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Aug 5, 2010 09:33 PM

Squash Blossoms at Westside Tavern - Best I've had

I might not be the perfect judge, as they are hard to find and I have only had them 5 or 6 times. But the Stuffed Squash Blossoms that just came onto the menu at Westside Tavern are easily hte best I have ever had, including restaurants such as Campanile. They are light, not greasy, almost delicate on the outside with a lot of flavor and the stuffing (ricotta, mozzarella, lemon, basil) is very tasty. Get them while they are on the menu!

I have to again say what a consistently excellent place this is. The cocktails are just great, fresh and creative, and the menu constantly changes with only seasonal ingredients. And ti is reasonable!

Westside Tavern
10850 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

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  1. Those are good. I had them when the place first opened. They were off the menu for a long time and I missed them.

    I liked Westside Tavern, but the last experience i had there turned me off for a while. The food description was misleading (listed as an entree, but was a salad), so incredibly salty that it was disgusting. Our server was indifferent and ignored us for no apparent reason. Not to mention the whole place just feels like a Houston's ripoff, right down to the pens the servers use.

    It'll be a while before I go back, but the squash blossoms and the donuts alone are worth the trip.

    Westside Tavern
    10850 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

    9 Replies
    1. re: Azizeh

      We've had such attentive service (and like the food) each time I would bet that your last visit was some sort of rare aberration. Hope you'll post if you go again. I have to try the squash blossoms one of these times.

      1. re: Servorg

        I've been about 10 times and only once did I receive great service. The horrible service was also only once.

        I told the manager about it during dessert (namely to get a coffee refill after my friends cup had been teetering on the edge of the table and the server walked by a few times without even a glance.) The manager was apologetic and I saw her speak to the server. Of course, that made for a very awkward final few moments of our experience.

        I was surprised at how bad my entree was. It could have easily been remedied with something different had the server ever returned, but she didn't see us again until after the busser cleared everything away. I can't imagine hurrying back to have a meal there, but maybe I'll sit in the bar to have the squash blossoms and donuts.

      2. re: Azizeh

        Azizeh, I also think that must have been a misfire of some sort. I've been six times the last 2 months (I am on a short job right there) and every time has been terrific. Granted, I often sit at the bar with a friend to eat, and the bartenders are wonderful. But the table service has been very good, too. So sorry that happened.

        1. re: Azizeh

          the service i experienced there was simply awful,
          truly puzzling
          how so many servers in such an empty restaurant couldn't muster even average service.
          i had to get up to walk to THEM to get someone to come to our table.

          looking back at it, certainly for a few of the times i've been there, i should have stiffed them.
          i've never had the courage to do such a thing, but if it was deserved anywhere, westside tavern was the place.

          1. re: westsidegal

            So you had the same horrible service every time (out of the few times) you went?

            1. re: Servorg

              not everytime was horrible, but i certainly never experienced the wonderful experience others on this board have described.
              maybe it's the time of day i've gone? (late lunches during the week)
              maybe the great service is at dinnertime?

              in the four times i've eated there:
              2 times the service was just terrible
              1 time the service was on the poor side of fair
              1 time the service was fair

              1. re: westsidegal

                We've had 4 dinners (6:30 PM starts) and 4 weekend (Sunday 2 PM starts) lunches and we have had nothing but stellar service (as others have noted here). You seem to be the outlier here for whatever reason.

                1. re: Servorg

                  it's too bad, because they certainly would have filled a need for me.
                  sometimes, for a business lunch, i need a fancier, less ethnic place than shamshiri grill or jaipur (my go-to weekday lunch spots when i'm on my own or with friends), and westside would have worked well.
                  at this point, i'm too soured to want to give them another try.

                  may try kate mantelini in BH next time. . .

                  1712 Westwood Blvd, Westwood, CA 90024

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    Make that 2 outliers. Service is usually good at the bar but have sat at the little tables in the bar area several times and never had what I would call satisfyingly attentive service.
                    Gotta love those flatbreads, though.

        2. My favorite squash blossoms locally have been at Yxta Cocina, especially when they're small (and fry faster). They're stuffed with housemade Queso Oaxaca. Unfortunately, I don't see them on the current Web-site menu, but I assume they're lurking in the background.

          1. I TOTALLY agree.. the thing is they season the filling PERFECTLY. So many times squash blossoms have such bland fillings...



            2 Replies
            1. re: Dommy

              A picture is definitely worth a thousand words. Thanks for that, Dommy. Now I am getting my wife and going again soon to try these.

              1. Haven't been there in a couple of years but Yujean Kang in Pasadena did a wonderful Chinese rendition of squash blossoms.

                1. I just mentioned these in a different thread--love those squash blossoms!

                  I've had no service issues.

                  While there may be some styling cues that are reminiscent of Houston's, I actually like Houston's so it doesn't bother me. And as good as Houston's bartender's usually are, the drinks at Westside Tavern blow anything Hillstone Group is doing away.

                  The grilled cheese and tri-tip sandwich are awesome (lunch menu--that is the only time I've been--about 8 times in the last 4 months).

                  Westside Tavern
                  10850 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ellaystingray

                    I like Houston's, too. Westside Tavern has less expensive art and the service isn't quite as good, but they definitely have less of a corporate vibe. They focus more on seasonal and their specials change way more often than Houston's. The cocktail list is definitely more exciting, too.

                    The manager I spoke to worked for Houston's for 6 or 7 years, if I'm remembering correctly. So, I think it's no mistake that there are similarities.

                    Like I said, the kicker for me was the pens. Houston's servers have to use a very specific pen from Bic that has to be ordered directly from the company 100 at a time. You really have to go out of your way to get these pens, and Westside Tavern also uses them. Coincidence?

                    Westside Tavern
                    10850 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA