Sherry Yard, the James Beard award-winning pastry chef of Spago fame, finally has opened a restaurant whose decor is worthy of her fantastic, dream-spun culinary confections in the Tuck Room Tavern.
This whimsical eatery, located in Westwood, is Yard’s third collaboration with the tony iPic theatre chain, and clearly the third time is a charm (though we do confess, we’re also fans of her previous collaborations with the brand): Tuck Room hits the right nights on every level, from its decor, to its cuisine to its exquisite hand-crafted cocktail menu.
The fare here works on a national level: you’ll find Maryland crab cakes, Reuben croquettes from New York as well as shrimp and grits from North Carolina. The desserts, as can be expected under Yard’s watch, are unparalleled. There’s a red velvet pavlova dotted with crispy vanilla meringue, red velvet raspberry chunk ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce; the “Millionaires Shortbread”—a mouth-watering mix of coffee caramel, caramel cream and chocolate; and a black n’ blue pot pie with blueberries, blackberries housed in a flaky puff pastry and topped with blackberry crumble swirl ice cream. Then there are the “glace coupes”—luxe takes on ice cream sundaes. The strawberries and cream—made with Harry’s Gaviota strawberries, Scottish shortbread and Bellwether Farms whipped cream—is incredible.
Cocktails are made with care as well. Guests will love The Coconut Grove:fresh coconut water, homemade Coco Lopez, grilled pineapple, Bacardi 8 year and El Dorado 8 Year Demerara rums with a hint of Balsam American Amarao; The Booth 50: Evan Williams bourbon, hand-squeezed California grapefruit, wildflower honey and yuzu; and the Tuck Manhattan: house, cherry-infused bourbon, Balsam pinot noir vermouth and house maraschinos.Corporate Sommelier/Executive Bartender Adam Seger, has also created an absolutely fabulous cocktail he likes to call The Heisenberg: tequila is poured through a three-tiered spirit diffusion system containing cherries, nectarines and peaches—locally sourced from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. You won’t be able to look away while your bartender, be it Seger or someone else, not only pours liquid nitrogen through the system, but rings a bell while doing so, to finalize the Breaking Bad inspired cocktail.
As it happens, the decor matches the whimsical menu items perfectly: it is based on the board game Clue. Guests will find a parlor with shadow boxes that serve as tables, a conservatory and den. Touches include monkey lamps, bronze bulldog statues, giant 8 balls, leather banquettes and motifs of dancing bears and elephants on the walls. The restaurant also features stunning works by Mike Stilkey, an American artist based in LA renowned for his book sculpture art. Giving books a second life, Stilkey is the only artist in the world to hand paint donated or discarded library books that would otherwise not be able to be recycled to use as his canvas.
If Tuck Room Tavern were a game, well, bottom line: it’s playing to win.
The Tuck Room Tavern is open Monday through Thursday 4-11p.m. and Friday to Saturday 4.p.m.-midnight. For reservations or to book a private event, please call (310) 307-7004. To learn more about The Tuck Room Tavern visit www.thetuckroom.com.