Saturday, September 26, 2009

Park's BBQ in Koreatown

Time to check off another restaurant from my hit list! Yes, Park's BBQ in Koreatown has been calling my name for some time and I recently had the opportunity to make a stop at this highly-rated Koreatown restaurant.

For those of you who haven't experienced eating in a Korean BBQ restaurant, allow me to describe: you order large platters of marinated or un-marinated raw meats, cook the meats on a table-top grill, and then eat the cooked pieces either on their own or with one of the many prepared side-dishes that are brought to your table. Throw all of this together with soju, beer, and good company, and it becomes clear as to why Korean BBQ is one of my favorite cuisines.

Like most of the surrounding Korean BBQ restaurants, Park's has cooking grills--charcoal in this case--at each table with vents above to draw out the smoke. I learn later that Park's is actually a chain in South Korea, however this spot appears to be only one in the greater Los Angeles area. Park's carries the usual assortment of kalbi (short rib) and bulgogi (finely sliced beef), and is also known for decadent slabs of raw pork belly.

We drove here on a Wednesday night and the rush hour traffic from the west side was typical, but we arrive just before our 7pm reservation. We have our car parked (valet-only lot) and then step inside to our assigned table along a window. The interior is very nice, clean, and modern. Polished stainless steel glistens from the overhead vents, and a large plasma TV beams Korean news in case you need to catch up on what's happening in Seoul.

Driving in traffic tends to make me thirsty, so I do the obvious thing and order a bottle of Chum-Churum soju to kick off the night:

Now I've ordered Chum-Churum many times from other places, but I've never seen it packaged like this. I'm told this girl is an incredibly famous pop-star in South Korea. The soju itself is like a milder version of vodka, which makes it all the more dangerous. A few years ago I and I alone downed two bottles of this same liquor during a party at our house. Let's just say my wife wasn't thrilled that I missed most of the following day's activities.

Soju. It's not just for breakfast anymore.

Our friend Linda arrives and joins the party. Let the feasting begin!

Linda and I take care of the food ordering. She insists on a platter of Kobe beef and I insist on a platter of marinated pork belly, and since we're in a Korean BBQ establishment, it would be criminal if we didn't order a platter of kalbi. We also request a platter of assorted mushrooms which have received high praises from the Yelp crowd.

Top left to bottom right: Kobe beef, marinated kalbi, marinated pork belly, and mushrooms.

Along with the platters of meat and mushrooms, small dishes of assorted cooked and fresh foods are brought to the table. Referred to as banchan, these items are eaten as is or can be combined with the cooked meats to add flavor and texture. Of course ample quantities of kimchi are also brought out, as are small bowls of shredded greens to go with the cooked meats.

Grilling time! Here's the Kobe beef:

We're given tongs to flip the meat, but I found it to be easier to just use chopsticks. With our soju bottle running on fumes, we decide to order a bottle of Korean beer to keep our thirsts quenched:

OB beer is a light pale lager which goes down easily and pairs ever so nicely with grilled meats. With the Kobe beef and kalbi cooked, it's time to lay on the pork:

As for the taste of the meats, the Kobe beef is my favorite as it has a incredibly rich, meaty taste that holds up on its own and needs no help from any of the banchan. It's served un-marinated and thinly sliced, and only needs a minute or two to cook for a resulting taste that is so satisfying. The marinated kalbi was almost equally delicious and mated nicely with the banchan, particularly with the shredded greens and with some type of pungent garlic paste. Although heavily seasoned, the kalbi was cut thicker to provide additional texture for that solid, meaty taste. Linda instructs Fonda and I to grill the kimchi and wrap around the grilled meats, to be eaten together. I happily oblige and the resulting taste has me swimming in a sea of smokey, savory, pungent flavors.

Huge slabs of pork belly were last to go on the grill and were by far the fattiest of the meats. The taste is pure richness and the texture is quite fatty; whatever diet you're on is officially shot to hell once you start devouring this stuff. The mushrooms were also very good and I loved the earthy, fresh taste of the different varieties.

At the end of our meal, the server brings us fresh watermelon which was absolutely delicious and crisp:

They're a nice, sweet conclusion to our intensely savory dinner. Total for the three us of was about $100 before tip, which is a little more expensive than at other BBQ places in the area, but the high quality of the meats at Park's makes it worth the extra cost. Service was quite decent and I had no complaints; our server tended to the grill throughout our meal and refilled some of our banchan on request. I'll also add that the overhead vents did a commendable job with keeping the room relatively smoke-free; I didn't come home smelling like a chimney like I do when returning from other places.

With dinner accomplished, we decide to continue the night's degustation with dessert, so we head over to Haus Dessert Boutique located just a few miles away. Upon arrival I notice that Haus has valet parking; yes, valet parking for a dessert shop. Should I even be surprised? We're quickly seated in the patio and are each given menus. Fonda and Linda inspect the menus while I take in the scene. Now here's something you don't see too often in restaurants:

And this really works. Within seconds of pushing a button, the server is summoned to our table. We order drinks and Linda goes for a fruit drink while I try the Clover coffee. I'm not sure this is really "Clover" coffee because it tasted nothing like the Clover variety I've had at La Mill in Silverlake. It was was served warm, not scalding hot like I prefer, and the flavor wasn't anything special. Linda seemed to really enjoy her beverage; that's what I should have ordered.

Our dessert picks end up being tiramisu and a chocolate souffle:

The tiramisu was actually quite good with a nice consistency and a rich coffee taste. The souffle however was very dry and lacked that deep, dark chocolaty flavor you'd expect from a decent souffle. The accompanying ice cream had a shaved-ice consistency and taste, which is to say it didn't come close to Diary Queen's rich, creamy offerings. Needless to say, we finished both desserts and called it a night in Koreatown. I left very happy and very full, ready for the remainder of the work week.

Park's BBQ
955 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90005

Haus Dessert Boutique
3826 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

La Cachette Bistro

It's not common for me to dine out on a Sunday night, but doing so has a distinct advantage in that most restaurants are typically less crowded than on Fridays and Saturdays. Prime-time reservations are easier to come by, and some restaurants showcase special Sunday-only deals to lure diners from the comfort of their dining rooms. So when my wife, Fonda, offered up the chance for a Sunday night dinner with her coworkers, I not only obliged with a resounding Yes, but I also sent her group a list of some 5 or 6 west-side restaurants that I thought we should try. (And when I say "we" of course I really me "I")

Amongst my carefully crafted list was La Cachette Bistro, a French restaurant in Santa Monica that recently moved from its original location in Century City. I had been in the mood for some good French fare lately, and with La Cachette Bistro getting solid buzz from other food bloggers, it was an obvious addition to the list. As you can probably tell by the title of this posting, La Cachette Bistro was the restaurant Fonda's coworkers ultimately picked, and thus our Sunday dinner plans were set in motion.

Fonda and I arrive with our friend Lynn for our 6:30pm reservation, and as expected the place was wide open, although the bar was quite the happening scene, presumably with hotel guests from the adjacent hotels. La Cachette Bistro occupies prime real estate along Ocean boulevard in Santa Monica and has a heated and fully-covered patio overlooking the busy boulevard. Once seated in the patio, we placed our cocktail orders and began perusing the extensive menu.

I probably don't need to tell you what drink I got:

But I will tell you that this might be the last Manhattan I order from a restaurant because just like the previous Manhattans I've ordered recently from other restaurants, this one was simply too weak for the price. The big exception though is the Manhattan from Vito, an old-school Italian restaurant in Santa Monica that happens to pour the best damn Manhattan, period.

Lynn orders a Cosmopolitan:

She says it's too strong and summons our waiter to bring a glass of cranberry juice to lessen the taste of the alcohol. She seemed happy after diluting her drink. I wished our waiter could have also brought a complimentary glass of Bourbon to magnify my drink's alcohol taste, but that's just not how things work. Fonda goes for her standard issue flute of Champagne, a fine choice given that we're in a French bistro.

Our two other dining companions, Jose and Marie-Josee, both of whom are Fonda's coworkers visiting from France, arrive fashionably late and immediately place their drink orders. I can't remember what they ordered, so to distract your attention from that mishap, here's a nice picture of us toasting to our Sunday night outing:

Another 10 minutes or so passes by and our group of five comes to a consensus on the appetizer orders. First up is a crab and avocado tower, with tomato, lemon olive oil and cumin dressing:

The presentation is interesting and attractive, and I could really taste the freshness of the crab and avocado, but unfortunately the dish was woefully under-seasoned. You could taste the fresh crab and avocado and that's about all, as the lemon olive-oil and cumin dressing were basically no-shows in terms of tastes. A few of us at the table agreed it needed something--anything--to move this appetizer from the forgettable column to the memorable one.

Provencal tart with black olives, tomato, onions, rouille and pesto:

I was expecting a thin-crust flat bread with charred edges and burnt-on cheese, similar to what you might see at Church & State, but what we got resembled a baked puff-pastry with some produce and pesto layered on top. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I was a bit underwhelmed with both the presentation and the taste; truthfully I think I missed the point with this appetizer. That said, I'd have a hard time believing that this would be a popular item, and I certainly wouldn't order it during a future visit.

Homemade duck rillettes with cornichons and dijon mustard:

This is very similar to a duck confit though I believe this is much fattier. It has deep, rich taste with a texture that's slightly dense but still spreadable for the toasted bread. It's one of those foods where you definitely know you're eating something sinful. The provided cornichons (pickles) help cut into some of the richness.

Smoked tomato and shitake mushroom soup:

As suggested by a fellow blogger, I ordered this tomato and shitake soup for myself--though of course I shared with Fonda--and it did not disappoint. The thick consistency of the broth and the explosive taste of the fire-roasted tomatoes made this one of the best tomato soups I've had in recent times. Fresh shitake mushrooms somehow held up well in the broth and retained their flavor and texture. As I got close to finishing the last few slurps, the busboy mistakenly assumed I was done and made an attempt to pull the bowl from the table. Oh you should have seen his reaction when I exclaimed I wasn't done.

Now on with the mains. La Cachette Bistro has a wide range of meat and seafood entrees and so it took us some time to make up our minds. Of course I always order last to make sure I order something no one else selects.

My dish, coq au vin (dark meat) with veal bacon, carrots, onions, English peas and organic potatoes:

The meat was very tender and fell off the bone with little effort; I actually just applied a little spoon action to separate the substantial chunks of meat. The nicely cooked vegetables held up well in the thick sauce, which I found to be just a tad too salty. Nonetheless I finished it and enjoyed every bite.

Hawaiian Ahi tuna “a la Plancha” with tomato and red bell pepper piperade and harissa emulsion:

I had a few bites of this and I thought it was very good. The tuna was perfectly seared and paired very well with the sauce, which had some nice kick to it. The accompanied roasted vegetables were very robust in flavor in freshness. This was Fonda's dish and she loved it, and overall it gets high recommendations from the two of us.

Lightly smoked Alaskan true cod with house-made organic salmon sausages, fennel sauerkraut, and fennel lemon sauce:

I didn't have any of this but Jose claimed it was a bit lackluster in flavor. I would have ordered this dish for myself, but rules are rules.

Lynn orders buffalo short ribs with coffee rub, potato gratin and Cabernet jus:

Tender pieces of meat with a wonderfully rich sauce made for an excellent rendition of this classic. I only had a few small bites but they were heavenly bites of rich, tender meat that melted in my mouth. Nook Bistro in West LA used to serve an epic short-rib dish, and based on the sampling I had of La Cachette Bistro's version, I think they are about equal which is a very good thing.

Lynn also ordered a lobster bisque:

I love the presentation with the artfully-constructed bowl. I didn't get to sample any of the bisque, but Lynn really enjoyed it.

Marie-Josee also ordered the tuna; yes I realize it's a duplicate order but I am certainly not going to force anyone to order something else. So, since this is a food blog, here's another picture of that same dish:

Chapter 2. The Dessert Fiasco.

With the mains and appetizers behind us, it's time to move to the dessert portion of the night. We place our orders for four desserts: rhubarb-strawberry shortcake, Nutella crepe, tiramisu, and creme brulee. The waiter, however, later informs us that the chef burnt the last of the creme brulee and asks us to select another dessert in its place, and so we went with a strawberry tart. He also asks us to select a fifth dessert to be provided on the house, which we chose to be a chocolate cake. When the five desserts show up, we ask the waiter to differentiate the strawberry tart from the rhubarb-strawberry shortcake because we're not sure as to which is which, but he tells us that there is no rhubarb-strawberry shortcake on the table and then quickly dismisses himself as though nothing odd had just happened. Our table is left wondering what happened to the elusive rhubarb-strawberry shortcake--which was actually my pick. Although I really cared less and in fact I was already going all nom-nom on whatever dessert was in front me.

The waiter reappears a few minutes and points out the tart and the shortcake, apologizes for the confusion, and then departs. But wait, there's more drama. About 10 minutes into our dessert fest, a sixth dessert in the form of an apple tart makes its way onto our table and no explanation is given as to why this was brought to us. The waiter isn't sure as to how this happened, and assures us this won't be on our final bill. So without further delay, here are the four desserts we ordered, the one provided on the house, and the one that just simply appeared on our table:

From top to bottom we have tiramisu, chocolate cake, Nutella crepe, strawberry tart, rhubarb-strawberry shortcake, and the apple tart. They were all extremely decadent and very satisfying. La Cachette Bistro clearly makes all its dessert in-house and these were mostly big hits with our group. My particular favorite was the rhubarb-strawberry shortcake which was filled with a dense cream and a generous serving of rhubarb and strawberries. The flaky, buttery crust was baked to a perfect crumbly texture which melted effortlessly in your mouth; I finished this mostly on my own and I would gladly order this during a return trip. The Nutella crepe and the strawberry tart were also quite memorable, with the chocolate cake being my least favorite but that's mainly because Fonda's chocolate and orange essence home-made cakes are simply to-die-for and incontestable in my book. At about the 20-minute mark into the dessert course, the rest of the group waved the white flags of defeat, but I did my best to clean house and left just few large crumbs here and there.

The total bill for the five of us was $285 before tip and that included 4 cocktails, 3 appetizers, 2 soups, 5 mains and 4 desserts (with 2 additional desserts on the house). Despite some hiccups with service and a few misses with the menu selections, we enjoyed our overall experience at La Cachette Bistro, mainly due to the solid effort of the stand-out dishes and to the otherwise genuine effort put forth by our waiter. Another nice draw was the wonderful patio with its candlelit tables overlooking Ocean boulevard. I noticed couples dining and larger groups celebrating; everyone appeared to be having good times. With its standout dishes, rich desserts, and wonderful scene, La Cachette Bistro just might lure us back someday, perhaps even on a Saturday when I'm sure the place will be much busier.

La Cachette Bistro
1733 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Monday, September 21, 2009

Upscale STREET Food

Although STREET wasn't on my hit list of must-try restaurants, it recently piqued my interest when I read Jonathon Gold's upbeat LAWeekly review of this hip West Hollywood restaurant. Described as an upscale take on international street food, STREET restaurant is the creation of Susan Feniger, who is part owner of the highly successful Border Grill in Santa Monica and in Las Vegas. Feniger also starred in a PBS cooking show, "Too Hot Tamales", during the mid-90s alongside her friend and chef Mary Sue, who is the other part-owner of the aforementioned Border Grill. The two of them have been cooking together for over two decades and continue to run Border Grill and also Ciudad in downtown Los Angeles, and more recently have opened a food truck serving Border Grill fare in the streets of Los Angeles. As you can see, STREET has some serious culinary firepower behind it and thus my expectations were quite high.

I made a reservation for last Friday night, and despite the heavy post-work traffic along Olympic boulevard, we arrived well on time and actually scored the best possible parking spot one could obtain while dining at STREET: directly in front of the restaurant with no meters or parking restrictions. (Yes the parking gods have been very good to us lately!) We step through the doors and the hostess leads us to our table within the enclosed dining room. Fonda ponders sitting outside under a heat lamp--as it was somewhat cold inside for her--and asks the hostess if we could move to the patio table with a heat lamp. At first Fonda is told the patio is "full" and I could sense disappointment in her, so I gave the hostess a little extra and kind nudging and minutes later we're led to a wonderful two-top directly under a heat lamp, secluded behind a palm tree. Yes, ask nicely, and good things will come to you.

The patio is quite scenic with its bright red walls, central fire pit, and manicured palm trees. It's also dimly lit; in fact most of the light came from the fire pit and from the tea lights on each table. Romantic indeed. I saw several tables with small flashlights to help illuminate the menus.

We start with our drinks orders and of course you probably already know that I ordered a Manhattan:

This one's made with Sazerac rye, and overall it's a a good drink, but needed a bit more rye to make it memorable (read: stronger). I actually enjoyed a tastier and much more potent Manhattan--with Knob Creek--the night before at an Irish bar in Santa Monica; it was also half the price! Fonda orders a glass of Pinot Noir, which was served in a small glass jug for pouring. Nice touch.

Our food arrives and first up is a plate of Chinese sesame cakes with house-made red bean paste:

Warm, soft cake with toasted sesame surrounds a very fragrant red bean paste; the combined flavor is excellent with wonderful texture and freshness.

Mung bean pancake with glazed pork belly and hot mustard sauce:

This is chef Feniger's take on a traditional Korean dish and she pulls it off very nicely. The dough is lightly fried and the pork belly is perfectly cooked and seasoned. A bit tough to cut for sharing, so of course I let Fonda have at it with her precision knife skills. Without the mustard sauce this pancake might have been somewhat lackluster, but instead the flavors and textures are heightened by the mildy-intense sauce.

Another dish arrives, Kaya toast with coconut jam, served alongside a fried egg with soy sauce drizzled over it:

An authentic Singaporean treat, the Kaya toast resembles something that I'd probably eat for breakfast, but here I am eating this at around 8pm on a Friday night in West Hollywood, under a heat lamp. The toast with jam is delicious as is, but with a drenching in the egg yolk and soy sauce, the toast becomes a mouthful of sweet and savory flavors. It's delicious and something you should definitely order if you ever visit STREET. I can see myself making this at home as a brunch item; the preparation and ingredients are relatively simple, yet the taste and textures are so satisfying.

Here we have the Singapore Chile crab and shrimp, with a chile and ketchup sauce:

It's served with thick slices of toasted bread, baby corn, baby shelled coconuts, sausage, and Okinawa sweet potatoes. This is actually the only item we ordered from the entree menu as the rest of night's dishes were appetizers; I'll point out that ordering mostly from a restaurant's appetizer selection helps keep the cost in check and yet affords you with trying more tastes. With this entree, the shrimp and crab were fresh and perfectly cooked. The sweet and spicy sauce was intense and had a nice consistency that paired equally well with the veggies and with the toasted bread. The added sausage was a nice touch, and with the sauce it made for an interesting sausage-shrimp jambalaya effect.

Along with the Chile crab came the New Jerusalem Bread Salad with Jerusalem artichokes, Persian cucumber, tomatoes, feta, and chunks of cumin-toasted olive bread:

Fonda took a few bites and made it clear that she was no fan of this bread salad, leaving the rest for me to enjoy, and enjoy I did. There's a fair amount of textures happening in this dish and somehow they all play nicely together. The olive bread went well with the strong flavors of the artichokes and feta. My only complaint was with the dressing--it was simply too pungent and overpowered some of the freshness of the greens and vegetables.

Our last savory dish arrives and it's a small plate of Vietnamese corn with bits of glazed pork belly:

It was only $6 so I wasn't expecting a substantial amount of pork belly. The corn was fresh and nicely cooked with some charred areas, however, the bits of pork belly were minuscule both in size and in portion and ultimately became lost in a sea of yellow corn. We didn't finish this because we were saving room for the next course, a dessert offering of espresso jelly and chocolate ganache:

The ganache was wonderful and came topped with halva cream; the jelly however was a letdown as it was practically flavorless and much harder than a typical jelly should be. One or two bites of this was all it took for me to mark "Fail" on the scorecard for this dessert. I had also ordered the Turkish donuts but they never made an appearance, either on our table or on the bill.

Total price for our STREET dinner was about $110 before tip and I felt like this was fair price given the quality of food and the level of service provided. Our dishes arrived quickly after each order was placed, and our waiter checked on us from time to time, yet was never intrusive. We enjoyed sitting in the heated patio away from the bustling scene in the main dining room, despite the fact that we had to hold the candles near the menus to see any text. All in all, I'm glad to have tried STREET and I recommend you try it if you're in the area, if only for the Kaya toast and the Chile crab.


742 N. Highland Ave.
Hollywood CA

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fantastic Sunday brunch at Tavern

Ever since it opened about 6 months ago, Tavern had been on my hit list of restaurants to try as this place has been getting press even long before its doors opened. Part restaurant and part larder (bakery/deli), Tavern is a collaboration between chef-owners Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne, who have already brought us the highly regarded A.O.C. and Lucques establishments in West Hollywood. A few weeks ago I made a brief trip to Tavern to sample some of their bakery offerings for breakfast and I came back with a pecan sticky bun and a monkey pull-apart bread. Although I wasn't completely overwhelmed with either one, I knew I had to make a return visit to try their fabulous-sounding brunch menu and to complete my Tavern experience.

Last Sunday I made a return trip and this time I brought back-up in the likes of my wife and our neighbor-friend, Jackie, who graciously watches over our trouble-maker on a regular basis.

Tavern is just a short drive up Barrington avenue for us, and upon arrival I noticed something quite rare in the west side: wide-open free parking. Whoa! Things are certainly off to a good start. The restaurant itself is gorgeous both inside and out, and is sectioned into three distinct areas: the brightly lit larder with its unreserved seating, an exquisite bar room with a 30-foot leather couch, and a main dining room with an enormous wall-to-wall glass canopy that makes the most of our wonderful California sunshine. We sat in the bar room as the dining room was already filled with brunch-goers. Some pics:

We start with our drink requests and I order a Queen Mary--basically a bloody Mary--while Fonda and Jackie go for the Elderflower Blossom which is a sparkling wine with St. Germaine elderflower liquor. My bloody Mary is very good, though not quite like the ethereal one I had at Anisette, but still very satisfying. A little spicier and more potent and this would have been tops in my book. I'll let Fonda and Jackie comment on their drinks but they apparently seemed happy with their cocktail selections.

A complimentary bread basket arrives with butter and coarse salt. The soft, warm bread was nice but the butter was clearly just pulled from the refrigerator. I love the coarse salt, however, as it pairs so nicely with thick, buttered bread.

Our server stops by to take our entree selections and I must admit we had a tough time deciding what to order, as everything on the menu looked absolutely delicious. Allow me to exemplify with a few of the available brunch items: "smoked fish with toasted rye & redwood hill goat cheese", "soft-scrambled eggs with fontina and crème fraîche", "french toast with bananas foster and hazelnuts". We must have spent 20 minutes hashing this over before finally settling; of course you know I made sure that we each ordered something different. That by the way is a requirement when you eat with me. I'm just saying!

As our server departs, I gasp for her attention to order the pecan sticky bun--with bacon. I tried this bun sans-bacon during my first visit and found it be somewhat dry, but being the dedicated foodie that I am, I wanted to give it another shot, with bacon of course, because I can.

This time around it was still a little dry but not as dry as the first one. The bacon certainly adds savoriness and texture to the rich, soft sweetness of the bun. Each bite with the giant pecans and sweet glaze and this bun becomes a mouthful of decadent flavor. I don't think Fonda liked it as much as I did, though we still fought over the last piece.

Our entrees arrive quickly thereafter and all at the same time. Given the quality and presentation of the food (as you'll see), execution in the kitchen is clearly firing on all cylinders for this to happen.

French toast with bananas foster and hazelnuts:

The bread was soft like a bread pudding and was probably prepared crème anglaise style, meaning it was soaked in a light custard for hours or overnight. Coarsely chopped hazelnuts added wonderful crunch to each bite, while the sauce added richness to the taste with some hints of rum and possibly banana liquor. I would order this again in a heartbeat, and if I had to share, I'd order a second serving just for myself.

Smoked fish with toasted rye & redwood hill goat cheese:

Smoked whitefish and smoked salmon were fresh, soft, and full of wonderful flavor. I thought the bread was a little too chewy but it made for easy spreading of the goat cheese, and the taste was nice. Provided capers, tomatoes, and finely sliced red onions added extra layers of taste and texture. And notice the plating: an organized chaos of accompaniments that somehow presented itself with class.

Wild mushroom frittata with spinach and cheddar:

We contemplated on ordering this because Fonda makes frittatas on what seems like a weekly basis, but we still ordered it (I guess we must really love fritattas!) The eggs were cooked to perfection and served in a cast-iron pan, along with a side of fried potatoes. The mushrooms and spinach exhibited incredible freshness, and overall the frittata was seasoned very nicely. The provided artisan bread was excellent and had just the right amount of crunch to it, but the potatoes, however, were a letdown as I felt they were thoroughly overcooked.

The total bill for our wonderful brunch wasn't cheap at just under $100 before tip, but that's to be expected for this high level of quality in an area like Brentwood. Tavern excels at providing wonderful flavors in a beautiful setting and with the service you'd expect from a restaurant with A.O.C. and Lucques in its heritage. This is probably not a place we would visit on a regular basis, but for special occasions and for entertaining out-of-town guests with an excellent sit-down meal, Tavern will definitely be a go-to spot for such moments.


11648 San Vicente Blvd
Los Angeles,CA 90049

And don't think that I've forgotten about the recipe survey. The German Chocolate Cake won with 5 votes; I'll be making that very soon!