Archive for the 'Tavern – Brentwood' Category


What is it with me that I don’t like Suzanne Goin’s cuisine?  I have never liked AOC or Lucques. Well, Tavern is the newest venture of Goin and her partner Caroline Styne. They have taken over the old Hamburger Hamlet space in Brentwood. Not wanting to cook, why not have a quick bite at Tavern?  I didn’t take any pictures and the photos below are of dishes done correctly- not from the Tavern.

Gougeres with French radishes – I have never in my life had a deep fried, breaded gougere – different yes, but give me the original.


French Laundry Gougeres


Fried Oyster and Bacon Brochette with Tabasco Aioli – I was imagining lovely fried oysters that would take me back to New Orleans. No such luck. This version was a lump of 3 oysters on a skewer that tasted as bad as it looked; heavy breaded greasy mushy oysters, bordering on “bad” oysters with barely cooked bacon – a mess.

galatoire's oysters en brochette

Galatoire’s (New Orleans) Oysters en Brochette


Steak tartare with quail egg – this was OK but for $12.00 the smallest portion of steak tartare I have ever seen. 

Go to Riva and have a wonderful beef tartare with incredible bacon sabayon.


RIVA’S Beef Tartare


Our server talked us into ordering the Beets and Carrots with Chickpeas and Feta – this was the dish of the afternoon – excellent.

Niman Ranch Beef Burger with Cheddar Cheese and a side of Onion Rings. Whoever is working the fryer needs to go back to culinary school or maybe it is the line cook who needs a refresher and relearn his breading technique– the onion rings were inedible. The burger was OK, but way too much bun relative to meat. At least it was rare.

They spent a fortune on refurbishing the place, but whoever did the tabletops in the bar is in big trouble. There are stains on every table that they can’t remove. I am not talking little stains; I am talking many white rings on the tabletop.

This is not cheap – anything but. Save your money.

I wrote the above and then went again. Why???? Because, my son knew I had eye surgery, my husband was out of town and I was stuck and hungry at 3:30. It was just as bad. Don’t bother.

Tavern – Brentwood

Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne (Lucques and A.O.C.) opened The Tavern in the old Hamburger Hamlet Space on San Vicente Blvd in Brentwood.  It doesn’t resemble the old Hamlet at all. In fact it is quite glamorous.


bar area tavern

The bar area


Larder at tavern

The larder for either sit down or take out



room at Tavern 1

The dining room 

room at Tavern 2

Another view of  the dining room


wine at tavern

Wine from their list


Bread at Tavern



Lunch is a limited menu of mostly salads, sandwiches and burgers with a couple of entrees.

We decided to split two sandwiches.

Sandwich at tavern

The Spaniarde – grilled mahon, lomo, romesco, quince, fried egg ($16) 

This was by far the better of the two. My only problem with the sandwich was that the crust was very thick and you ended up getting too much bread relative to filling.  The sweet potato chips are addictive.


Sandwich at tavern1

The Spaniarde – open-faced


Turkey at tavern

The Pilgrim- turkey, cranberry, stuffing, mayonnaise ($13) – I think this sandwich needs tweaking – the turkey tasted freshly made, but the whole didn’t equal the parts. It is a clever idea to recreate Thanksgiving in a sandwich, but somehow it just didn’t “work.”


Turkey at tavern 1

the pilgrim halved


Turkey at tavern 2

Open-faced Pilgrim


Burger at tavern

Niman Ranch beef  burger with fontina and onion rings ($17 ) The onion rings are delicious. 


Burger at tavern1

We asked for rare and they delivered! But, for me, there was just too much bun relative to the meat. Although,this seems to be a trend in restaurants at the moment. 


chef, waiter and hostess at Tavern

Our wonderful server.

I see the Tavern as a work in progress. I haven’t eaten dinner or their bar food and this post is based on one lunch. It probably isn’t  fair to make any judgements based on one meal, but I do think the kitchen staff needs to taste not just the individual ingredients, but the entire dish to experience the dish from the diner’s perspective.