West Coast Tavern
I tried my first “Mule” a few years ago and ever since I have been eager to order one whenever I find it on a menu. (RIP Lincoln Room). Some people may not know what a “Mule” is. Allow me to introduce you by quoting the site that all successful college students quote. According to Wikipedia.com, “a Moscow mule is a cocktail made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime served in a copper mug.” Yup, that about sums it up! This cocktail is refreshing and pretty strong. It is strong and flavorful as a man’s drink, yet colorful and classy as a woman’s drink. And lucky for you mule lovers out there, I found a great place in North Park that specializes in the cocktail, and heck, they even serve pitchers of them during happy hour!
Brady and I decided to head to a restaurant in North Park, somewhere we hadn’t been for a while. We headed to the West Coast Tavern for their happy hour, great food reviews and cool ambience. Many of my friends and co-workers live in North Park, and it seems like it is always a go-to spot in the neighborhood. I had never eaten dinner there before, but have always had fun times dancing and chatting with friends, so I thought we should give it a shot!
The most noticeable first impression that the West Coast Tavern gives off is its unique atmosphere. It’s a bar/restaurant converted out of an historic theatre lobby, which makes for an interesting use of space! The theatre in back is still in business, which makes the site even more one-of-a-kind. I’ve peeked behind the curtains to see ballet practices and drummers getting ready for gigs. The West Coast Tavern is a great place for a date night (a recurring theme in my posts), or hanging with buds over some drinks. The entire time we were there, awesome Motown hits were softly playing. I love Motown music, so I was enjoying myself! We loved the music selection… another quirky reason why this place stood out to me! Don’t be fooled though, on weekend nights, tables are moved and a dance floor complete with a DJ takes over to electrify the tavern.
Brady explained it well, it has the feel of a vampire lair, with a dimly lit chandelier and red lights that highlight the arches in the ceiling of the tavern. “A perfect place for Dracula to come for happy hour.” Every table is candlelit, and they have a great outdoor patio with tables that have built-in fire pits (next time we want to grab a fire pit table outside to watch the hustle and bustle of North Park).
They have a great variety of handcrafted cocktails. I am a big fan of the Blueberry Mint Julep, but am still kicking myself for not trying the Cold Chai Toddy cocktail. I guess it gives me a good excuse to go back! I honed in on their extensive mule selection, which consisted of fifteen, yes, FIFTEEN different variations of the mule. (And hey, they are all half off during happy hour! What’s not to like!?) I loved the Unicorn, a fruity take on the mule. They are served in cute mason jars, which seems to be the trend now-a-days, and I love it!
Besides the drinks, Brady and I had a really great dinner. We wanted to be adventurous, and started out with the Marrow. I was hesitant at first as the halved bone was brought out on a wooden cutting board, garnished with pesto, salt and tomato. Brady explained it perfectly: it tasted like rare steak that you didn’t have to chew, like meat-flavored butter. Sounds strange, I know, but when you try it, you’ll understand! Our server Ashley said the same thing, she wished she could have it on her morning toast! It was really tasty, although we wished there was more on the bone. We indulged a bit more and ordered their chipotle cream mussels. Another win! There were so many delicious mussels and the cream sauce was great for dipping. After the appetizers, I was already feeling full, so I decided to order their grilled cheese. Disclaimer: I have and always will love grilled cheese. It came with a squash soup, and was served with grilled onions and apple slices. Unique! Brady ordered the lamb sliders, which was a good way to finish off a gourmet meal. We ended the night with a dessert that Ashley persuaded me to try: the pistachio bread pudding. I was once again in heaven and it was a good sized dessert which couldn’t finish all by myself (Brady isn’t much of a dessert eater). Maybe this time I will learn, and break all of the rules by eating dessert first.
People come to the West Coast Tavern for their awesome happy hour, gourmet dishes and lively atmosphere. The staff, including our server Ashley and the Tavern’s manager Esteban were very attentive and personable. Try the mule, try those delicious mussels and try the pistachio bread pudding. They also have daily specials on their website. I can’t wait for the opportunity to present itself to suggest my friends to head over to enjoy a mule pitcher or two and have a great night out in North Park!
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