Tavern: 11648 West San Vicente Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Dined with my husband on a Monday evening at 7:30. Seated easily though the place was far from empty. Since the entrance is between their main restaurant and what they call the 'larder," an upscale café/deli, I was instantly impressed. The décor, the presentation of gorgeous cheeses, the packaging of their gift boxes and baskets made me instantly like the place. But the experience was a strange one. I can't say I didn't like Tavern but I'm not sure that we will return.
When we seated we were presented with a bread basket and a little plate with butter and salt. Delicious. My husband had a martini with olives and I had a Margarita made with repesado tequila, ginger and cointreau, served in a sugar rimmed glass. My drink was really, really good. There were two bartenders racing around behind that handsome dark wood bar and whoever made my drink is a pro. My husband's martini was good but the olives were not traditional cocktail olives and had pits in them. Um, no.
The menu offers a side of fries, onion rings, or a "half and half" for a dollar more. So when I ordered a $17 turkey burger with a choice of fries or onion rings and asked for the "half and half," and was told by the waiter that "they can't do that," I was annoyed. They don't offer the half and half with food, only as a side. What the hell?! That is taking yourself waaaaaaay too seriously. I like good food, but the second a restaurant gets pretentious about it, I become hyper-critical.
The main course arrived, hot and pleasantly presented, but 23 minutes after the salad app we shared. That's too long. My husband's steak was amazing for the first few bites, but after that was mostly fat and sadly inedible.
I requested my turkey burger cooked to medium, but it showed up medium rare minus. Thank God the French fries were out-of-this-world good. I needed to fill up on something! Unfortunately I can only dream about the taste of those onion rings.
Dessert was a disappointing $10 plate of milk and cookies. Of the five cookies the chocolate chip stood out, but the chocolate cookie was still too petrified to thoroughly enjoy. Warming them would have been nice but after the French fry/onion ring request, I was not about to ask for any favors.
Excellent margarita, good service, food with an off-night equals 2 Stars. Hopefully Obama had a better meal.