Sunday, April 4, 2010

It's a Good Friday when you discover the Pork Burger @ Tavern

Everyone's idea of a good burger is different. Some like lots of cheese, a fatty patty, loads of condiments, fancy ingredients, some also like Micky D's teeny tiny cheeseburger (me! me! me!). I don't typically crave burgers, perhaps because sometimes they can be too meaty or too greasy. And when I think of burger, beef instantly comes to mind. But I was recently introduced to the pork burger at Tavern in Brentwood and now, a craving is slowly developing.

It's Good Friday and I got out of work at 1pm so I went in search of a watering hole to kill some time before I left for Mammoth. Somewhere close to home and some place where I could grab a small bite (not a full meal) with drinks. We decided on Tavern in Brentwood, which is owned by Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne of award winning Lucques and AOC.

It was pretty empty at the bar area mid-day but the patio was rather packed with lunchers.

The indoor patio is well lit with natural sunlight. It's a lovely spot for weekend brunching.

They serve lunch until 2.30pm, followed by an afternoon tea menu from 2.30 - 5.30pm.

The best way to kick start an amazing weekend of snow is with a cocktail. I ordered a Sateen (Vodka, St Germaine Elderflower and grapefruit juice). Our bartender made it real stiff.

Order of herb fries. Thick cut fries but they weren't overly starchy.

Trio of items: Curried cauliflower, curried chicken with raisins and almonds, and beets.
This was a great healthy snack that you wouldn't need to feel guilty about consuming, yet it was tasty and you didn't feel like you were punishing yourself with vegetables. The curried chicken was my favorite - it was flavorful and didn't taste heavy with mayo like some curried chicken salads tend to be. The beets were served with blood orange, mint and orange flower water. If you're ever craving these, you can purchase them along with an array of other sides at their attached larder. It's also a good option for picnics, especially with the summer series at the Hollywood Bowl round the corner.

After the stiff cocktail, I decided to go with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc which our kind bartender kept topping up ;-)

Pork Pork Pork Burger with Manchego and Romesco
I wasn't going to order this but it came highly recommended by our bartender. We decided to share this and they actually portioned it out for us. The brioche bun was fresh and baked in house daily. It was thick enough so that the bottom bun wasn't soggy. The romesco was a nice addition over traditional ketchup and it added a smokey flavor. The winner was the juicy patty. The three types of pork were ground pork, bacon and chorizo. How can you possibly go wrong with that combination? It was flavorful and not too greasy. Additionally, since it's white meat, it wasn't too heavy which is a good thing if you are about to be trapped on a 4.5 hr car ride. I really enjoyed the burger and was glad we were willing to give the pork a chance. The onion rings were also delicious and lightly battered.

Yes, the food at Tavern is not cheap at $17 for the burger and $14 for the trio of sides. But we are in effluent Brentwood after all, and you can tell that the ingredients are fresh and of good quality. I left Tavern with a new found love for non beef burgers and a nice buzz.

Hits: burger, onion rings, curried chicken
Misses: prices are not cheap
Rating: ***1/2

Tavern in Brentwood
11648 San Vicente Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 806-6464


Diana said...

The bar at Tavern is one of my favorite places to hang after work - great for drinks! I've heard the regular burger is just as crazy good as the pork one. I might have to order one the next time I pop in!

stuffycheaks said...

Diana - Yeah I'm glad to have found a cool after work spot that's got yummy food and cocktails.