If you are a fan of great beer & food and haven’t been to City Tavern in Culver City yet, make a point to go sometime soon. They have an extensive list of California craft beer both on tap and in bottles–you can even rent a tap table! City Tavern fits into the Father’s Office / Blue Palms / Westside Tavern Gastro Pub scene nicely, and it’s a perfect addition to the up and coming downtown Culver City area. It’s headed up by the same people that run Rush Street a few doors down. Rush’s Sous-Chef, Jessica Christensen, is the head Chef at City Tavern. And since it’s walking distance from my apartment, City Tavern is a place that I hope to frequent. Prices are a little higher than your normal bar, but if you are familiar with the rest of the restaurants/gastro pubs in the Culver City area you will know what to expect in terms how much you’ll be spending for food & drink.
Last night was a special event featuring Eagle Rock Brewery and an entire spread of spice-infused versions of their normal beers, each paired with an incredible food course. Katie and I went with fellow Beeries/Foodies Dana & Ryan. I don’t want to spend too much time telling you how amazing it was, but I was honestly blown away. This dinner alone has solidified my involvement in any future food pairing dinners involving Eagle Rock Brewery and City Tavern. Here’s the spread.
Amuse – pork belly with grilled scallions, kumquats and xpa glaze. It was paired with Equniox, a young sour ale infused with loquat.
Starter – Grilled stone fruit (peaches, cherries, plums), burrata, almonds, and ale vinaigrette. Paired with Yearling, a flanders red ale.
Entree – Lobster and andouille roll, fennel slaw and old bay potato chips. Paired with Manifesto, a wit bier infused with fennel & Revolution, an xpa infused with jasmine.
Dessert- Graham cracker bread pudding, chocolate and marshmallow. Paired with Solidarity, a black mild ale infused with Bourbon vanilla beans.
The amuse, for those of you that, like me, had no idea what that was, is a small dish before the starter. This was, for all intents and purposes, a very nice chunk of bacon with an incredible kumquat glaze. It paired very nicely with the loquat (tiny oranges) sour.
The highlight of the starter in my mind was the Burrata cheese. The salt, texture, and creaminess went very well with the fruit and when the Yearling was added…wow.
Then came the Entrree. This was my favorite course. I’ve actually had something similar from the Lobster food truck that drives around LA, so I was surprised to see it here at City Tavern. This version, however, was amazing. There was a really incredible addition of fennel to the roll that went so well with the fennel infused manifesto. The manifesto beer itself was something to behold. I actually ordered a pint of it after the dinner was done, and I surely hope it makes its way into a seasonal release at Eagle Rock. Revolution went well with the roll as well, but the jasmine was a little overpowered by the rest of the tastes going on, so I had a hard time picking it out. It was still a great pairing.
Finally the Dessert rolled around. At this point I’m pretty darn full, but the show must go on, so I sacked up and prepared myself that was the intimidating bread pudding brick. (you need to reword this, but I’ll let you do it because I’m not sure how you want to say it) This thing was massive and dense, and could have been a meal by itself. It was paired with the vanilla solidarity, which I think made a perfect finisher. I ordered a normal solidarity as well so I could taste the difference. The vanilla works very well with the light body and roastiness of the mild. I would be interested to see what a bourbon oak aged version would tastes like although it’s possible that it would overpower the base beer, but perhaps it could be done.
If you can’t tell, I enjoyed my meal immensely. The portions were very generous, and the food/beer pairings were great. It was really fun to see Jeremy, Ting, and Steve form Eagle Rock Brewery walking around talking to people about the pairings. They are doing a great thing for the beer scene here in LA, and I think everyone can agree that they make exceptional beer. So with that I would like to conclude by saying Happy American Craft Beer Week & Brew on!
– Kip B.
Los Angeles Ale Works™