..::Phone Home::..



Food ****
Beer Selection ***
Service ***
Atmosphere *****
Eye Candy ****

***** WOW | **** Damn Good | *** nice | ** average | * WACK

From the dynamic duo of Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne comes the newest addition to their restaurant empire, Tavern. Located in not-so-parking-friendly Brentwood, Tavern is far from a quaint neighborhood watering hole. The place is big yet cozy, crowded but comfortable, a bit of a scene and a bit rustic all at the same time.

Despite walking into a stiflingly small reception that barely fits more than 3 people, Tavern is a big and complicated joint. To the left is the Larder/Blue Room which serves as their own bakery and takeout deli. On the right is the bar and beyond that is the glorious Atrium. A big, glass structure with potted olive trees and velvet armchairs around the tables, the Atrium is where you want to be. It’s the biggest room in the restaurant but still quieter than the bar. Prices are not outrageous for the quality; dinner entrees range from $20-$30. Besides, with nine (9!) different menus, you’re sure to find something to appease your wallet and stomach.

Tavern is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It also has a brunch menu, a pastry menu, a kids menu, a desserts menu, a bar menu, and a cocktail menu (!). I started with the bar menu that consists of small plates and burgers. While I hear the Pork Manchego Burger is good, I know the fried oyster & bacon brochette with tabasco aïoli is great. Salty, rich, fried and high in bacon content, this thing is dynamite. After a tasty Old Fashioned or two I moved on to the dinner menu. I was far from disappointed. Everything was perfectly cooked and well executed but I did find a couple items a bit heavily seasoned.

In a nutshell, Tavern has great atmosphere, good booze, and very good food at a reasonable price for its kind. Definitely a place worth going back to a couple of times and reservations are highly recommended. This place gets packed but has a good spatial arrangement and high ceilings to alleviate the congestion. With several menus to choose from and service all day, you’re sure to find something to like at Tavern. Hats off to the Goin & Styne tag team.

  • Make reservations!
  • Sit in the Atrium for dinner; Bar and Blue Room are good for small plates/lunch
  • Appetizers are the best
  • Good place to bring a date
  • Rotating Menu

Business in the front, party Backstage
July 28, 2009, 5:06 am
Filed under: American, Booze, Full Bar, Grub | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Weeks have passed as I traveled across the pond to Greece, split the Black Sea to Ukraine, and motored through the Bosphorous to Istanbul, but I won’t bore you with tales of my journey 8)


Maximum 3====D
Food 3=D
Beer 3==D
Service N/A
Atmosphere 3==D
Eye Candy 3===D

My return to LA also meant my return to homeostasis – bar hopping. Upon arrival I found myself rooted at Backstage Bar in Culver City for some drinks and pub fare. Sort of a “Welcome Back to America” night if you will. What I didn’t know was that it was also Karaoke Night at Backstage. Upon hearing this I almost immediately bolted. Don’t get me wrong, I think singing and dancing is a vital part of social interaction, but I am completely and irreparably tone deaf. Not to mention that the sound of drunkards belting out off-notes to ancient power ballads requires a certain BAL that I had yet to reach. Nonetheless, curious to see why every table in the joint was reserved, I stayed to have some grub and watch the night unfold.

Standard bar items like quesadillas, onion rings, and fries line the menu. Certainly nothing to call home about, but the food is greasy and does a good job of coating your insides for a night of heavy boozing – which of course goes hand-in-hand with karaoke for us Westerners.

After putting down a few Glenmorangies with my steak quesadilla and onion rings, people began filing in and the place quickly filled. Karaoke started somewhere between 5 and 6…drinks. I think it was somewhere around 9:30pm. To my pleasant surprise, there were some patrons that could actually sing and were even enjoyable. The place wasn’t La Cita packed but since I was comfortably perched on my stool at the bar I can’t be certain how hard it was to get a drink. Atmosphere was casual, fun and aptly putting out a “Let’s Get Drunk and Screw” vibe. Overall it was a good time worthy of going back with a group and consuming copious amounts of alcohol; I would go somewhere else beforehand for food.

After I had my fill of the local American Idol contest, I made my way over to Lost & Found around the corner on National

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