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Jan 2, 2013 06:52 AM

Westside Tavern - Dinner Last Night

My wife and I dropped by the Westside Tavern last night for a little dinner. I really like their short rib dinner. The braised short ribs are nicely trimmed and served on top of maple mashed yams and scattered roasted brussels sprouts. The put a little horseradish cream on top of the short ribs, a la Lucques on Melrose.

Really a comfort food home run. Huge booth, attentive and friendly service and their cinnamon sugar donuts with creme anglaise and chocolate granache finished off the dinner on a sweet note. I have to say, Westside Tavern gives the BIGGEST desserts. We got 6 nice sized donuts in one order.

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  1. Nice update. I have always been a fan of their tasty Lamb Dip sandwich.

    1 Reply
    1. There food is certainly solid but I still can't get over the fact that it's in a mall.

      1. Big fan of Westside Tavern as well. Have never really had a bad meal there. A consistency that rivals the Hillstone chains (which are often anchored in malls as well - not really sure what that has to do with food quality).

        Recently had their poke tuna appetizer - every bit as good as the one we got at Spago in Maui, which is saying something. Their flatbread pizzas never disappoint, either.

        10 Replies
        1. re: mrkinla2

          I'm making no connection between food quality and the location. I'm simply saying that, no matter how you cut it, the ambience that comes along with eating in a mall is decidedly shitty. Then again, this is LA - the city that pioneered putting apartments above the retails spaces in malls.

          Shoot me.

          1. re: JeMange

            To say Westside Tavern's ambiance is "decidedly shitty" because it's connected to a mall is laughable. What are you doing, having your dinner in their lobby?

            1. re: mrkinla2

              I suppose we have different ideas of what constitutes a pleasant ambience.

              The idea of eating at The Grove, for example, is pretty unattractive to me and something I'll avoid at all costs. Obviously that's not the case for most Angelenos and visitors.

              1. re: JeMange

                Haven't eaten in the restaurant (not particularly interested in American comfort food), but I'm confused by this comment. The few times I've poked my head inside the front door, I've thought it looks quite upscale. The Westside Pavilion is also considerably smaller (and thus less "mall-like") than a place like the Grove (which is a place I abhor). I don't consider the western end of the Westside Pavilion to be particularly mall-like at all, since it's dominated by the Landmark, which I think it kind of classy, as movie theaters go. ::shrug:: Sort of like saying the ambiance at Providence is poor b/c it's in a relatively run-down part of Hollywood....

                1. re: ilysla

                  I have no problem with it being in a mall - in fact it's a great thing to know that in this particular mall - there is a strong and satisfying restaurant. Since the theatre is one of the best in the city - it provides a convenient place to dine and view a movie.

                  (not crazy about the parking which can be annoying, slow and confusing).

                  As a location it isn't exactly weird either. There are some great restaurants in much weird locations; Dal Pescatore -(***Michelin) is it an area with a lot of pig farms - and the neighborhood stinks of a pig shit. But instead? No smell and the food and ambience are pretty magnificant. Le Calandre, another Micheline ^^^ - is beneath what I remember to be a pretty simple hotel.

                  Yamakase or Totoraku - both in pretty funky storefronts. n/naka in a middle class residential and commercial neighborhood. Church & State, etc....

                  Maybe a mall isn't weird or unique enough!

            2. re: JeMange

              No, I think the culture that pioneered hi rise apts above retail were the Romans! 10 story walk ups in urban spaces!

              1. re: chewbacca

                Exactly! If one excluded all mall-type restaurants, especially here in LA, imagine what one would be missing! I am counting strip malls in this example, but truly, there are so many CH places that are found in strip malls, it's mind boggling....

                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                  You guys are entitled to your opinions, obviously, but it's like you're protesting a bit too much. This city is clogged with malls - I'm not talking strip malls where you can walk directly from your car without passing through a retail gauntlet - and while it's clear that some decent restaraunts are bound to be in stultifying retail locations - The Hungry Cat is another example - arguing that there's no loss to the ambience as a result just seems ridiculous.

                  1. re: JeMange

                    Well, for Westside Tavern there is no passing through a retail gauntlet. You do walk by one store and then the escalators up to the movie theaters upstairs. Really, if one at all fits the "hound" criteria it's all about the food in the end. Mall, sketchy part of town, no address or crappy service. If the food is good we'll find hounds there wolfing down the labor of love coming out of the kitchen.

                    1. re: Servorg

                      If one actually visits Westside Tavern, then one will clearly see that there is a direct entrance to the restaurant from the street level sidewalk (in other words, you can bypass the "mall" completely and still enter Westside Tavern). Not sure where this comparison with "passing through a retail gauntlet" is coming from for this particular eatery.

                      Southern California is not San Francisco, we're not Paris, we're not Tokyo. Our malls are (like it or not) part of our landscape, and many chow-worthy restaurants in this area abound within (and adjacent to) these malls. Westside Tavern is actually simply located adjacent to a movie complex, but if that bothers you, then so be it.

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            1. I love the way the way they put the light above each table, like an airplane seat, so they can maintain the darkened dining room but still provide enough light to read the menu. I don't know why everybody doesn't do it.

              Agree about the food, and think the ambiance is terrific, once you make the quick dash from the mall lobby to your seat. Maybe you can have yourself blindfolded until you reach your seat :).