You’ve hit the Nordstrom Half-Yearly sale and need a little non-food court noshing and a cocktail or two to forget you’ve maxed out the Amex. Or maybe you need some cheering up after seeing “Amy” at the Landmark…
Westside Tavern would be a sleek gastropub with some killer Chef Ben-driven small plates and a worthy hand-crafted cocktail program even if it weren’t so conveniently located in the Westside Pavilion.
Urban legend (actually, the tavern’s GM) shares LA hipsters clad in hoodies slip in late night for a jar-to-go of the restaurant’s ridiculously velvety chicken liver mousse served with grilled sourdough and an accompaniment of green apple chutney. Only in LA would anyone need to score pâté on the down low!
On a recent visit, we started our experience with selections from the artisanal cocktail menu. I ordered the Spicy Basil Paloma with El Charro Silver Tequila, pressed basil, agave lime and grapefruit juices and a splash of jalapeno bitters. Grapefruit. Spicy. I’m there. My dining companion enjoyed the Country Thyme Lemonade with Sobieski Vodka, lemon & grapefruit juices, simple syrup, and thyme sprigs. The cocktail menu includes a fair share of citrus and herbal notes as well as classics like Pisco Sour, Old Fashionable, Hemingway, and Sazerac. Non-cocktailers can select from an impressive selection of craft beers and wines by the glass.
We kicked off our meal with — what else — the Chicken Liver Mousse – and summer-beckons Grilled Peaches and Burrata with arugula, basil, balsamic, and candied pecans lightly appointed with a lemon vinaigrette, a semi-virtuous pairing with the more decadent mousse.
The menu includes a selection of flatbreads, soups, sandwiches, and salads, as well as some entree selections for pescatarians, vegetarians, and meat-eaters alike. We went for the Jonah Crab Cake with avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, and Bibb lettuce in a herb vinaigrette and an “I have tears in my eyes because I don’t want it to end” Connecticut-Style Poached Lobster Roll Brioche.
Burger aficionados can choose from The Cheeseburger with Tillamook Cheddar, caramelized onions, arugula, and roasted garlic aoili on a brioche bun; Veggie Burger with Tilamook Cheddar, red onion, dill pickles, Iceburg lettuce, tomato, and Thousand Island on a brioche bun; a Turkey Burger with Port Salut, pickled red onion, Iceburg lettuce, tomato,and Dijonnaise on a wheat bun; or a Salmon Burger with avocado, fresh pickles, a tomato-caper vinaigrette, and dill aoili on a wheat bun. All sandwiches are served with choice of these crazy-addictive sea salt fries, homemade potato chips, or a side soup or salad.
The entree selections include a Red Quinoa and Kale plate, a Pan Roasted Top Sirloin Steak, Mary’s Chicken, and Grilled Scottish Salmon.
Westside Tavern has a well-rounded dessert menu for those who consider ice cream or bread pudding the fourth meal. Along with some seasonal fruit-based comfort faves like cobbler or short cake, the choices include Chocolate Bread Pudding with salted caramel and coffee ice cream which tempted our forks. Next time, I’m ordering the Tavern Sundae, kinda the offspring of Cracker Jacks and ice cream, with chopped peanuts, brownie and marshmallow bites, caramel popcorn, chocolate, and salted caramel. Or maybe a couple scoops of Fosselman’s ice cream or grapefruit sorbet?
If an afternoon of shopping for the perfect stilettos, an evening catching up on the latest indie film, or even a 10:00 craving for some Chicken Liver Mousse takes you to the general vicinity of Pico and Westwood Boulevards, check out the Westside Tavern.
10850 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90064
Sunday – Thursday 11 am – 10 pm
Friday -Saturday 11 am – 11 pm