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Taverna 8 1/2 - Studio City on Moorpark

Does anyone have any information on this new place? It is in the same space as the Zen Chi/Nick's Grille from a while back. Looks like they might be open, as the Coming Soon sign is no longer there.

Thanks much

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  1. Same ownership as both Zen Chi and Nick's Grill, but they have to do something to keep the ABC license active or it will be lost forever, so they are trying to take some business from Laurel Tavern on Ventura.
    Truly clueless.

    3 Replies
    1. re: carter

      Sigh. Village BBQ (which built the structure there) was decent once upon a time. I still remember when that corner was occupied by a little takeout shack called Doma's (this is in the mid-late 70s), which had really good soft serve ice cream.

      1. Well, at least they finally posted an ABC license on May 7 in the window, and it does indicate a different entity from the original ownership, a guy by the name of Vincenzo San Severino. But does the greater Studio City area really need another tavern(a)? Only time will tell. Sure hope this ownership knows more than the previous 3 or 4 in this space.
        It has been a looooong time in having a successful tenant here.

        1. re: carter

          It is not the same ownership as Nick's or Zen Chi. Yes, the building is still owned by Nick, but he has nothing to do with the new operation. I should know, I've been friends with Nick for 20 years. I have not been to the new place, but am well versed with the issues with Nick's operations.

        2. any relation to the fellini film?

          1. The original comment has been removed
              1. I have been to this place. They have good wine/beer selection, but no full bar.
                Parking is horrible, they have very few spaces and streets around require permit (so be careful) and there's no valet.
                Food is great, but pricy.
                Serice is rather time consuming. I know, people usually go to places like this to sit around and chat with their friends for an hour or two, but I do want my order at some point!
                Not only it took them forever, they also brought me the wrong thing...twice. And in the end tried to charge me for something I didn't order.

                So, place is OK, but services not so much.

                5 Replies
                1. re: goodie foodie

                  I must concur with gf. We went about three weeks after it had been opened. Parking can be a challenge and you're in competition for the few non-permitted spots with 4 other restaurants within striking distance.

                  The place is very hip and trendy and OSHA citation waiting to happen loud. The place is essentially a bar with some food offerings (and an oddly designed space). Since we did not seemingly fit the demographic they were striving for we were relegated to a corner table by the back door even though there were other open two tops.

                  When we finally did get someone to take our order we were informed of a few other specials and opted to split the tagliatelle in a cream truffle sauce along with the tuna tartare bites and the cod fish and chips.

                  The fish and chips were tasty, the tuna uninspired, and the pasta just OK.

                  And yes - quite pricey for what it is: the above food and two glasses of wine + tip was almost $80!!!

                  We will be hard pressed to return

                  1. re: Theo

                    Three of us tried this place tonight and all loved it. It was a Saturday night but we found street parking. They asked us where we wanted to sit and we chose the side by the back door.

                    They gave us small garlic potato chips to start with. We shared the pizza with bechamel sauce, corn and potato, a hit with everyone. One person had the steak which was a generous portion, sliced, with rosemary and a side of veggies. I'm not a fan of rosemary but the meat was delicious. The lobster ravioli, a special, was wonderful, with a nice portion of lobster pieces on top. We found the service attentive but not rushed.

                    The place was bustling and the only downside was the high noise factor. But we all agreed if we wanted it quieter next time, we'd sit outside.

                    We all made plans to return.

                      1. re: 420 Reasons to eat

                        I went to Taverna this weekend and my $00.02 is that it is...OK. The food was pretty good, but it was a tad overpriced for me. I went with Nick (yes, that Nick), and we spit a pizza, a sandwich and the lamb chops. The pizza was probably the best item, a simple margherita. The crust was good, but maybe a touch thin in the center. The ingredients were all tasty and appropriately portioned. The lamb chops were really tasty, but 4 single chops with a little bit of spinach was a wee bit skimpy. Same with the sandwich, excellent, but too small, with a side of fries that was probably 1/2 of a small McDonald's order. Dessert was the small cannolis; tasty, but with 3 small ones on the plate. Three is an odd number for a shared dish, 4 would be better for just about any group. Toss in 2 beers and a glass of wine for a total of just under $80.

                        I wish the owners all the best luck. Living on OC, I am not getting there too often, and I think they will keep getting better. Food was good, but bigger portions would be nice. They have a good selection of beer that pulls in some oddball choices. I think they are on the right track.

                    1. re: Theo

                      Theo, I'm with you.
                      Went last night, split a porketta pizza - made Dominos and Pizza Hut taste good - an order of salmon ($22) which was 1"x3" in size, served with one quarter cup of sliced steam veggies (ok), and a terrible lobster spaghetti.
                      By the time we left, the bill was over $60, with no booze. Wine selection is terrible, woman hostessing came with a deep disgust for having to work there, and the noise factor was insane.
                      Outdoor seating is the only way if you want to converse.
                      Could not imagine why we would return.