Ever since attending L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade, I had been wanting to visit Tavern. Suzanne Goin did such a spectacular job putting the event together, I figured any of her three restaurants must also be amazing. Although I'll admit, my desire to have a full-sized "Snickers" dessert all to myself was perhaps the driving force behind my urge to eat at Tavern.
Before I get into the food, let me just say that I am completely in love with the design of the restaurant. Roughly divided into three sections--the larder, the bar, and the atrium--each area had a completely different ambiance that I equally admired. We entered through the larder, which felt rustic and homey, with bacon and pecan studded sticky buns behind the glass display cases. The high back chairs in the bar area, upholstered in various shades of purple and lavender, are whimsical, yet chic. The high-ceilinged atrium serves as the dining room and is airy and spacious, with natural light flooding the room during our lunchtime meal. Live, potted trees in the center of the room adds color and life to the space, while the mirrors lining the walls made the room feel even larger. I felt so comfortable, I could relax in one of those couches forever.
11648 San Vincente Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90049
little gems, shrimp, crab, avocado, green goddess dressing
SO unfortunately over-salted. How in the world do you over salt a salad? Other than that, the salad was very fresh, the crab very sweet, and the shrimp cooked to a perfect snappy texture.
The Spaniard--grilled mahon, lomo, romesco, quince, fried egg
I really wanted to love this sandwich. I thought it'd be the perfect balance of sweet and savory with the cured meats and quince paste. I also tend to gravitate anything topped with a fried egg. In the end, I didn't love it. It was too rich, too salty, the bread too hard and crusty, and the egg just wasn't enough to help it. The remarkably thin sweet potato chips on the side were enjoyable though.
market fish with carrot orange purée and beets
This ended up being my favorite out of the three dishes we ordered. The fish of the day was halibut and it was cooked to a tender, flaky perfection. I have a phobia towards anything involving a carrot, orange, and fish combination after an unfortunate dish at LudoBites 4.0, but it was actually quite tasty in this dish. I didn't order it, but I ended up stealing several bites.
wine poached pears
I only had two bites of this dessert and can't really remember much about it. It must not have been that great because otherwise I would've taken more bites.
"Snickers" Bar--salted peanut caramel and vanilla ice cream
Bigger is not always better. This giant "Snickers" bar was nowhere near as delightful as the miniature ones I had at L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade. Too much of a good thing?
Sadly, the food was not nearly at the level I expected it to be at. Everything was decent, but I wouldn't order any of the dishes we ordered again. It kind of felt like food from a mediocre hotel restaurant, not to mention someone in the kitchen was overzealous with the salt. However, I would give Tavern another chance...mainly because I'd like to sit in the atrium with a bacon pecan sticky bun.