Cheat Sheet: City Tavern at Figat7th

By Lesley Balla  |  February 12, 2014

The Gist: The Culver City gastropub hits Downtown LA at the Figat7th complex. Now doubled in size, there’s a big bar and dining room for happy hour or comfort food-laden dinners. The exposed brick and blackboards might be contrived, but it helps transform what’s basically a mall restaurant into something warmer.

The Vibe: Local office workers pack the place for lunch and happy hour and Downtown locals vibe with the casual pubby feel. It’s casual and fun, just the kind of place to hit before a game at Staples or show at Nokia - Figat7th is only a couple blocks away from L.A. Live.

Eat This: Some carry-overs from the original are big hits here, including the meatballs with tangy dipping sauce and bacon-topped deviled eggs. There are plenty of burgers and sliders and fries, as well. But new bigger plates are done well, like the grilled rib eye with mashed potatoes, or the pork shoulder pot roast that comes fork-tender and falling off the bone with potatoes au gratin hidden in the bowl like sunken treasure. If you’re forced to choose between the custardy bread pudding and rich, almost crème brulee chocolate pudding, just get both and dip the one into the other.

Drink This: Classic cocktails are nicely done, although our Manhattan had a tad too much vermouth and amaro ciociaro (the sweet overpowered the whiskey), but there’s a good spirits list and fun combinations. Keep an eye on the 28 taps - the beer program is fantastic, flowing with mostly local stuff like Haven Gastropub’s El Barista Rojo, a nitro red coffee ale, and The Dudes Double Trunk double IPA.

Skip This: The crudo is more like a mound of guacamole with two pieces of sashimi-style cobia on top. The ingredients were good, but presentation doesn’t sit right. If you want a snacky seafood dish, try the house-smoked salmon belly instead.

For Fans Of: Village Idiot, The Pikey, Ford’s Filling Station

The Damage: Cocktails are $10-$13; beers range from $3 for a three-ounce taster to $16 for large sharable pours; apps and salads are $7-$21; and entrees $8-$34.

The Verdict: There aren’t a lot of tavern-like spots in this part of Downtown, so it really may have found a niche. We’d definitely go back for one of the brewer’s nights, when reps and brewers from local breweries are on hand to swap stories and talk beer, but especially the daily happy hour (3-6 PM) for food and drink discounts like $3.50 sliders, $6 cocktails and 32 oz. growlers of any beer on tap for $10.

City Tavern, 735 S. Figueroa St.; 213-239-5654