Elevated Pub Fare at Tom Bergin’s

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Founded in 1936, Tom Bergin’s remains one of the few classic (as opposed to “gastro”) Irish pubs east of the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, and come St. Patrick’s Day, it’s ground zero for beer swilling celebrations in Los Angeles. There’s more than just Guinness and Bass bubbling out of the taps though. Tom Bergin’s also has a full dinner menu, which has been recently revamped by the likes of Chef Brandon Boudet (Little Dom’s, Dominick’s, 101 Coffee Shop), and on a recent media-comped meal, I was able to sample some of the offerings now on display. After the jump, check out pics of the food.


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First up was smoked chicken liver pate with homemade brioche. I have become something of a huge liver fan, and now that foie gras is no more in CA, chicken liver is about as close as I can get. Unfortunately, this underseasoned version is not the strongest I’ve encountered (look no further than Mezze for a glorious version).

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Can’t go wrong with a pretzel.

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Fried cooleney cheese with Irish curry apple salad. I love the idea of this dish, but somehow it doesn’t quite mesh as it should, thanks perhaps to a tangy dressing on the greens that interrupts the glorious alliance that is apple & cheese. Still, the dish is satisfying thanks to the power of fried cheese.

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Moving on to the main course, the kitchen serves up a great hanger steak full of lot of flavor and perfectly cooked. Diners have a variety of sauces to choose from (Bearnaise, garlic herbed butter, Irish whiskey peppercorn, etc.), but at the recommendation of my waiter, I select the mysterious “green sauce.” It’s basically a lovely blend of herbs. Great choice.

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Tasty corn on the side.

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We also order a mushroom pie, mistakenly thinking we’d be served something along the lines of a chicken pot pie (but with mushrooms instead). What we receive instead is closer to a shepherd’s pie, which makes much more sense in retrospect.

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The dish is rather small, and while it’s rich, I would have been pretty annoyed had it been my entree.

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Luckily the mushroom pie is very tasty. Worth getting as a side to split.

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Things end with a nifty chocolate dessert.

Tom Bergin’s
840 S Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 936-7151

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