After my hour long drive to Brentwood, with a mini detour through WeHo thanks to my confusing google maps print-out. I made it Tavern and it was beautiful. The place was filled with swanky Westside looking guests. I hesitated the moment I stepped inside regretting I had worn black leggings under my dress. But then I reassured myself, ah heck, I'm from the Eastside and that's how we do. It was tres opaque inside. I spotted the D Takes a B dinner party in the back corner, barely, using the blonde hair of my tall lady friend as a beacon.
Once seated, we got a basket of thick slices of ultra chewy sourdough and raisin walnut bread. The butter was cold as the North Pole, which is never a good thing for spreading supple layers on bread and avoiding the feeling of an entire teaspoon of butter in your mouth at once. I even put the candle under the butter pot in hopes to warm it up a bit. No dice. Nonetheless, we weren't here for the bread, but Suzanne Goin does have a reputation for her bread so it was slightly important.
The birthday girl and I decided to split an appetizer, which was the best decision I made all night: Soft shell crab with sweet corn salad and green harissa ($18). Everything about it was fresh and the flavors of the sweet crab and corn really shined. If I was ever to return to Tavern, I would get this as my main dish.For mains I got the market fish ($26), a white Mediterranean fish with tomato confit, cucumbers and quinoa. By the time it arrived, it had gotten even darker and I felt like I'd come down with a heavy case of macular degeneration. I really had no idea what it looked like. I don't even know how the picture came out more or less straight. I just started stabbing the plate with my fork in hopes of spearing some of the fish and then guiding the fork to my mouth without spilling all over myself. It tasted like fish and tomato soup, but a really good kind. And then there were bites of nutty quinoa and cold crisp cucumbers. And yogurt, which I would never want to put on my fish, but tried it any way. Besides, I had no discretion where my fork was going every time I reached down onto the plate.
The birthday girl had a little lamb ($27), which came skewered on rosemary branches, just like ancient times? The lamb was accompanied by polenta, peppers, currants, eggplant, and pine nuts. When the waitress described this dish to our table we questioned the flavor combinations. Eggplant with currants? But she assured it would be the perfect entree for the birthday girl to get. I tried a piece, and although the meat was cooked perfectly, it tasted like forest, wood: words normally used to describe men's cologne. Things that make you go hmmmm.
Another dinning compatriot ordered the halibut grilled in fig leaves ($27) which, seemed well applauded. The meal ended there for me, as I lost my mojo to eat desert that night. However, the birthday girl and fellow dinning mates loved the "Snicker's bar" ($10) dessert with salted peanuts, caramel, and vanilla ice cream. Next time I will save room and a bring flash light!
11647 San Vicente Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049