A few weeks ago, the Husband and I tried to make it to a free showing of “Up in the Air”. Unfortunately, we arrived too late to get a spot in line. Since we were already out and about, we opted for Westside Tavern for dinner since it was right there.
Walking in, you get the feeling that the space is a swanky restaurant…a bit out of place considering you’re at a mall but then again, we are in Los Angeles. The restaurant is fairly large and has a spacious bar area with a large selection of alcohol and wines.
Near where we were seated was a large chalkboard with the day’s specials. I noticed a butternut squash soup with almonds and pumpkin oil, and scallops with spinach, blood orange and persimmon listed. Both sounded enticing so I got a cup of the soup for an appetizer and the scallops as my main course. The husband ordered the clam chowder, another board special, and the Niman Ranch flat iron pepper steak with a Béarnaise sauce.
The soup was amazing. The butternut squash flavor enhanced with the pumpkin oil and seasonings like nutmeg and cinnamon was simply rich and delicious. The almonds gave it a nice texture contrast. I couldn’t stop eating this and wanted more after I was done. This was a soup that is craveable. I hope that Westside Tavern adds this as a regular item one day. Or maybe I don’t… If they did, I’d be in trouble.
The clam chowder was good with lots of chunks of clam. The only complaint my husband had was that it was a bit gritty, as if they didn’t wash the clams well enough. I agree; the bites I had all contained grit. Not pleasant and took away from the overall enjoyability of this dish.
The scallops dish was great – nice sear and not rubbery (overcooked), with the exception of one of the scallops. The spinach was sauteed with garlic and packed a lot of flavor. The blood orange gave a nice citrus note and the persimmon a sweetness to each bite.
The steak dish was alright but not spectacular. It could have benefited from some seasoning like salt and pepper. The Béarnaise sauce was served on the side, fortunately, because neither my husband nor I liked it. I haven’t had Béarnaise before so I’m not sure if it was made badly or if I just don’t like it. The fries served with the steak were decent, nothing spectacular or noteworthy. I did steal quite a bit from Husband, though, since those fried potato pieces are a particular weakness of mine…
Since this was our first time to Westside Tavern, my husband deemed it necessary to try a dessert in the interest of this blog. I think he just wanted an excuse for dessert. We decided on their S’mores Parfait – chocolate pudding with a crumb topping and toasted house-made marshmallows. This was really delicious and a nice ending to our meal. The crumb topping provided a nice crunch to offset the smooth and chocolate-y pudding. And the toasted marshmallows….mmmmmm.
Our service was excellent. The prices were a bit high; dinner ended up costing us about $100 (tax and tip included) though we did have a carafe of wine with it.
I would have to give Westside Tavern 3 1/2 NOMs for our first visit.
10850 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90064
Filed under: 3 NOMs, american, Los Angeles, restaurant review, uncategorized | Tagged: 3 NOMs, american, appetizer, beef, beer, clam chowder, comfort food, dessert, dinner, Los Angeles, lunch, pub, restaurant review, scallops, soup, steak, Westside Pavilion, Westside Tavern, wine | Leave a Comment »