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Dine LA+Happy Hour+Jazz+Paella at Tavern

Wednesday night at Tavern. Arrived for our 6:30 reservation and discovered it was still Happy Hour, so we had 1/2 price wine and beer and even a Manhattan. I ordered from the Dine LA Menu which is different and better than the one posted on the website and it was a great menu and one of the best Dine LA Meals I have ever had. I started with the Escarole salad. Delicious and so fresh. Tasted like a great Caesar. For my main, I chose the Arctic Char. Very generous serving and served on a delicious bed of cous cous, along with nectarines and pistachios and , I can't remember what else, but it was one fine dish.
My husband opted for the Paella, only served on Wednesday nights and you have to know about it as it is not on the menu. It was fabulous, he ate nearly every bite. Price was $25.00. Very fair, IMHO, for that big serving.
We (actually he) chose the dessert from the Dine LA Menu. Went for the mint thing with the malted milk ice cream. OMG. Heaven.
Nice jazz trio every Wednesday night. So, Wednesday nights are special at Tavern in that they include jazz and Paella and if you get there before 7 you get your drinks at 1/2 price. We left as very content customers. Highly recommend the Dine LA Dinner Menu. Great deal and great food. Place was packed and service was top notch I took some photos of the menu and the Paella. Just have to find them.

 
 
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  1. Wow sounds great, can't wait for the photos.

    2 Replies
    1. re: TheOffalo

      Found the photos in the Cloud. I dine menu and Paella

      1. re: maudies5

        That paella looks great with all that seafood and bright saffron rice.

    2. Great report! Is there a 2 person minimum on the Wed paella? Looks delish!

      3 Replies
      1. re: FoodShutterbug

        No minimum. I had Dine LA and my husband had the Paella. That Paella was beautifully prepared. Each seafood item was cooked perfectly, thus no rubbery calamari. The Linguica sausage added a lively note. I will go on Wednesdays now for that Paella. It is a generous serving and with appetizers could be shareable. However, I was shocked that my husband nearly finished the entire portion. Shocked, because he rarely eats that much. Jazz was great and not too loud. We have been married for a long time and this was a good date night.

        1. re: maudies5

          @maudies5 Thanks for the add'l info! I'll definitely try Tavern for the paella!

          1. re: FoodShutterbug

            Be sure to make reservation as Wed is always busy. Paella is not on the menu so if your server doesn't offer it, be sure to ask.

      2. that's one $25 serving of paella?

        O_O

        2 Replies
        1. re: ns1

          That is one very generous serving of Paella for $25

          1. re: maudies5

            for sure. way better value than that joint in South Bay.

            I have next Wednesday off; if I can find the motivation to head to the westside....

        2. How was music? What type of band?

          2 Replies
          1. re: jessejames

            Three piece Latin jazz band. They begin at 6:30. BTW, happy hour is every night until 7. Music was good. We enjoyed it.

            1. re: maudies5

              Fun. Nice report. Food sounds like a good deal and a good "date night" spot

          2. The paella looks delicious! Was there a good crust on the rice?

            3 Replies
            1. re: whatsfordinner

              The rice was delicious. There will definitely be more crust as I am reheating the big portion I took home and we'll have it as a side with our steak tonight. Mussels and shrimp were eaten last night. That rice should be great tonight.

              1. re: whatsfordinner

                No crust whatsoever (is that supposed to be one word or three?)

                I agree with maudies5 that the paella is a great bargain at 25 bucks for the quality and quantity of seafood/chicken/rice/saffron. It tasted great.

                Unfortunately, anyone who goes to Tavern expecting a real socarrat will be sorely disappointed.
                Why is it so hard for most restaurants to cook rice properly when making paella? Seems like Koreans and Persians get it right (mostly) in Bi Bim Bop and Tadig. I guess it takes more careful attention than most American kitchens can handle to avoid burning the rice or overcooking the seafood. SIGH. Still we enjoyed the meal.

                1. re: Ciao Bob

                  If I had to guess (only a guess) it's that most American diners will look at it and say "25 bucks and they burned the damn rice!" Right? Unless you know more about paella than 98% of Americans, you don't expect burnt-looking grains on the bottom of your rice dish.

                  Then think, why go to the extra trouble if it's largely unappreciated and the dish itself is perfectly satisfying as it is now? And that's my guess as to why.

              2. It's great when live jazz is offered. It is so nice to see musicians getting a little extra work.

                1. Thanks for the tip! Being the paella fiend I am, I just had to try this paella at Tavern.

                  Verdict: I liked it.

                  The good points: The sofrito (broth base used for the flavor via reduction) was outstandingly complex and delicious! And my server was so kind in begging the chef to make me the very last portion of paella served in the restaurant for the evening.

                  The points which can be worked on: Wrong rice strain - Long rice just isn't proper if you're gonna call the finished product a paella! Also, it was served too soon - it was soggy when I first received it at my table. I had to tell my poor server to bring it back and let it sit on the fire for another 20 minutes.

                  But afterwards, a nice pseudo-socarrat had formed along the sides of the pan, and the rice was drier and much, MUCH yummier.

                  Bonus: Those musicians can jam!

                   
                  2 Replies
                  1. re: J.L.

                    Pretty much my experience they have the right stuff but lack the patience to cook it correctly.

                    1. re: Ciao Bob

                      Sadly, this is the case at many places claiming to serve paella in our fair metropolis.