I didn't see you. Anyway, I figured I would bump this thread and report back since no one else seems to have posted a review yet. Tavern was hopping on its first night open and as trite as it sounds, there really was an almost palpable energy. Like I'm sure everyone else at Tavern that night, I have been anticipating this opening for months.

        The space is divided up into three rooms: the larder, the bar and the atrium, with the larder being the least formal and the atrium the most. At this point, I believe they're still just open for dinner and the menu for dinner is the same in both the bar and the atrium, although there's also a separate bar menu. We were seated in the bar and the beautiful leather banquette running the length of the room gives it a cozy and elegant feel. Be forewarned, though: it gets loud in the bar. I didn't really get to check out the atrium, but at the conclusion of dinner, we stopped on our way out to congratulate Chef Goin, who graciously gave us a tour of the larder, which has a counter for charcuterie, cheese and baked goods and would be a lovely room in which to grab brunch.

        As for food, five of us shared five apps (there are only six on the menu) and all were delicious. Standouts were the spring vegetables with burrata (including romesco, which i love but never see in restaurants) and the asparagus with poached egg (this egg appeared to be poached, crumb-coated and then deep-fried, much like the one formerly on the menu at 3 Square in Venice).

        For entrees, although I only got to try a tiny sliver, I loved the devil's chicken, which might be the best chicken I've tasted in a restaurant, and the beef daube. I found the Tavern's version of beef daube preferable to the one at Anisette and that's saying something given that I think the dish at Anisette is pretty fantastic. The grilled lamb was also wonderful, with the only real misses of the night being the farro with mushrooms (sort of soupy and muddy in flavor) and the pork chop. The bite of pork chop I had was actually perfecty cooked, but others in a party who had slices closer almost bit into nearly raw pork.

        Dessert were all great as well, especially the beignets, which were perfectly fried. The walnut torte is a dessert I've had before at Lucques and was enjoyed by all the walnut lovers (how can anyone love walnuts though?) in our party.

        The service was a little inconsistent, as is to be expected on an opening night, but still sweet. I don't even know if this is really a criticism, but part of the reason that it took me several days to report back is that I was trying to think of what exactly to say about the food. While nearly all of it was delicious, there was not really any dish that was particularly memorable. But in reflection, that's actually pretty high praise.

        1. re: mollyomormon

          Thank you for this review! I hadn't had a chance myself to give a proper write-down even though my first impressions are very enthusiastic. So excited to have TAVERN near me. I visited the front larder area on Friday and it was filled with pastries, loaves of their sourdough (which is part of bread service in the restaurant) and a refrigerator case with cold salads, vegetables, roasted salmon. All looked delicious. They also had sandwiches and salads for sale. They also have a wall of homemade jams for sale (along with wine, oils, vinegars). The larder was open from 3PM - 7PM that day. Not sure if it's open earlier now. I went for dinner the following night. I had 7PM reservations and they sat me in the atrium area even though I was early and the rest of my party hadn't arrived yet. Beautiful space! Only complaint was that it was overly lit. The atrium/bar/lounge area is dark as expected and the brightness almost hurt my eyes. They finally dimmed the lights after the 8PM hour. Service was spot on for me. There were almost too many servers overly eager to help but it was all friendly and not overbearing. My friend had the beef daube which she raved about. I had the turkey burger and consumed every morsel (served on a challah bun with romesco, lettuce, tomato and bread butter pickles). I was tempted to go with the fries but chose the mixed greens as my included side - simple, light and basic. We had wine with our meal, but saw several servers carrying kumquat martinis which looked delicious. Don't know if they have a specialty cocktail menu as we weren't shown one. We opted for no dessert as we were stuffed. I have no doubt I will be back many times.

          1. re: mollyomormon

            I have to say, the pork chop was easily the best pork chop of my life. Too bad your friends didn't have my experience.
            I was very impressed with the decor, food and service. Still some kinks too be worked out but it was very enjoyable. Looking forward to it opening for breakfast and lunch soon.

            1. re: andrewsjb

              Oh good to know. I almost ordered the port chop. Now I really have to go back even sooner than later. Yum!

              1. re: andrewsjb

                I'm sure it was just a first night hitch with the pork chop being so rare near the bone and as I said, the bite I had was perfect.

                1. re: mollyomormon

                  Also on the first night, my friend returned his pork chop to be cooked more, he said it was raw inside. But when it came back (a new one) it was perfect and he still talks about it.
                  (I wrote a write-up here, somewhere, probably on page 3 by now)

                  I have been back for the beef daube, which I loved, am going back for Mother's Day and may have the chicken again (yum!)

                  1. re: yogachik

                    This is now my "go to" Place in the neighborhood. The Brentwood used to be my go to place for a good drink and simple fare. Tavern is so much better.
                    Food is fantastic ..prices less than The Brentwood.
                    Thrilled about this addition to the neighborhood. Hope that the vision is that this will be a neighborhood restaurant and not a destination place. Tavern is a great fit for this Brentwood enclave.

        2. Another photo that didn't go through the first time...

          1. where in brentwood is it located?

            1 Reply
            1. re: kevin

              11648 San Vicente Blvd. in Brentwood according to their web site (tavernla.com)

            2. Exciting news, thanks for the update. Is the atmosphere and pricing supposed to be more in line with a tavern, or more in line with some of her other higher end restaurants?

              8 Replies
              1. re: Nicole

                I had called LUCQUES on Monday morning to get an update before the Thursday annoucement was made and the lovely man who answered the phone said that the price point will definitely be lower than at LUCQUES and AOC. They will start with dinner and eventually open it up to breakfast and lunch service. Wish I could go Thursday but have to wait until Saturday - already have my reservation!

                1. re: bruinike

                  They are also going to have what they call a 'larder' which is, for lack of a better term, a walk up deli type section where you can buy prepared foods to take home.

                  1. re: Tom P

                    Yes, it looks to be 3 restaurants, actually. The front is the deli/take out area. The middle is a casual sit down area, and the back (atrium) is formal and probably a more expensive menu a la Lucques.

                    1. re: yogachik

                      Just spoke to them and the menu is the same for both the lounge and the atrium (and the take away).

                      1. re: yogachik

                        so fancy sit-down and take out are the same menu???

                        sounds good, wow, brentwood is really heating up, soon sugarfish will be opening up there too.

                        1. re: kevin

                          FINALLY, a decent place in my little tri-city area! Will have to check it out this weekend, just hope they don't end up copping a major 'tude the way they did at Lucques, which used to be a favorite spot of mine, but now will never be back.

                  2. re: bruinike

                    That is good news.

                  3. re: Nicole

                    Thanks for all the additional info! I'll look forward to everyone's reviews.

                  4. In 2 words, don't bother...

                    I guess others are excited but it didn't meet my standards for a night out. Sure, there were some decent tastes, such as the asparagus and fried (uniquely, yes) egg. Greens served a couple ways, all fresh and tasty. We had the hangar steak, which, if served at denny's, wouldn't be a surprise. Also the lamb tenderloin which wasn't the least bit tender. The chicken dish also nothing to complain about. Desserts were better than the rest of the meal.

                    If you can cook well, stay home. If you need a place to go and can tolerate the horrid service (admittedly, only open a week), go ahead. The drinks are delicious. I hope the chef raises the cooking a couple notches though.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: epop

                      Who is the chef de cuisine? Does anyone know? I assume she's not in the kitchen every day, being as busy as she is?

                      1. re: epop

                        I don't know why, but I guess I'm not surprised. I don't have any of her cookbook(s?) but I think she cooks relatively simple, but her techniques are solid.

                        I just keep getting the sneaking feeling it's going to be one of those places that are impossible to get in, like Mozza, w/out a rezzy a month in advance, basically due to all the hype on boards like this.

                        Also, the Westside, at least Brentwood & the Palisades are sorely lacking in any really wonderful places that are headed by someone talented & famous, and open all day to boot. Best bet is to go off hours and buy from the charcuterie.

                        1. re: epop

                          They serve asparagus and fried egg at Lucques Saturday lunches in the summertime.

                        2. Ate here tonight and have to say... one of the best meals I've had in L.A. All the food was superb, fresh, delicious. Duck sausage, asparagus with egg, salad with crab and green goddess dressing, orata, mushrooms, pork chop, plus the best turkey burger and fries in town, incredible desserts like the chocolate caramel tart... I think this is Goin's best restaurant-- feels like she really stepped up for this one. The service was great, and the main room is beautiful, too. We all loved it.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: auntflo

                            Had lunch there today. Although not "officially" open for lunch (that happens on Monday), I stopped in to have a look at the charcuterie. Nice selection of sandwiches, a couple of salads. I had the Nicoise Sandwich. It was delicious. Nice combination of good, oil-packed Spanish tuna, cucumbers, eggs, olives on a great home-made baguette. I also picked up some things for dinner. Walked out with Chicken Saltimbocca, some nice plump shrimp with cocktail sauce, the famous AOC dates and blackberry bread pudding. When lunch service begins on Monday, it will be table service throughout the restaurant. The menu will essentially be the same as what is currently available in the Charcuterie. Breakfast begins in 2 weeks.

                          2. I did takeaway last night from the larder. I loved the interior, it is beautiful; I am looking forward to dining inside in a few weeks.

                            Everything I tried was terrific... I'll say right off that I am biased, I love her food. (One fun thing for me here is that a number of the things in the larder are in the cookbook, but not on the Lucques menu, so I can compare the real versions with my own I’ve tried at home.)

                            I tried a wonderful lamb, herb crusted. It was terrific room temp, tender and flavorful, with an incredible salsa verde on the side. Wow. That salsa verde (french style, with feta) was the bomb. I also had an excellent rice and asparagus salad, very fresh, also very flavorful. And the devils chicken… what can I say, also excellent. For dessert it was Jessica's favorite Meyer Lemon Tart, which has a film of chocolate along the bottom, less than when I have made it but very present. A great dessert. And there were many from which to choose.

                            I can’t wait to see what breakfast is like.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Tom P

                              As I write, the AOC bacon-wrapped dates are in the oven. So nice to find them 3 blocks from home.

                              1. re: maudies5

                                The AOC dates were fantastic. Now, we are moving on to the Chicken Saltimbocca. BTW, Shrimp cocktail was also excellent. When I want food-to-go, I'll go to Tavern. Closer than Clementine (which I love) and much better parking.!

                            2. What a disappointment!! The room (atrium) is reasonably attractive, and our server was great, but that's where it ended. The food was generally mediocre, the menu is very limited, the portions were small, and the price very high for what we had.

                              We had two cocktails, both of which were good. The bread was fine, but certainly not great. We shared two starters...the garden vegetables with burrata, which was good, but not exceptional, and the asparagus which was served with an egg and pecorino...this was great, the best thing we had. We had two entrees...the salmon salad, which was very mediocre, and the clam and mussel entree. The latter would have made an ok starter, but with six medium sized mussels, and four clams, this was an absolutely ridiculously small entree. Aside from being small, it was just ok and not especially flavorful. We shared a dessert (a coupe) which was not special. Indeed aside from the asparagus appetizer, nothing was more than ordinary.

                              Unfortunately, we had two cocktails, two starters, two small entrees, one dessert and a glass of inexpensive wine and a glass of beer...and left $170 poorer, and even a bit hungry. We indeed felt ripped off! (Keep in mind we just returned from Las Vegas where we spent $400 for dinner and considered it a good value!) The bar was packed, noisy and clearly a scene.

                              Although the chef/owner (Suzanne Goin) obviously has good credentials, and we have to take into account that Tavern has been only open a week...unless significant improvement occurs in the food (flavors, quantity, value, interest) it is my guess that the current popularity of this place will be very short-lived.

                              23 Replies
                              1. re: josephnl

                                The popularity of any of her restaurants is never short lived.

                                1. re: The Sauce

                                  Hopefully, Suzanne will take note of comments such as ours, and at least one other negative one above. I'm sure there will be more along the way. If she pays attention (and it's likely, noting her history) you are probably correct. If not, I personally can't imagine the current success lasting.

                                  Aside from the asparagus appetizer which was great, I can do better at home for a fraction of the cost, and I am only a reasonably decent cook and certainly not a trained chef.

                                2. re: josephnl

                                  I agree about the food and overall quality but not about the public. I think people are wowed by mediocrity often. I think the food was mediocre enough to bring in many.

                                  As for me, well, I won't give it another chance unless i hear about some substantial changes.

                                  1. re: josephnl

                                    Having had a very disappointing meal at Tavern on Thursday night, I was taken last night to dinner at Marche Moderne in Costa Mesa. What a contrast!! MM was infinitely better on all counts...food, service, ambiance and value!! Although I didn't have them this time (I have before), we saw the perfectly steamed mussels being served to an adjacent table. There must have been at least 25-30 mussels in this huge and beautifully presented mussel steamer (from Staub), served with perfect fries, and all for $18 ($6 less than the incredibly meagre portion at Tavern!). I had the lamb tagine which was also beautifully presented in a traditional tagine with all the condiments nicely lined up alongside. The lamb was perfect, as was the lamb sausage...all atop a generous bed of couscous. Truly delicious. Others in our party had wonderful fresh morel mushrooms, oysters from PEI, perfectly prepared trout, and some terrific desserts. This is one outstanding restaurant...probably at least in part because the owners are both chefs, and are in constant attendance. Florent Marneau is running the kitchen (this is his only restaurant!), and his wife Amelia, also a classically trained chef, does the desserts, and runs the front of the house.

                                    Our meal at Marche Moderne was not cheap, but was excellent on all counts, and we always feel when we leave there that we received value! Unfortunately, this was not the case at Tavern, the night before. I'm beginning to think that when "celebrity chefs" star opening more restaurants, almost invariably the quality decreases. There seem to be very few exceptions!

                                    1. re: josephnl

                                      I agree with you. I would add that AOC and Lucques never overwhelmed me with greatness, to begin with...

                                      1. re: josephnl

                                        Methinks there's a masochistic streak happening here. Why do folks gravitate to trendy places with inconsistent reviews such as Palmer's & Tavern in lieu of Marche Moderne, which consistently wows 9 out of 10 reviewers? Go figure.

                                        1. re: bernardo

                                          I agree with you totally. I don't get it. Of course, MM is in Costa Mesa and Tavern is in Brentwood. MM has a classically trained French chef with impeccable credentials (and his wife is also a professionally trained pastry chef) and both are always working at the restaurant and Tavern has a semi-celebrity chef, MM is the only restaurant owned by Florent Marneau, and Tavern is number three in Goin's growing empire. I don't get it. The L.A. Times has given MM, a very high rating, and Tavern has yet to be rated yet Tavern is bringing in large crowds who are being served mediocre food with relatively poor value. Nevertheless, Tavern is only the latest in a string of mediocre L.A. restaurants to be overly-hyped....think Mozza x 2, Anisette, etc. Give me Marche Moderne any day...or if I want a special treat, I love Craft, or for a much more basic but nevertheless always delicious meal, Angelini Osteria rarely fails.

                                          1. re: josephnl

                                            In this discussion it seems to me there is the underlying assumption that restaurant goers understand about food, in the same way as, say, somebody buying a ticket to a baseball game understands at least the very basics about baseball. If that's the case, sorry to disagree. Restaurant industry, at least in LA, and possibly in a much larger area west of the Atlantic Ocean, is as epop correctly says a few inches further down "an industry that has remade food as entertainment". So you go to a movie about baseball not necessarily b/c you know baseball basics, but probably b/c you like the sex appeal of the main star/starlet, or God knows what other subtle motivations unrelated to the base and the ball. My personal experience after a few years of reading internet postings absolutely confirm all this. And I tend to read those posters that seem to vibrate in my same wavelengths, and ignore the others. Live and let live. Sei gesund!

                                            1. re: RicRios

                                              You absolutely nailed it RicRios. And how appropriate that in the entertainment capital of the world, the restaurant business should be far more about entertainment than food. Thus to argue that Marche Moderne is a better restaurant than Tavern, is much like saying that The Reader was a better film than Slumdog Millionaire. Who can say which is better? In L.A.,it's clearly not about the food, but about the number of Oscar votes aka customers/diners, you can rein in.

                                              Thank you RicRios for bringing us back to earth...although I am not so sure that Los Angeles restaurant goers don't understand good food, it's just that many seem to care more about the entertainment value of a restaurant!

                                              1. re: josephnl

                                                How timely, just received my latest Zagat Buzz hyping Tavern of all places, dropping names of the celebrity chefs, popping photos and virtually guaranteeing a fresh invasion of foodies at their doorstep. So interesting how this works.

                                              2. re: RicRios

                                                yes, nailed it. The only thing that I disagree with is that my experience is that this applies to all restaurants in America, not just LA, as if it has something to do with Hollywood. In my opinion NYC is even worse in this respect. Few cook
                                                and a self-breeding monster of increasingly expensive mediocrities opens up and critics and many chowhounds come to the praise. I try to sift through it but get duped at times too. And pay dearly for it.

                                                Is Craft really that good?

                                                1. re: epop

                                                  Craft is beautiful, relatively quiet, service was excellent on one occasion, and the food was delicious, and sufficiently different from that which I can do at home to make this my current number one pick in L.A.

                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                    Same experience, on multiple occasions.
                                                    Let's call it the exception that confirms the rule.

                                                    1. re: RicRios

                                                      Well put. Thx, I will try it.

                                                      1. re: epop

                                                        Last minute correction: as per yesterday's LA Times blog, Matthew Accarrino & wife Schimenti got the pink slip. Big chances are all we said above re. Craft no longer holds true. I'll be there tomorrow, will (briefly) report if that seems to be the case.

                                                        http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/daily...

                                                        1. re: RicRios

                                                          How sad!! And Craft had just become my new fave. Please do report back re how things are now...but, I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens when a new chef takes over.

                                                          1. re: josephnl

                                                            Well, new chef took over. Food is good, not great. You can taste it's not Accarrino/Schimenti anymore. Also: they gave the boot to the sommelier as well. Not nice to see the manager playing the wine guy's role, that's not what a manager is supposed to do. At least, not in a high fallutin joint. That seems to be common thread in the entire restaurant business these days: cut, cut & cut. Cut corners, cut prices, cut quality. Problem is -my case at least- : at this ROI, I rather prefer to stay home.

                                                            1. re: RicRios

                                                              Looks like we're in the same boat, cooking at home. I will still go out for sushi but that's about it...

                                                              1. re: RicRios

                                                                Really sorry to hear this news. We already are eating at home more than ever, but have to say that we eat really well at home for a fraction of the cost of eating out; the ambiance is great; it's nice and quiet so that we can talk; if only there weren't the dishes! Sorry...but what is ROI...it's probably too obvious for me to understand!

                                                                Thanks for the sad news!

                                                                1. re: josephnl

                                                                  ROI = Return on Investment

                                                                2. re: RicRios

                                                                  That's too bad. Craft is my favorite restaurant in Los Angeles. I have reservations for next Friday...Ric, can you give more detail on how you can tell its not Accarrino anymore? Glad to see they got rid of that sommelier. Didn't like the guy. Also is Detra Payne still the hostess or did they cut her too?

                                                                  1. re: love2eat

                                                                    With Matthew, every new dish was a learning experience. As opposed to the current chef, who so far plays on the very safe side. Re. sommeliers, this is the second one out in a fairly short time. Colicchio will have a hard time convincing regulars he knows what's he's doing. I believe Detra still around. Please report back next Friday ( or start a new thread? )

                                                                    1. re: RicRios

                                                                      Thanks for the details. I will report back next weekend.

                                          2. Last night tried the turkey burger, after reading so much about it. Best one I've ever had. I have to say, though, it's best without the bun. The bun, while great, absorbs some of the nuanced flavors. My friend was blown away by the pork burger, which they grind themselves (as they do with all the burgers), with 3 different kinds of pork, including a chorizo.

                                            However, I didn't like the onion rings. They tasted like tempura fried onions, and are greasy. I loved the french fries.

                                            13 Replies
                                            1. re: yogachik

                                              how are the prices? and is it in the old Hamburger Hamlet building?

                                              1. re: kevin

                                                If you'll read my posting of May 7th, you will see that Tavern is not inexpensive, and does not offer good value, at least in my opinion. I preferred the original Hamburger Hamlet more!

                                                1. re: josephnl

                                                  Which part of the old Hamlet did you enjoy most - the lousy food or the awful decor?!
                                                  Get a grip.
                                                  If you want cheap, go cheap, but that is not what Tavern is about. Don't even try to compare the two - you will be doing yourself a great disservice.

                                                  1. re: carter

                                                    Seriously, at the Hamlet you could get a good burger and fries and a beer for about twenty bucks and not feel ripped off. At Tavern, I had six mussels and four clams for $24, and...

                                                    If you had read my post above, it's not about cheap, it's about reasonable value. We recently spent >$200pp in Las Vegas for dinner, and left completely satisfied!

                                                    The food we were served at the Tavern on Thursday evening was mediocre at best, and was unreasonably expensive for what it was. This restaurant is unfortunately just another example of Los Angelinos being more impressed with hype and scene than with quality and value. If you read the postings above carefully, I am not alone in my opinion.

                                                    1. re: josephnl

                                                      very funny summation of the prices at Tavern, josephnl.

                                                      1. re: josephnl

                                                        We went through this with you about Anisette, when it first opened, too.

                                                        Great food both at Tavern and at Anisette. Both priced as I would expect them to be priced.

                                                        1. re: yogachik

                                                          Sorry if it offends you that others may disagree with you. I regret having "put you through" anything, but isn't sharing opinions and facts about restaurants what this forum is all about?

                                                          Glad you like both Anisette and Tavern. I don't! (Although admittedly Tavern is very new, and may improve...but I'm not a huge fan of Lucque's or AOC either, so I am not that optimistic).

                                                          I did think of a notable exception to my earlier comment that when celebrity chefs start opening more and more restaurants, the quality usually goes down. We recently had a superb meal at Tom Collichio's Craft in Century City. This is right now, in my opinion, one of L.A.'s very best, and Chef Collichio obviously knows how to put together a team to run a restaurant in his absence.

                                                          1. re: yogachik

                                                            Add Melisse, Fraiche, Riva and a whole host of overpriced places to the list of places that I think aren't particularly special...

                                                            I go to a restaurant to have a meal that:
                                                            a) I can't make better at home, like sushi.
                                                            b) To learn from a chef, discover new tastes.

                                                            This doesn't happen at the above.

                                                            1. re: epop

                                                              just because a restaurant is by a semi-name chef and has upscale prices, does not mean that it is good (susanne goin and jason travi chef i'm looking at you).

                                                              1. re: epop

                                                                Couldn't agree with you more. I am a good, but certainly not professional, cook, and I love to cook. Therefore there is no reason to go out to an expensive restaurant unless they do something I can't do better at home. Although L.A. does have some wonderful restaurants that I love, there are many that seem to fill up simply because of the name of the chef, or the hype they receive in the press. These are not places where I feel good about spending my hard-earned bucks!

                                                                1. re: josephnl

                                                                  And I couldn't agree with you more.
                                                                  My meal at Tavern wasn't particularly expensive. Just not great. It isn't only L.A. that has this trouble.

                                                                  It is an industry that has remade food as entertainment. I know people who have never eaten at restaurants (not even once!) and they're doing just fine. It is odd. They ask me things like, "So, please tell me what does Chinese food taste like?" I have to make it for them at home. They feast more than most people I know, btw.
                                                                  I am close to giving up on restaurants.

                                                              2. re: yogachik

                                                                And with Mozza, and with Fraiche, etc., and always within hours of the restaurants' opening. Some people kind of get off on buzzkill. The cooking at Tavern is of an astonishingly high standard, and although the prices are not especially low, they are not unreasonable for food with this level of detail.

                                                                I'd love to know the mythical restaurant that features cooking this good at half the price - and it ain't Hamburger Hamlet. Believe me, I'd be there for every meal.

                                                              3. re: josephnl

                                                                Having not been to eat at the Hamlet (save for one experience at the bar to watch a sporting event at which time I don't recall any of the food or even eating any) in over 20 years I cannot speak to what their food has been like since the late 70's/early 80's (at which time it was pretty terrible, although as a youngster I appreciated the wooden paddles coming out of the bun, did not like the thick tasteless fries, hated the lobster bisque (fish, gasp!) and only picked the cheese off the top of the French onion soup). I suspect it had not improved with age although, again, no parent dragged me there since the 80s so my information is a bit out of date.

                                                                I can say that my dinner at the Tavern was quite pleasant. We mixed and matched from the bar menu and the regular menu. We had olives and the green goddess salad to start. The green goddess salad was my favorite, very nice dressing over butter lettuce, nice crab, avocado, quite nice. We followed that by the turkey burgers and fries. The turkey burger itself was very nice, very flavorful. The bun was very average, they need to get another source for sure. The fries were tasty, tossed with fried rosemary and sage leaves, although they are the very crispy long fried kinds, which are a little rich, overall nice though. I like how they serve the ketchup in what looks like oversized spa hotel bottles, kind of different. We did not get the onion rings but I saw them and they look lumpy and overly breaded. They were eating the devil's chicken next to us in those cozy brown earthenware pot like things, very cozy looking, we were told that one would be enough to share. I saw the steak frites and a fish, did not look so great but we did not have them, maybe they are terrific (lots of sauce on the fish).

                                                                I thought the bread was quite nice, we were offered a ciabatta, walnut bread and a sourdough then later a rye, very nice, tasty butter. The serving staff were nice, start to finish, even when I asked them to turn down the music (at one point, some sort of 70s thing playing, later more jazz like, frankly this restaurant does not need any music nor does it fit with the drawing room like decor and general ambiance). The room to the far right of where you walk in is where you want to eat, glass ceilinged, quite pleasant, a little tree in there, very nice.

                                                                When I go back (and I will be going back, and am excited to see their breakfast/brunch when they start it, hopefully will be like westside Campanille-like brunch opportunity with fancy eggs, etc), I am going to get the asparagus (looked quite nice), that green godess salad again, and maybe one burger and try the devil's chicken. Maybe we'll try those beignets, they looked fabulous. This is a well needed addition to the Brentwood dining scene, saves the drive to regions farther east for those who reside in the west, no doubt it will flourish.

                                                      2. I am going to counter this expense thing. While there may be some pricey things on the menu, you can definitely eat well for a good deal in the larder. (I haven't dined in yet, so I don't know the sit down menu, I am going to try it in a couple of weeks.)

                                                        Two examples from the larder:

                                                        For 14 dollars you can get a tray of the Devils Chicken Thighs. This include 4 thighs, potatoes and her amazing braised leeks. It is enough for two people. With this dish (incredible) and bread and a salad, you have a full meal. 20 dollars for two people is a good deal to me, particularly with the level of the food. California Chicken Cafe is not that much less a few blocks away for two.

                                                        Another: for 16 dollars, there is a whole roasted chicken, enough also for 2. Moist, succulent, very flavorful. Again, with bread and a salad, you can pick this up, take it home and for just over 20 dollars have a terrific meal.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Tom P

                                                          Take out from The Larder: I arrived around 5:30PM and saw items in the Larder which I have not seen earlier in the day. I bought 1 order of braised short ribs ($24.00), 1 order of mac and cheese ($16.00). I had my own greens, so made a salad. Spent $40.00 on the most delicious short ribs and insanely delicious Mac and Cheese (which is not on the menu). So, great food for $10.00 P.P. i consider that a very good deal. Talked to the receptionist: Evidently, Saturday night reservations are now being booked 6 weeks ahead. Clearly, the best time to come for dinner take-out is very late afternoon. As I was leaving, they put out the whole roasted Jidori chicken with green olives.

                                                        2. I walked by the other day and picked up some of the AOC dates. $1 each. I can tell already that these things are going to be like crack to me. They're just so good!

                                                           
                                                          1. I had a problem with the food last night - all of us did. Every entree was oversalted. Someone had a very heavy hand with the salt last night. I tasted everyone's dish, and it was just like mine - all salt. I couldn't taste anything BUT salt. And these are dishes I've had before so I know what they are meant to taste like.

                                                            The waitress offered to replace the entrees and start again, but we didn't get her attention for so long that it was just too late.

                                                            In the future, I will have to say "easy on the salt".

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: yogachik

                                                              Yeah - we were there last night around 9:00. Both our appetizers and entrees were VERY salty.

                                                              I've heard others complain about Suzanne's AOC food being too salty but I'd never agreed -- until now.

                                                              1. re: tritip

                                                                I was there last night around nine also, and nothing seemed particularly salty at all. De gustibus and all that.

                                                                1. re: condiment

                                                                  My dinner tonight was delicious. There were four of us. Our reservation was at 7:00 and we were seated promptly in a very comfortable banquette. Three of us started with the amazing roasted asparagus with the poached egg. The other started with the fried oyster appetizer (from the bar menu). The special "Market Fish" was Orata. This may be the best fish I have ever tasted. All 4 of us ordered it
                                                                  and all of us loved it. The preparation was so creative. The fish was simply grilled(skin on) and laid atop green rice. There preparation also include pistachio
                                                                  nuts which added a lovely flavor and more texture and crunch. There was a big dollop of creme fraiche. Truly, this dish and preparation showed how creative Suzanne Goin is. We shared one order of the Beignets for dessert. Fabulous! All in all, an outstanding evening. Great service, great food and lovely ambiance. The price of the fish entree was $24.00, which I considered to be quite reasonable. It was a very large portion. When one considers that many of the restaurants in the neighborhood (e.g., The Brentwood, Toscana, Vincenti) charge $35.00+ for a piece of fresh fish, this was quite a great deal and better than any fish I have had in any of the other aforementioned restaurants. We were 4 very happy customers.

                                                            2. Is that $24 for four clams and six mussels a menu anomaly? I like Chef Goins' but that seems a bit much.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: annabana

                                                                The $24.00 was for the Market Fish of the Day, which was Orata. Very generous portion. Please go back and read my post.
                                                                Thanks.

                                                                1. re: annabana

                                                                  I ordered the steamed clams and mussels entree which was $24. It consisted of four smallish clams and six medium sized mussels over some mashed potatoes and vegetables. It would have been a smallish appetizer...certainly not an entree!

                                                                2. Walked over there on a whim this evening around 6:30 ish. The restaurant was busy and almost full. There were 3 or 4 empty stools at the bar, and I was able to grab one. Beautiful room. The Sidecar from Lucques has migrated, and it's still lovely. Cognac, fresh lemon and vanilla syrup. Saw a long pour of Cointreau going into the shaker, too. Really silky and a nice citrus taste without the edge.

                                                                  The now famous Roasted Asparagus lived up to the hype. I could eat this every day. Noticed lots of other diners wiping up the sauce on their plates with pieces of bread when I arrived. I did the same with my bread after the asparagus was gone. Almost ordered another one as an entree. Hope it's on the brunch menu when they start serving it soon.

                                                                  Entree was the Pork Chop with Cornbread and Spiced Maple Syrup. Awesome! Huge chop on the bone and unlike some other restaurants the bone wasn't a gigantic one that makes you guess where the real meat is on the chop. There were some mustard greens or maybe swiss chard mixed into the cornbread and it tasted to me like the greens had been carmelized. Beautiful texture and not too sweet. Just the right amount of heat in the spice. It left a pleasant warm glow in the taste of it all and with the sweetness of the pork playing with the slight bitterness of the greens it was perfect. I wiped my plate again with some more of the bread (which was served with a huge round pat of butter and a little bowl of sea salt) and had them box the bone up for my dog. He's happy and out like a light right now.

                                                                  Dessert, another fabulous Sidecar, because I really just could not have eaten another bite.

                                                                  Total damage: $71 plus tax and tip, and there was so much food I may not eat again until Tuesday. I took some photos for you Hounds. This is a great restaurant in my opinion. Don't be a hater. :-)

                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                  26 Replies
                                                                  1. re: SugarFrosted

                                                                    Yikes, $100 for asparagus, a pork chop and 2 cocktails.

                                                                    1. re: Wolfgang

                                                                      When a place charges $24 for six mussels and four clams on mashed potatoes for an entree, what do you expect?

                                                                    2. re: SugarFrosted

                                                                      I believe that many here are missing the point of Tavern. I don't think that the owners envisioned Tavern as a destination restaurant for serious foodies. I believe that they took a look at Brentwood, the site, and decided that Brentwood could use a great neighborhood restaurant. For me, this defines Tavern. I have had a couple of wonderful dinners there, as well as lunch.I always see the "locals." Today, I had a good workout at Resolution on San Vicente and walked to Tavern. I asked for a seat at the bar. All of the tables appeared full at 12:30. I was happy eating a great turkey burger five blocks from home. There are lamps on the bar so I was able to read my Kindle while at the bar. Tavern is a great neighborhood restaurant,, and we, who live in Brentwood, are very excited. BTW, just spoke to a friend of mine who was there Sunday night with her family, which included a 3 year old. There is a Children's Menu. This little guy loved his veal meatloaf surrounded by a "moat" of mashed potatoes. If you are looking for the next/great culinary experience, go to Spago or Providence. If you want a friendly, welcoming restaurant which adds to the neigborhod, , Tavern is the template for a neighborhood restaurant. It has it all.

                                                                      1. re: maudies5

                                                                        I would agree it is a nice addition to Brentwood, but I do think it is supposed to be a serious dining establishment, its too high end for just a neighborhood place. I personally can't wait for them to start brunch, a nice alternative to NY Bagel (which I like, just nice to have different things too) and closer than Campanille.

                                                                        1. re: maudies5

                                                                          Maybe you are in a different financial league than most of us....but don't you think it's incredibly expensive for what it is? It's hard to conceive of having a drink, any food, a glass of wine, and a coffee and getting out for less than $80-100 pp. I indeed have been very critical of this restaurant. Perhaps I would feel differently if there was reasonable value, but I really think that for what you get, this may be one of L.A.'s most expensive restaurants!

                                                                          1. re: josephnl

                                                                            I think you must be speaking to Maudie5, as I specifically said that it was not just a neighborhood restarurant. However, I will say that I don't think its much difference in price than what I recall we have paid at Lucques, Campanille, La Cachette, or much more than Fraiche. Its much less than what I recall paid at Melisse. I had quite a nice time there.

                                                                            I think your ending statement is an exageration. Why do you have such an issue with Tavern? I see that you just posted on loving Angelini Osteria, the prices look comparable to me. I think you just did not like your meal.

                                                                            1. re: noshie

                                                                              You are right. I had a very poor meal at Tavern for a very high price. There was nothing other than the asparagus that was especially good. I very politely made a reasonable complaint about my entree which management just shrugged off. Thus, admittedly based on just one experience, I feel that this is another overly-hyped, very ordinary, new L.A. restaurant. If it had not been so expensive, I might give it another go around, but I doubt that I will.

                                                                              Yes...I love Angelini...it serves excellent albeit simple food at reasonable prices, has friendly service, caring management, and is just what it proposes to be, an osteria.

                                                                              1. re: josephnl

                                                                                Well, I have been dying to try Angelini but also the asparagus at Tavern.

                                                                                I have returned whole dishes at restaurants before if I found them unacceptable, too salty, cold, whatever. I complained about the music that unexplicably was turned on at Tavern (way quieter than Pizzeria Mozza) and I think they actually turned it down, so I was impressed with that. I thought our server at Tavern was very nice too, the guy serving the bread was totally nice too.

                                                                                If you do give Tavern another try, go for one of the burgers and green goddess salad, Virbia liked that salad and so did I. It will make the check less expensive.

                                                                                I really want to try Angelini Osteria, next special occasion.

                                                                                1. re: noshie

                                                                                  Thanks...perhaps I will try Tavern again for a burger and a salad...but I'll wait a bit.

                                                                                  Angelini is super-casual...you might consider it for something less than a special occasion. It's the sort of place that you can easily go to and just split a salad (they're pretty good size) and a pizza...have a glass of wine and you will have a very satisfying light meal. Or try the lasagne verde. No need to wait for a special occasion...this is a simple, casual place where you can have a light snack or a feast.

                                                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                                                    I have not been to tavern, but I remember a friend who lives in the neighborhood taking a look at the dishes and the prices and then walking out. Now this friend was not a serious foodie, but he did mention "Way Overpriced" For a neighborhood restaurant, it could quite possibly be very overpriced. And besides whoever said it's just another LA restaurant is correct. I'm not the biggest fan of Animal for instance, but it is not just another LA restaurant. But a huge chunk of the places SIrene visits are standard, boring dishes and more than a modicum of hype ie the everpresent pork belly, molten chocolate cakes, the same copious steak preparations, oysters, and the usual chicken liver or foie gras terrine. it's always the same at restaurants in the Cal-French vein from Joe's in Venice to Sona to Lucque to Campanile, or maybe I'm just jaded too.

                                                                                    Perhaps the reason while many like Animal so much is it is a unique concept for LA.

                                                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                                                      I call it PanAm cooking. The same version of supposedly creative cooking across the country. The menus are largely interchangeable.

                                                                                      Few surprises. Coi in San Francisco is one of them.

                                                                                      1. re: epop

                                                                                        even craft sounds uninteresting to me, which a couple of you have praised.

                                                                                        maybe just maybe LA is really more of an ethnic food town from sushi to antojitos to korean bbq. and of course, some really great american bbq along the crenshaw strip.

                                                                            2. re: josephnl

                                                                              I am very familiar with the neighborhood restaurants. Tavern actually offers better value than its competitors. The Brentwood has been the go-to tavern for several years, as it has a full bar and good menu. However, their prices are sky-high. Their burger is more expensive than Tavern and the "Market Fish" is likely to be about $35.00 (compared to Tavern's $24,00 for a beautifully--prepared "market" fish. Cocktails more expensive than Tavern. Valet parking is double the price. I had dinner at Toscana the other night (Toscana, being across the street from Tavern). Have to say, although I love Toscana, the prices seemed out of line. I knew that I could have crossed the street and gotten a better meal at half the price. As to your finding it "hard to conceive" having a drink (actually, I think the OP had 2 drinks), an appetizer (the asparagus which is phenomenal) , an entree and the check was $70+ tax and tip. Truth be told, I have had the same check presented at Orris, where the portions are miniscule, no reservations and no great service. Am I in a "different financial league?" Have no idea. I just know that I love great food and don't want to feel ripped off . Tavern is very satisfying on all accounts. BTW, you are over-estimating the price of the dinner check. As a party of four the other night, we all had 2 drinks, all had an appetizer, all had the market fish and shared one order of the incredible beignets. The check was about $75.00 PP, without tax and tip and we felt that we had a great meal for the price; certainly better than anything comparable in the neighborhood. Apparently, the nearby restaurants are really feeling the impact of Tavern. Toscana just lowered their wine prices. The Brentwood is pretty much dead.

                                                                              1. re: maudies5

                                                                                I will also again say that prices in the Larder are very reasonable. I'll be able to chime in on dinner next week, when I go for dinner. But I've had three larder meals, as well as drinks and apps at the bar, and each time it was very comparable to other less 'formal' establishments in the neighborhood. For twenty dollars, two people can bring home a great meal from the Larder.

                                                                                1. re: Tom P

                                                                                  I think the food is less expensive than Vincenti and way better. I think Peppone is maybe comparable, but I loved my one visit to Peppone (filet mignon meatballs). Osteria Latini is less but I thought the food was not good there. Haven't been to Toscana or Pecorino.

                                                                                  Tavern is a welcome addition to Brentwood.

                                                                                2. re: maudies5

                                                                                  I agree that the prices are reasonable (when compared to the unreasonable prices at many comparable average places). My contention is with the food. A couple of the dishes were downright gross, such as the lamb skewer.

                                                                                  The chef is supposed to be wonderful at what she does. Why then do I prefer to stay at home to eat when I don't even feel like cooking? Because the hype doesn't fool me.

                                                                                  1. re: maudies5

                                                                                    I'm with you maudies5 when you write that you "love great food and don't want to feel ripped off." The meal I had was way better than anything else I've had in the neighborhood, and I've tried most all of them. Also, the beauty and vibe of the room was pretty cool and lovely, and there's nothing close to it around here either. Just one more thing that added to the great experience. Service was near perfect, too.The whole experience was good and worth every penny. Prices were comparable to Lucques, Valentino, etc. and less than Vincenti.

                                                                                    Having said that, I now realize that I made a mistake in the OP, the total bill was $70 including tax. That's with 2 cocktails as well, and as you all know those things can really increase the price of a meal. Not sure of the price of each, but those two drinks added roughly $25 to $30 to my bill. If I'd had a glass of wine instead...maybe $60 plus tip would have been it for everything, and it was REALLY good! Keep in mind that there are tons of tourists over here on the weekends eating terrible food at places like Gaucho Grill and The Cheesecake Factory. The owners of Tavern may be hoping that some of them will wander in and have some real food for a change, along with a few $14 cocktails. Is that a sin?

                                                                                    I have a friend who thinks that paying more than $30 for an entire meal is insane. To each his own. I mean, you only live once or twice, right?

                                                                                    1. re: SugarFrosted

                                                                                      I will pay thousands for a meal and yet feel ripped off at just about every place in Brentwood.

                                                                                      1. re: epop

                                                                                        Brentwood is a fine dining wasteland for sure, that is why Tavern should succeed--because it actually has good food. For those of us who live nearby, it's nice to be able to walk to somewhere fancy for dinner. Sometimes you just don't want to deal with the traffic crossing town, you know? Vincenti, Osteria Latini, both seriously marginal IMHO, Peppone is $$$, so voila, enter Tavern, nice ambiance, nice furnishings, good bar. I can't wait for brunch. All of you nay sayers can just go east (or west if you want to break the bank at Melisse, and frankly I'm not a fan of that place either)

                                                                                        1. re: noshie

                                                                                          I understand why you like Tavern. I prefer to walk over to the Whole Foods and make a much better meal at home for a fraction of the cost.

                                                                                          That doesn't make me a naysayer. I wish I'd enjoyed the place.

                                                                                          1. re: epop

                                                                                            Well, I personally appreciate a less costly meal myself, give me a fine carne asada or lengua burrito or a nice bowl of bun and I'm good to go. Its just that sometimes when you don't want to cook (although cooking is very nice and I am a a huge fan of home cooking) and you want to eat somewhere maybe with a glass of wine and a bread basket, its nice to have a neighborhood place. I am going to try it for brunch when it opens for that, I think that might be good. Certainly, I understand not liking a place, I could not stand the noise and cheesy music at Pizzeria Mozza and I had been looking forward to my visit a lot.

                                                                                            With regard to below, when I was there I saw people sitting and eating plates at the bar with a drink, its just that the bar is sort of a thoroughfare (and waiting area) between the dining room and the entrance, so I don't think it would be a cozy or relaxed place to eat, but you could eat there.

                                                                                          2. re: noshie

                                                                                            can you just go to the bar, treat it as a real bar, get a couple drinks maybe a small appetizer and be on your way?

                                                                                            or is it ultra-pretensious?

                                                                                            1. re: kevin

                                                                                              Absolutely, you can just drop in, sit at the bar and order a small appetizer from the bar menu. It's a real bar and, in no way, pretentious. My husband and I have done that a couple of times, when we didn't have a reservation and just wanted a good drink and a couple of appetizers. He loves the fried oysters. I love the gougeres.

                                                                                              1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                i love gougeries aka cheese puffs, if it's anything like Cut's version, then i'm so there.

                                                                                        2. re: SugarFrosted

                                                                                          I'm just curious...if, as you say, the prices are comparable to Valentino...do you really think that the food, service and ambiance are similarly comparable to Valentino? I absolutely don't think the restaurants are in any way comparable, but if you do, then this has got to be a real find for you!

                                                                                          1. re: SugarFrosted

                                                                                            Good you touched upon the paying more than 30 or so dollars for a meal per person is completely insance. I know a lot of people that think that's completely insane and just in these trying economic times.

                                                                                  2. I may as well jump in. I had lunch there this week. The atrium is just lovely for lunch. The quality of the light, the indoor trees, the colors all worked beautifully. I liked the bar as well. I also liked the notion of the larder but apart from the baked goods, the food on display was not enticing at all and the prices seemed high. My friend and I shared a burger and the chopped chicken salad. The salad was delicious - top quality ingredients, tender and moist chicken, and perfectly dressed. The quality of the meat in the burger was also good, but it was almost too salty (I think this is the first time I've ever found anything too salty) and hard to justify at $17, even with fries. I enjoy the burger at Anisette more. The service was friendly and efficient. Still, I'm not sure I would rush to go back and it's hard to put a finger on why. Is it too showy? Perhaps its all in my head, but there seems to be something about restaurants in Brentwood that make me feel a bit uncomfortable - a vibe of sorts that I never seem to feel at similarly priced restaurants in Santa Monica or Malibu.

                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: whatsfordinner

                                                                                      Tavern is the quintessential neighborhood restaurant. It is casual comfortable and, for many, within walking distance of their apartments or homes. My husband and I, sans reservations, walked in at 6:30 on a Tuesday night. We found 2 open seats at the bar. Our server, Brian, was friendly and and very knowledgeable about the menu. My husband and I each had the Kumquat Martini, 2nd drink was a real martini. I have to say they do pour a good drink. We each had the roast asparagus with the poached and breaded egg over the bed of polenta and shaved pecorino cheese This, may well be one of the most innovative dishes I have ever had. The fat asparagus were roasted to perfection. Every flavor was enhanced by every other little texture and, yet, another flavor. My husband had the clam and mussels as his entree. For those naysayers, who say that this dish is to "small" and not "worth $24.00." I suggest you speak to my husband. He loved his entree and, in fact was incredulous when I told him that there are some who considered the portion "too small." I had the turkey burger. It was delicious. No surprise, as I have had it for lunch. I just love the fact that I can walk into a neighborhood Tavern and get great drinks and wonderful food. No attitude. That makes it even better..

                                                                                      1. re: maudies5

                                                                                        I would be stunned if anyone seeing the portion of mussels and clams which I was served several weeks ago could deny that it was very small even for an appetizer. I complained about it, and I would bet others did too. They may well have changed the size of this dish. I was served 6 mussels and 4 clams with a dollop of mashed potatoes (I think it was that) and a couple of artichoke hearts. Just curious...how many mussels and clams were on your husband's dish?

                                                                                        1. re: josephnl

                                                                                          We didn't bother to count how many mussels and clams. I just know that the bowl looked quite bountiful and he was full after the meal; in fact, not even room for dessert. He gave me one of his mussels to taste and it was delicious. Perhaps they have changed the size of the portion, as it was definitely entree-sized .

                                                                                          1. re: maudies5

                                                                                            Hello... I have 'no dog in this race', but in the interest of research, just did some menu/price comparison using the raw bar menu at Hungry Cat. At their raw bar, the Hungry Cat charges $2 per mussel and $2 per clam. So, going back to the Tavern's entree of 6 mussels and 4 clams (which poster josephnl states he was served), for 10 pieces of seafood at a comparable rate of $2 per, that's $20. Add the spuds and artichoke hearts he states was also on the plate, and it isn't hard to see the price of the entree land in at $24. Whether that's too expensive and/or too skimpy is a judgement call. But as i said, going by another popular/established restaurant's per-piece prices, it seems like the going rate for quality seafood/shellfish...

                                                                                            1. re: silence9

                                                                                              Although I love raw oysters, I have never eaten raw clams or mussels, so I haven't a clue re the going price for them. I have eaten steamed mussels many, many times...probably at least a hundred times, and I can assure you that a dinner entree portion in most restaurants consists of probably forty or more. Marche Moderne which is hardly an inexpensive restaurant serves a portion which is at least this many with perfect fries for $18, and the Brussel's Bistro in Laguna Beach serves an even larger portion...too many for one!...for $24 with fries. So...$2 per is way out of line for steamed mussels.

                                                                                    2. I was finally able to do 'sit down' dinner with three friends Sunday night. I also do not get the detractors and, since someone at my table ordered mussels and the bowl was a really big portion, I don't get the complaining about that one either. Oh well.

                                                                                      We had a wonderful time, and none of us are pushovers. The dining room is just lovely and there really isn't a bad seat in the room. I like the bar, too, with the big wingback chairs to have a drink and appetizer or the tables where you can eat.

                                                                                      We tried quite a few dishes. I won't go into it all, but we all agree with many here that the asparagus and poached egg app is incredible. And very inventive. The steak tartare was also the very best I have ever had. Even if you think you would never like steak tartare, I say try it. All our entrees... lamb, mussels, pork and ribeye... were excellent. I can see how some people might indeed be thrown by the salt. My pork, which I loved, was sprinkled with a wonderful but strong salt and I can see some not enjoying it. Otherwise, we had a lovely time, the service was terrific and along with terrific food, it was just a comfortable place to sit and enjoy a good meal for a couple of hours.

                                                                                      And I still recommend the devil's chicken thighs from the larder. Wow.

                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Tom P

                                                                                        Having eaten at the Westside Tavern for the first time this weekend, I'm wondering - does this qualify, in your collective opinions, more as a tavern than The Tavern? (No sarcasm or point of view in this question - merely a question). Thanks.

                                                                                        1. re: Bria Silbert

                                                                                          "Tavern" belongs to an ever growing list of words that are now meaningless: bistro, osteria, natural, gourmet, fresh, ...

                                                                                          1. re: RicRios

                                                                                            add "food" to the list!

                                                                                          2. re: Bria Silbert

                                                                                            I have not been to the Westside Tavern yet, though I loved the look the one time I peeked in. How was it??

                                                                                            Here, to me, is why it Goin's restaurant qualifies as a Tavern... . First, as opposed to a view above, the definition of a tavern is a place where people gather to drink and also be served food. Ok, it's a tavern. And definitely less chichi than Tavern on the Green. But further: it is open, welcoming, comfortable. And there are three different ways you can experience it... the larder, which has very reasonable items to order, the bar area, where you can sit at the bar or in wonderful wingback chairs, or in the dining area. I've done all three now and have enjoyed each one.

                                                                                            1. re: Tom P

                                                                                              Spot on, Tom P. During the week I can wander into the Larder and have a quick sandwich, sit down and read my Kindle. While there, I can pick up a pound of that amazing butter (served in the restaurant) for $5.00 a pound. This is the best butter I have ever tasted. Breakfast today (at home) was the Blueberry Boule, Larsen's Butter and Tavern's Tangerine&Vanilla marmalade. Amazing flavors. This was a true "continental" breakfast. Tonight, my husband and I, around 7:00, decided we were hungry and ambled over to San Vicente. Our first choice was the Bar at Tavern... but felt that they would have no room. Thus, we were prepared to eat Italian if we could not score seats at the Tavern Bar. Lots of second choices on San Vicente.(Fortunately, we found 2 seats at the bar at Tavern. We each had a perfectly chilled martini, fried oyster brochette (fabulous). I had the turkey burger, he had the steak Tartare . We shared the Panna Cotta for dessert. It was a wonderful meal and just what we were in the mood for.

                                                                                              1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                Uh oh, sorry to see that the prices are inching up at Tavern. Each dish is now about $2.00 more. Also, sad to note that the great asparagus dish is now off the menu:( Dined at Tavern last night, and we, unfortunately were seated in the bar room. The noise was deafening. I was surprised that we were seated there as the reservation was made by the Concierge at the Four Seasons, Beverly Hills. I still think it's a great place to go at the spur of the moment and sit at the bar and have a burger or other fare from the bar menu. Also, the bar is much much quieter than the booths in the bar room.

                                                                                                1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                  if you are hankering for a great asparagus dish,
                                                                                                  try the grilled asparagus salad wild mushrooms, fried egg, reggiano, and black truffle vinaigrette that is served at cafe del rey as one of the courses of their three course sunday brunch .

                                                                                                  sublime

                                                                                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                    Doesn't sound appealing. There was something so simple and wonderful about those perfectly roasted asparagus over the bed of polenta and topped with a perfectly poached egg. I wonder if it is on the Saturday/Sunday brunch menu? Will check it out. I'm at the Larder a couple of times a week. The Nicoise sandwich is addictive. They are now doing a nice 3 salad combo in the larder for $12.00. Nice generous portions and the salads are farmers-market fresh.