Cocktails, Steaks, Pork Chops At West Side Pavillion | Los Angeles, CA

Westside Pavilion finally has a great restaurant to call its own

With its woodsy, everyman decor and comfort-food menu, the new Westside Tavern looks like the perfect, low-key spot to hit after a day of shopping at the Westside Pavilion. But with former Whist chef Warren Schwartz at the helm, it's much more than a typical mall restaurant.

The food court has nothing on Schwartz's menu. For an appetizer, crisp green apple chutney is a perfect foil for luscious chicken-liver mousse ($11). Meats are cooked sous-vide before hitting the grill, leaving flat-iron steaks ($22) and pork chops ($20) fork-tender and full of flavor. With or without the mustard-lemon sauce, spit-roasted chicken ($19) rivals our beloved Zankou with its salty skin and succulent meat. Portions are eye-poppingly generous, especially the desserts: The "mini" flaky apple pie with homemade butter-pecan ice cream ($9) can easily feed four.

There's a large bar area where you can try innovative cocktails like a tequila-based Manhattan garnished with a salami-wrapped cherry or the easy-sipping blackberry julep. We can see this place becoming the next (much better) version of Houston's, but alas, there are no plans for expansion–yet.

Westside Tavern, 10850 W. Pico Blvd., West L.A.; 310-470-1539 or