Los Angeles is quickly becoming a city of gastropubs, and joining the fray is City Tavern, a relatively new eatery in Culver City, CA that offers a neat twist to the gastropubs experience: table taps! Yes, some lucky diners (or drinkers) will discover that their table comes equipped with three taps, allowing patrons to order up beers whenever they want. A computer system monitors the pour and charges accordingly. It’s new technology that’s slowly popping up, and I believe City Tavern was the first to bring it to Los Angeles.
City Tavern is more than just a beer gimmick though. It features a full menu of clever items (homemade cheesy poofs, deep fried grits) and a large variety of beers beyond the table taps. After the jump, check out pics from a recent media-comped meal.
A view from inside the gastropub. Exposed beams, chalkboards, etc etc. Cool vibe.
The famous table-side taps. A computer (glowing like a discarded prop from Poltergeist) monitors how much beer you’ve poured.
Unfortunately, the taps appear to be better in theory than practice. The pours all yield a lot of head, despite holding the glass at an angle. Luckily, the computer charges by the ounce, not by the pour; so you’re not getting screwed over. And for the record, I’d gladly take a pour like this at my own table than wait at a bar on a crowded night.
And here come the apps. In the foreground is a fun poutine. Behind it is some manner of burrata with butternut squash (my favorite appetizer, perhaps dish, of the night), and off in the distance are meatballs. Funny thing about those meatballs: they were delicious. They appear so unassuming, but I assure you they are very tasty.
A special salad that’s noteworthy for using Asian pear. It’s a great choice — not too sweet but full of crisp texture — and I’m not sure why we don’t see it more in similar dishes.
Homemade cheese poofs! Need I say more? Cheesy, fried goodness. I only had a few though, for fear that my arteries might not make it through the night.
On to the main dishes. This here is some fried chicken. I liked it. Didn’t love. I did, however, greatly enjoy the veggies that the chicken rested on. I only remember that there was corn present, and that’s enough to win me over.
Hard to go wrong with brussels sprouts, and City Tavern doesn’t.
I believe this was a special that evening: skate wing! I definitely enjoyed it. No complaints. (Are you enjoying my articulate observations?)
Roasted opah with baby artichokes, figs, almonds, and a port reduction. After I was done making the mandatory “Opah Winfrey” puns, I dug in. I had high hopes (hopahs?) for this dish, but the pieces I had trended a bit too dry for my tastes. Everyone else seemed to enjoy it though.
I like how the port reduction makes the opah look like it’s been STABBED.
Shrimp and grits. Grits? Yes, grits. Deep fried grits. It’s a fun experiment and certainly tastes good, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t craving traditional, creamy grits.
Checking in on my beer glasses. I seem to be making fine work of it.
Trout! Steelhead trout with a warm potato salad, capers and smoked bacon, to be specific. Of the three fish plates, this was the most successful (the skate was a close second).
Curried cauliflower. I’m not a huge cauliflower person, but I enjoyed this classic side dish.
Meanwhile, dramatic food blogger photography takes place.
It’s pretty intense stuff.
For dessert, a chocolate tart (left) and an apple tart (right). I believe I ate three quarters of the chocolate tart. Simple but delicious.
We also had some Carmela Ice Cream on hand. Our flavors: cardamom and salted caramel. The latter worked very nicely with both tarts.
Overall, City Tavern is a solid addition to the gastropub scene. Foodwise, everything was tasty, with the appetizers outshining the entrees. The table taps, while inventive, proved to be slightly frustrating, but then again, a little foam is a small price for convenience. For Culver City denizens, it’s an ideal stop to watch the game and booze it up.
9739 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232