Number 6 on our list of Best New Restaurants of 2009

Photograph by Jessica Boone

Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne have a destination restaurant with Lucques and a tapas hot spot with A.O.C. But they hadn’t created a hangout until Tavern, which occupies a former Hamburger Hamlet in Brentwood. The space is large enough to allow Goin room to explore different levels of dining at the same time. The front section, called the Larder, bustles with folks who’ve dropped in for a pastry after a jog or a brisket sandwich with homemade pickled onions at lunch. In the more formal main room, people gather in banquettes under a massive skylight for refined rustic fare. The roasted asparagus with polenta and fried egg has the clear lines of a classic, while the pork chops with corn bread and spiced maple syrup conveys the uptown down-home authority that defines Goin’s mature style.


Turning Over a New Leaf
You may have noticed a couple of things missing from Tavern’s dramatic dining room: those signature in-ground olive trees. They weren’t getting enough light from the greenhouse ceiling, and nothing can ruin a meal quite like a sick tree drooping above your head. Don’t worry—they’ve been replanted in front of the restaurant. In their place are two ficus that thrive in mood lighting. “It’s OK,” says Tavern co-owner Caroline Styne. “Our first tree at Lucques died. It’s tradition.”

»11648 San Vicente Boulevard // Brentwood // 310-806-6464 or tavernla.com