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Location, Location, Location: Brunch at Tavern

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Once upon a time, 11648 San Vicente Blvd in Brentwood was a Hamburger Hamlet. Yawn, right? Yes, the Hamlet had its heyday here in Los Angeles, but it's been a long time since the chain served anything to write (home) about. But if the three most important considerations in real estate are location, location, and yup, you guessed it, location, well, Tavern wound up with a prime piece of it. What you might not ever guess--if you didn't know it--is that this beautiful eatery, with its skylight-lit atrium dining room, plush seating, warm gray tones matched with airy cream colors, and wooden floors was once a Hamlet.

Tavern's Brunch menu is quite the draw, with an enticing mix of interpretations of savory egg dishes, sweet treats, and baked goods from the restaurant's larder. Our group's table, at the back of the atrium room, meant we had a full view of the beautiful decor, but also the full power of the midday sun beating down on us (uncomfortably hot!) and had to navigate the lovely-to-look-at but a little in the way olive trees planted inside the floor of the room. To take the edge off is a very appealing list of brunch cocktails, many of which are gin-based, and use fresh ingredients ideal for early in the day, like the Ginger Rogers (plymouth gin, mint, ginger syrup & soda) or the Queen Mary (beefeater gin, cucumber & tomato juice).