100 Favorite Dishes

25: Tavern's Poached Pear Coupe

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Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 8:45 AM

click to enlarge Tavern's coupe - A. SCATTERGOOD
  • A. Scattergood
  • Tavern's coupe
Celebrating this year's Best of L.A. issue -- now out in print and online -- we're counting down, in no particular order, 100 of our favorite dishes.

25: Tavern's Poached Pear Coupe.

Like pretty much anything else you find on the menu at any one of Suzanne Goin's restaurants, the desserts at Tavern are artful studies in composition. Goin is terrific at many things, but juxtaposing seasonal ingredients, using classical technique to access sudden bursts of flavor, is perhaps her particular genius. So after you feast on pork confit with mole or steak with onion panade, you might order one of the coupes, the beautiful layered glasses of ice cream that Goin likes to put on the menu at both Tavern and Lucques.

A coupe is a sundae and it is not. Unlike those childhood towers of excess, this dessert is at once more refined and more simplistic. Named after the French dish in which it was traditionally served, a coupe comprises ice cream and maybe fruit or nuts or sauces, but not to distraction. At Tavern, where the coupes are matched to the season (lately watermelon sorbet and mint; lemon ice cream, blueberries and shortbread), last week pastry chef Christina Olufsen came back from the nearby Wednesday Santa Monica farmers market loaded with Bartlett pears and pomegranates. (For those keeping track: pears from Ha's Apple Farm; pomegranates from Ha's, Flora Bella or Schaner Family Farms.) Thus into a pint glass (great for coupes, by the way) go diced lightly poached Bartletts, pear sorbet made from more of the poached fruit, pomegranate sorbet, housemade whipped crème fraîche and fresh pomegranate seeds. (Imagine Persephone as pastry chef, happily ensconced in a Brentwood dessert kitchen.) The coupe is cold and subtle and not too sweet, a glorious riff on late fall flavors, the crunch and tart bite of the pomegranate seeds adding a lovely finish -- as well as looking like little garnet jewels. It's a terrific dessert, and also works pretty well, with a cup of espresso, as a late stand-alone breakfast. Eat dessert first? Why not.
click to enlarge Tavern's coupe - A. SCATTERGOOD
  • A. Scattergood
  • Tavern's coupe

Check out the rest of our 100 of our favorite dishes. Suggestion? Write us a comment.

100: Lukshon's Dan Dan Noodles
99: Cemita de Milanesa at Cemitas Poblanos Elviritas #1
98: Chichen Itza's Cochinita Pibil
97: Tsukemen at Tsujita L.A.
96: La Cevicheria's Bloody Clam Ceviche
95: Duck Shawarma at Momed
94: Peruvian Chicken at Pollo a la Brasa
93: Squash Blossom Quesadilla at Antojitos Carmen
92: Thai Boat Noodles at Pa-Ord
91: Baco Mercat's Bazole
90: Furikake Kettle Corn at A-Frame
89: Live Santa Barbara Spot Prawns at Providence
88: Fried Pig Tails at Night + Market
87: Egg Salad Sandwich at Euro Pane
86: Galbi Jjim at Soban
85: Truffle Honey-Laced Fried Chicken at Manhattan Beach Post
84: Mool Naeng Myun at Yu Chic Naeng Myun
83: Chicken Vampiro at Mexicali Taco & Co
82: Sooo Cali Dog at Dog Haus
81: White Anchovy, Tomato and Fresno Chile Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza
80: Shu Mai at Elite Restaurant
79: Tandoori Chicken at Al-Watan
78: Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding at The Hungry Cat
77: Agedashi Tofu at Izakaya Bincho
76: Pork Chop at Salt's Cure
75: Porcetto at Sotto
74: The Sea Urchin Tostada at La Guerrerense
73: Wood-Roasted English Peas at Tar & Roses
72: Persian Mulberries at Weiser Family Farms

71: Hunan-Style Preserved Pork with Tofu at Hunan Chilli King
70: Brisket Banh Mi at Gjelina Take Away
69: Yukhwe Bibimbap at Oo-Kook Korean BBQ
68: Lamb Pie at Beijing Pie House
67: Son of a Gun's Uni and Burrata
66: Pastrami Reuben at Art's Delicatessen

65: Beef Koobideh at Kabab Mahaleh
64: The Whipper Burger at Hawkins House of Burgers
63: Slippery Shrimp at Yang Chow
62: Whole Channel Island Red Sea Urchin at Water Grill
61: Going Dutch Panini at Bread Lounge
60: Huckleberry's Green Eggs & Ham
59: Pickled Watermelon Salad at L&E Oyster Bar
58: Spaghettini with Abalone, Pickled Cod Roe and Truffles at n/naka
57: Brown Brown Bread Ice Cream at Scoops Westside
56: Smothered Chicken at R and R Soul Food
55: Duck Fried Rice at Jar
54: Taco Sampler at Guisados
53: The Sycamore Kitchen's Double BLT-A Sandwich
52: House Wonton Soup at China Cafe
51: Almond Croissant at Proof Bakery
50: The Southern Fry at Plan Check Kitchen + Bar
49: The Dodger Dog at Dodger Stadium
48: Papaya Salad at Krua Siri
47: Lucky Baldwins' Traditional Full English Breakfast
46: Edomae Tendon Bowl at Hannosuke
45: The Pescado Zarandeado at Coni'Seafood
44: Hot Wings at Beer Belly
43: Raw Kale Salad at Elf Cafe
42: Steak Tartare Tacos at MessHall
41: Banh Mi at Buu Dien
40: Sicilian Slice at Pizzanista
39: Grilled Baby Goat T-bone at Mozza's Scuola di Pizza Salumi Bar
38: Papri Chaat at Jay Bharat
37: The Island Combo at TiGeorges' Chicken
36: Tacos Al Pastor at Tacos Leo
35: "Sandwich" at Roma Italian Deli
34: Bossam at Kobawoo House
33: Cauliflower T-Bone at Superba Snack Bar
32: Pupusa Revuelta at Atlacatl
31: Bonjiri Yakitori at Kokekokko
30: Crispy Pork with Morning Glory at Crispy Pork Gang & Grill
29: Sashimi Special at Sushi Gen

28: Tamal de Mole Negro at Guelaguetza
27: The Hickoryburger at Apple Pan
26: Lobster Thermidor at Musso & Frank's

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