CONTEMPOARY BRITISH-CALIF PUB AT FARMERS MARKET
Opening a restaurant during a pandemic is definitely not an ideal situation. In fact, as a record number of restaurants shuttered in L.A. in 2020, it took a lot of hutzpah for business partners Gary Twinn and Brendan Collins to open Market Tavern at LA’s famous Original Farmers Market back in August.
A notorious tourist trap, rent ain’t cheap at The Original Farmers Market and there is a lot of pressure to succeed. Founder Gary Twinn has served as longtime manager of E.B.’s Beer & Wine, and Bar 326 at Farmers Market and he had his eyes set on the one-time Johnny Rockets’ space for quite some time. That restaurant space opened the door for Market Tavern, a British-Californian elevated pub that aptly blends pub cuisine, cool cocktails, and a jolt of rock n’ roll.
Currently offering outdoor dining (when permitted), Market Tavern is also home to comfort food, English grub, bar bites, Sunday roast (a popular UK tradition), and an impressive happy hour. Personally, I would like to see more British dishes on the menu but then, again, the English aren’t really known for their culinary cuisine.
During a recent visit for a to-go dining experience, I picked up several dishes and drinks for a #SaferAtHome extravaganza.
We began with an order of Salt & pepper squid served with Padrón peppers and aioli. It’s solid starter.
The pizzas look pleasant, such as the Wild mushroom pie with mascarpone, arugula and truffle oil. To be honest, they had me at truffle oil. This is a good option but I think there will be better choices once the full menu is available again for on-site dining.
I found the standout dishes to be the hearty Fish and chips, a British staple, and the knockout Short rib ricotta gnocchi.
Served with hand cut potato chips (think steak fries), the beer battered local rock fish comes with a side of house-made tartar sauce. While $25 seems way expensive for Fish and chips, that’s the price you pay for dining at Farmers Market. This is a solid dish but it is pretty pricey.
To my pleasant surprise, the cocktails were solid at Market Tavern. I loved the Smoke on the Water prepared with Bozal Mezcal, watermelon, basil and fresh lime. This one is a refreshing treat. Another winner is the God Save the Queen with Monkey Shoulder Scotch, ginger beer, a dash of absinthe, and lemon peel. This one goes down very easy.
Now let’s talk about From Russia with Love. Named after the 1963 James Bond film, this cocktail is actually a Vesper as it’s a mix of vodka, gin, and Lillet. In this case, it’s England’s Black Cow Vodka, East London Gin, and Lillet with a twist to be exact. This boozy gem packs a mean punch so pace yourself. This can be considered as a one-and-done libation that aptly gets the job done.
And don’t forget about dessert. At Market Tavern, you can’t go wrong with the fab Sticky Toffee Pudding served with a side of caramel ice cream. It’s out of this world good.
Once normalcy returns, Market Tavern seems like a fun place to hangout. hear some good music, enjoy a hearty dish and a stiff drink. I welcome the opportunity.
Market Tavern is located at 6333 W. Third street at The Original Farmers Market. Call 323-452-9299 for hours.
Story By: Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy Of: Market Tavern