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Westside Tavern

Number 10 on our list of Best New Restaurants of 2009

Photograph by Jessica Boone

Patina, Saddle Peak Lodge, Whist—Warren Schwartz has been chef at each, so it is intriguing to find him in a large restaurant on the ground floor of the Westside Pavilion. Nearly everything is sourced from independent California producers, and despite the corporate scale of the place, the cooking thrums with an ineffable authenticity. The chicken liver mousse, intense yet light, pairs sublimely with the toasted crostini. You could eat the pot roast with a spoon, and the grilled cheese sandwich with homemade tomato soup is comfort food at its most embracing. Produce, however, is Schwartz’s strength, and whether it’s an appetizer of tempura-battered green beans with a sprightly lemon aioli or flatbread strewn with baby artichokes and wild arugula, Westside Tavern proves that dinner at the mall doesn’t mean lowering expectations.

»10850 West Pico Boulevard // West L.A. 310-470-1539 or

Photograph by Jessica Boone