The dessert list, which apparently changes often, held several temptations, not least of which was a bittersweet chocolate bread pudding. But we wanted something lighter and chose the bourbon-mascarpone tart on a nut crust. It arrived in a ramekin, its thick texture buoyed by gelatin, with not much bourbon flavor. It looked so much like panna cotta that I realized that panna cotta, though not on the menu, was really what I wanted. This was plenty heavier. The espresso machine was broken, but our good server Paris delivered my Caffe Calabria coffee as requested, right along with dessert.
Our food-only costs were just $78 for three people overeating (and doggie-bagging several nights’ worth of grazes) — can’t complain about that. West Coast also offers just about everything “to go” until midnight, ready to take with you when you just want to head home, change from that white polyester suit into flannel PJs, and refuel in comfort after your hot night at the disco. ■
West Coast Tavern
★★½ (Good to Very Good)
2895 University Avenue (front of North Park Theatre), North Park, 619-295-1688; westcoasttavern.com
HOURS: Monday–Friday 4:00 p.m.–2:00 a.m.; Saturday noon–2:00 a.m.; Sunday brunch 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.; Sunday dinner 4:00 p.m.–2:00 a.m. Takeout until midnight.
PRICES: $6–$14 for everything; desserts, $7.
CUISINE AND BEVERAGES: Gastropub grazing, playful and fun. Well-edited affordable international wine list, everything available by the glass, bottles under $30. Full bar with classic and slightly creative cocktails, many bourbons, craft beers.
PICK HITS: Five-spice chicken wings; bacon-wrapped nut-stuffed dates; chicken ’n’ waffle; lamb sliders. Good bets: interesting dessert list.
NEED TO KNOW: Pricey parking garage behind theater, street parking painful but possible (better on weeknights). Interior very noisy (loud music) with live DJs. Sports-bar atmosphere (including TVs), but front patio (about six tables) sheltered, heated, two tables with fire pits. Handicapped cut-out at curb in front. Plenty for lacto-vegetarians, somewhat less for vegans. Happy hour 4:00–7:00 p.m. daily.