Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Brentwood

The Review: Tavern in Brentwood nabs 2.5 stars

Tavern-big

What if no one had introduced Caroline Styne, then-manager of Jones, to Suzanne Goin, who at the time was chef de cuisine at Campanile? We wouldn't have Lucques or A.O.C., two of L.A.'s most beloved restaurants. And we certainly wouldn't have the partners' new Tavern in Brentwood.

Styne and Goin are the food world's equivalent of Lerner and Loewe or Leiber and Stoller. Everything they do just seems to work effortlessly. The two share a certain sensibility and aesthetic. At any of their restaurants, there's a sense of comfort and sensuality, contemporary rustic cuisine and warm but crisp service, and an enticing environment. But most of all, they each have a strong sense of place.

Still, given the larger stakes and tonier surroundings, Tavern is just a wee bit disappointing in terms of its food at this point, which is very much in the Lucques genre but not quite there yet.

For S. Irene Virbila's full review and an accompanying photo gallery, please click here.

Photo: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Cupcake Madness with SusieCakes, Yummy, Sweet E's, Whole Foods

SusieCakes celebrates its 3rd birthday with a Golden Ticket giveaway baked into cupcakes To celebrate its 3-year anniversary Saturday, July 18, SusieCakes will hide golden tickets inside 10 of its cupcakes. Prizes include a spot in one of their baking or cake decorating classes, a free 6- or 9-inch cake, five dozen mini-cupcakes and one dozen cupcakes. Winners will also be entered in a grand prize drawing to receive a 9-inch specialty layer cake every month for a year. The ever-expanding bakery will open its newest location, in Manhattan Beach next Saturday, July 25. (SusieCakes: Brentwood, Calabasas, Newport Beach)

Can’t make it to the county fair? Starting in August, Yummy Cupcakes will offer concession stand-themed cupcakes in flavors: buttered popcorn, Goobers, Good N’ Plenty, Hot Tamale, Sour Patch Kids and Raisinettes. (Yummy Cupcakes: Santa Monica, Burbank)

An array of cupcakes at Whole FoodsAre these a new item or something that's long been around? Either way, it's come to our attention that Whole Foods recently started promoting its in-house cupcakes -- decorated like Cookie Monster, piglets, bears and other adorable animals -- quite aggressively. Here's a shot from the Pasadena store.

And if you're too lazy to get out of bed and buy yourself treats, you can now have a passel of mini-cupcakes delivered to you by Sweet E’s mini bake shop, reports Daily Candy. They come in a travel-safe white box and include flavors: Peanut Butter Blizzard, chocolate-iced, cookie dough-stuffed vanilla cake, and S'mores. There's no storefront; order online or by phone (323-422-8885).

--Elina Shatkin

Photos: Top: courtesy of SusieCakes. Bottom: Rob Takata / For The Times.

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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.