When I hear the word “tavern”, my mind takes me back to a bar scene from the TV Show, Cheers. Picture a dimly-lit, confined space with bar stools that make you slouch and not much else to look at. While there’s certainly a time and a place for divey spots like this, there’s also a time and a place to step it up a notch.
Case in point: recently opened Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern, a modern neighborhood restaurant. The spacious, extended patio overlooks the Loews Hotel, JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot and Santa Monica Pier. I checked out JFAT on Ocean Avenue’s Day at the Races earlier in May and tasted the Southwestern Dip and Mint Julep. This time around I tasted a lot more.
Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern
1733 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Poke is a personal favorite of mine. I have flashbacks of being in Oahu and walking along the beach. The addition of papaya to this Spicy Ahi Poke added more island flair to this appetizer. After one bite I found myself compulsively searching airfare prices to Hawaii.
Each bite of the Fire-Grilled Flat Bread was cooked to perfection. There are 4 different flat breads to choose from, we chose the Pear, Black Fig Jam, Blue Cheese & Fontina. This is the epitome of elevated comfort food. It’s sweet, savory and cheesy all in one dish.
The Raspberry Rain is a mix of Ketel One orange vodka, fresh raspberries, lemon juice served in a sugar-rimmed glass. It’s the perfect girly cocktail to wash the bites down with. The Mojito is freshly muddled to order and customizable, you can stick with an original mojito or you can add in a fresh juice mixer. I asked to flavor my mojito with pear and pineapple. Good call, if I may say so myself!
The BBQ Spice Crusted Salmon was undeniably the best plate of the evening. The grilled salmon laid utop green beans and creamed corn then sprinkled with crispy onions and bacon. If only the classic green bean casserole at Thanksgiving dinner could more like this!
The Charred Brussels Sprouts were like candied covered vegetables. Crispy and doused with maple syrup. I had to order the bacon on the side out of courtesy to my pig-sympathizing friend. Even with a light sprinkle of applewood smoked bacon, these bad boys were so delicious.
The next best dish of the evening was the Honey Buttermilk Fried Chicken over garlic mashed potatoes with thyme gravy and green beans. My eyes literally rolled back in my head after one bite. The batter was thin, crispy and the chicken was tender. The sauce was the main driving force that truly complemented the construction.
This is the Jimmy’s Old School I call this the 5×7 cause is it literally that tall. This is no joke, it’s meant to be served to 2 or more people. It consisted of warm chocolate chip cookies, with vanilla bean ice cream, hot fudge, homemade whipped cream and roasted peanuts. It was ridiculously enticing; so much so, I ate the entire thing.
This is my kind of neighborhood spot! I felt at home thanks to Chef Anjel Castrellon and Erika Moe, Manager. I am definitely going back to try the Cowboy Burger and Bourbon-Chipotle BBQ Baby Back Ribs.