LA's Tavern To Host A Lowcountry Boil

Tavern was one of my old stomping grounds when I lived in Brentwood. With one of the most beautiful patios in all of Los Angeles, it maintains an easygoing vibe. The Larder at Tavern, its cafe, serves coffee, tea, pastries, and grab-and-go items. Whether you're grabbing a quick bite or having a dinner date with your significant other, Tavern is one of the most consistent restaurants in LA. Today, I explore a different side to Tavern, a more down home cooking side.

Recently I attended an exclusive media preview for Tavern's Fourth Annual Low Country Boil, which will take place Sunday, June 25. Tavern's chef de cuisine, Amy Deaderick, hosts this boil, which the Tavern owners Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne fully endorse. This annual boil is very personal to Deaderick, who grew up in South Carolina. Memories of her childhood and the Carolina culture inspire every course.

For $65 per person, this one-time event will be set in The Larder at Tavern, serving up three courses and dessert. South Carolina-based musicians Josh and Leslie Roberts will be providing live acoustic folk-country tunes to really set a "dining by the shoreline" ambiance. The communal tables are covered with newspapers and — warning — you may get wet, so come out in your "eatin' dress."

To start, guests will be provided boiled peanuts and fried pickles and have a choice between two cocktails; the Barrier Island (light and dark rum, Aperol, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, and cranberries) and the Isle of Palms (vodka, Lillet, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, and pear). Both cocktails are sweet, fruity, and easy to gulp down quick.

1st Course — Southern Potluck Board
Pimento Cheese, Benton's country ham, confit chicken rillettes, pickled okra, chow-chow, potato salad, and Triscuits (as Deaderick explains, "to keep it real").
For those not familiar with Benton's country ham, owner Allen Benton was inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America in 2015. This was my first time tasting the ham, which was shaved to a perfect paper-thin slice. The chow-chow was another first for me. This mix of peppers and onions is based on a recipe from Deaderick's mother.

2nd Course — Radish and Corn Salad
Scallions, house-made buttermilk cheese, fried cornbread croutons, and lime.
My table was gushing over the cornbread croutons, and while they were fantastic, the cheese on the dish was the star for me. It's simple but so light and creamy; I was making sure to dip every piece of lettuce in it.

3rd Course — Carolina Seafood Boil
Gulf shrimp, crawfish, house-made Andouille sausage, potatoes, and corn.
It had been a while since I last peeled a crawfish; you grab the head firmly with one hand and then grab the tail with the other. Twist and peel from the head, peel the shell and suck out the tail. Some people like to suck out the head too (honestly, not my thing!). One bucket caters to two guests, but it's still a very big portion. The andouille sausage is smoky and meaty, and the Gulf shrimp are sweet and soft.

Dessert — Cornmeal Peach Cobbler With Buttermilk Ice Cream
This dessert was made by Tavern pastry chef Sahar Shomali. One of her favorite ingredients to incorporate into her desserts is cornmeal, and there's no better time to do this than at a boil! The sweet, juicy peach flavor is in every bite to accompany the crumbly cobbler.

As you can see, this is one messy but fun Southern boil you won't want to miss! For a reservation, call 310-806-6464.