City Tavern

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City Tavern Although it offers more than twenty draft microbrews and a menu that includes everything from buttermilk-drenched cheesy poofs to pan-seared scallops, what really sets rustic City Tavern apart are the handful of self-serve tap... Los Angeles United States 34.021747 -118.396278
3.52 10
City Tavern - Bar | Gastropub in Los Angeles.
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Party Earth Review Although it offers more than twenty draft microbrews and a menu that includes everything from buttermilk-drenched cheesy poofs to pan-seared scallops, what really sets rustic City Tavern apart are the handful of self-serve... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    M–W 11:30am–11pm, Th–F 11:30am–midnight, Sa 3:30pm–midnight, Su 3:30–11pm
    Kitchen closes an hour earlier

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth City Tavern Review

The Scene

Although it offers more than twenty draft microbrews and a menu that includes everything from buttermilk-drenched cheesy poofs to pan-seared scallops, what really sets rustic City Tavern apart are the handful of self-serve tap...

Although it offers more than twenty draft microbrews and a menu that includes everything from buttermilk-drenched cheesy poofs to pan-seared scallops, what really sets rustic City Tavern apart are the handful of self-serve tap handles protruding from its walls.

Those smart enough to reserve a seat at one of the three booths surrounding those taps can sample whatever quantity of rotating beers they desire, enabling the hip, artsy regulars to fill their glasses without flagging a server – no easy task during Happy Hour.

While self-serve booths may be in short supply, the sports fans and pub-grub gourmands who file in to catch a game or nab a few squash blossoms and roasted opah will still find space at the tables and long rows of bar stools sandwiched between the exposed brick walls and wooden beams that dress this airy joint.

As the place gets packed with masses of affluent young regulars chatting over tall boys, those who want to mix and mingle in relative calm can step out to the patio, a somewhat quieter environment perfect for enjoying a drink, striking up a conversation, or playing with a friendly pooch.

No matter where they sit, however, City Tavern offers its patrons an upscale menu and lots of frothy brew – even if they can’t always pour it themselves.

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Tip from Lucas:

Okay, so the cheesy poofs are basically fried manchego cheese drenched in a buttermilk dipping sauce. Order like a thousand of them. Just be sure to tack on about fifty sit-ups to your next workout for every one you eat.

  • Crowd

    Young professionals, relaxed after-work folks, and arty locals, 20s to 40s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Chill pop and indie rock on the house system. Flat-screens tuned to sports.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Gastropub fare including New York strip steak, pan-seared scallops, several different salads, and buttermilk fried chicken. Happy Hour M–F 3–6pm, Sa–Su 3:30–6pm.

  • Prices

    Appetizers and shared plates $8–$16, entrées $8–$17, desserts $7–$9. Beer $3–$28, table taps fifty cents/ounce, wine $9–$14/glass or $29–$98/bottle, cocktails $11–$13.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual: t-shirts, jeans, button-downs, blazers, work attire.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Any day for a bustling Happy Hour scene, or Friday and Saturday nights for the largest and liveliest crowds of spiffed-up revelers starting off their evenings with microbrews and gastropub favorites before moving on to late-night spots.

  • Close By

    Bigfoot West (10939 Venice Boulevard) has an indie hunting lodge décor with a quirky, welcoming vibe that should fit City Tavern fans like a big hairy glove.

City Tavern User Reviews

Average rating:
Delicious Despite the Price
Gerard Nash G. Jun 3, 2013
For those of you who are looking for a good streak at a great price, come eat out at the City Tavern which is guaranteed to have some great entrees that won't rob you of your wallet. The steaks are to die for and literally melt in your mouth; only costing around $10, I would assume that they couldn't be delicious and be large in portions, but I would say that this steak is some of the best, cheap steak that I've ever tasted. The drinks are a little on the high-side and aren't all that good, but the service more than makes up for it. You also get a nice cozy interior that's not too loud, and the option of sitting outside to avoid most noises. There's also great sports talks and games on their large T.V.'s, which is definitely a great place to hang out with some friends during a big game. All in all, I would recommend this place.
Go For Solace, Go For Group Therapy, Go For Range
Gabriel M. Dec 9, 2012
I went for a late afternoon glass of the foamy kind, sat out in the patio with a dear friend and began reminiscing with a true German in my hand. If you prefer to avoid noisy interiors, City Tavern's backside is behind enough lush shrubs to block Culver Boulevard's steady, sometimes-heavy traffic. Inside, the interior is warm, woody, and acoustically pleasing. Something of the entire establishment's resonance gets thrown around, meshing with an agreeable soundtrack (but clashing with the bright Sports Talk on the TVs), and a comfortable bustle hugs you a little tighter than you may be used to out of a more hip drinks scene. The food is, really, cuisine. Don't go expecting to get curly fries and it not be a Fetta rendition. The cocktails are well mixed, but a good selection of microbrewed beers and a reliable wine selection should be your reason to go. In the end, you will pay out of pocket for such luxuries. But, my, is it worth it. As a near-perfectionist, the self-service taps offer fun group therapy, but the countless times I've watched loose hands pull thick heads out of those taps... If you can, have your beer served by one of the Tavern's tenders. On the note of staff-- they may appear understaffed, at times. This is basically true. Patience, as with most high demand gourmet establishments, is a small trade for quality.
pretty good
Brittney B. Dec 3, 2012
Not a good place for Happy hour - food is OK, short rib poutine was good and the oysters were really fresh. Wine is poured heavily and everything is good but the service kind of sucks (our waitresses never look like they want to be there). Not a bad place to go but probably won't be going back for a while. Which sucks, cause I work nearby. Parking is a joke. Naturally. Good luck finding a spot.
A Casual Delight
Ogechi W. Nov 28, 2012
Culver City's CITY TAVERN has something to prove. It's location has been a "walk-by" for several years resulting in high turnover, and therefore, CITY TAVERN is obviously looking to make its bones in a quick and memorable way. And where food and beer is concerned, they accomplish this goal without a hitch. Where prices, portions, and service is concerned, however, they leave something to be desired. The atmosphere is casual: at CITY TAVERN you feel you can catch up with friends, have a comfortable post-work beer, or even talk to a fellow guest at one of the long, communal tables; all at your leisure to dress up or down without any judgment. The speciality brews take up almost half a page of the menu and have options that will please beer aficionados and casual drinkers alike. From stouts, to hefeweizens, they've got it all. Not into beer? Their cocktails will deliver a treat to the manliest man or girliest girl among you. The portions are light, so be warned: if you're looking to fill your tank, this may not be the restaurant for you. If you're looking for wonderfully balanced tastes that leave you wanting more, then grab a seat. The deep-fried grits and brew burger were particular favorites, even if the burger was a little small. Also be warned, sides like fries come at a moderate price, so don't expect those to automatically appear with a burger you order. The upside? You can bring large and varied groups; vegetarians and carnivores alike can find something to love here. The only slight hang-up is the service. The wait-staff wont bend backwards to accomodate your desires, so ordering a-la-carte even when you know the restaurant carries bits of what you're looking for may become a problem. Overall, if you're looking for a casual atmosphere, tasty food, and good beer, you're in the right place. Even with the small issues previously noted (no restaurant is perfect, after all!), I'm still planning on coming back for more.
Stop it already with the overpriced food
Blaine R. Sep 21, 2012
I think it goes without saying that the beer and the beer selection is outstanding at this joint. No complaints whatsoever. Now let's get down to the meat and potatoes of this review. I've been living in the palms/culver city area since 2001. When I first moved there, the area was rundown with bad apartment complexes and not a lot of good choices for food or entertainment. Fast forward more than a decade. Downtown culver is HOPPING. Brand new busineses. The area looks great. But along with this new makeover comes DA HIGH A-- PRICES. Just because you put a coat of paint on your Honda doesn't automatically make it a Beamer. One of the things I always luved about palms/culver city is the affordable prices on everything. Now I can't go to a bar or restaurant in the downtown culver area without spending $20, and that's without the price of alcohol. The point of a bar is to hang out and enjoy yourself for an affordable price. If I want to spend $20 on a basic burger, I'll go to a RESTAURANT where at least I have an upscale vibe happening. A bar is meant to be underground style. A greasy burger and fries, ten bucks tops. My wife ordered the scallops and I was pissed. Whatever, it's part of marriage. Then the plate arrives and I only see TWO SCALLOPS. I'm thinking the other dishes are still in the rinse cycle so the rest of the food will show up in a minute. Nope. $20 for TWO SCALLOPS. No side fixings, no complimentary bread. TWO SCALLOPS, $20. It's amazing that we walked out of there without me getting arrested. And I'm still pissed at my wife.
Atmosphere that doesn't overwhelm
Paul K. Aug 9, 2012
City Tavern projects a decidedly communal atmosphere. The long, colonial-style table on the porch harbors rows of elbow-rubbing spaces available for reservation by the pair. At first impression, it seemed that focusing on conversation would prove a dueling banjos-style of competition with the closest neighboring patrons. Instead, the table is narrow enough for guests to focus on each other while the crowd banter bleeds into the periphery as needed. The interior features raised tables and an accessible bar with chalkboard menu and protean drink choices. Wait staff are actively aware of which drinks are unavailable and which are not featured on the menu. Beers come in 3 sizes: tastes, glasses and shares. Water is often and generously refilled. The food caters toward health-conscious as well as adventurous tastes alike, offering bacon-wrapped brussels sprouts and cheesy poofs. Their standard burger arrives at the table impaled by a switchblade. The famous feature that sets City Tavern apart are the wall-mounted taps. Larger parties can squeeze into the deep-set posterior booths and pour their own brew. This offers a unique social component, as whoever opts to sit on the wall side of the booth is responsible for operating the taps. It can take a better part of an evening to perfect the art with limited foam, but the hijinks and support make it an enjoyable diversion. City Tavern has a small but effective quirk worthy of some recognition. Rather than a traditional "Men's" and "Women's" restroom, the respective doors are decorated with a rooster and a cat. Without a doubt, classiness runs deep in City Tavern, and the extra effort shows.
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