Monday, May 2, 2011

Whole Lamb Dinner at Tender Greens

Tender Greens Hollywood held the first of their monthly roast and beer gardens on their patio this past Sunday.  This monthly series in which a whole animal is roasted and at which unlimited pours of craft beer will be available will be held on the third Sunday of each month.  Fortunately for me, Sunday's animal was lamb, perhaps my favorite meat.  In addition Chef Eric Hulme roasted a salt baked whole sea bass.

Plate of joy

For $35 all inclusive this is a great value as a full array of sides are provided in addition to the main attraction and the beverage.  The next whole animal roast will be a pig roast on May 15th.  Limited reservations remain - to book email  At about 6:30 pm, the animal is brought out of the roasting box and displayed for all to admire (and photograph).  Then the lamb was given time to rest and an array of sides were brought out.  At the appointed hour Chef Hulme began carving the lamb and the hungry diners began lining up.

Whole lamb ready to be carved

The sides were bountiful and excellent.  They included: Braised swiss chard with smoked mushrooms, Green Lentil, torpedo onion and shelling beans, Jumbo asparagus with mimosa sauce, Baby carrots, snap peas, english peas, pea tendrils, Olive oil poached fingerling potatoes with crispy green garlic and Raw artichoke and baby frisee salad.  My favorite of the sides were the carrots with peas and the lentil dish.  The peas were so fresh and sweet and the lentils had a ton of flavor.

Excellent side dishes

The lamb and fish were served with two sauces: a Meyer lemon tzatziki and a Rosemary & Sage gremolata that was bright green like a pesto.  For the sauces and the sides, diners helped themselves from the heaving buffet table; the meat and fish were carved by the chefs.  As any side dish ran low, more was brought out, so there was never a danger of going hungry or missing out on anything.  The sides were so good that even if I didn't eat meat, the fish, the sides and the beer were more than enough to feel full, satisfied and that I had gotten a fair value.  Because I love lamb, I found this to be a screaming bargain.

The salt crusted fish and the cooker

Around eight o'clock dessert was served: Strawberry bars and Mini Passion fruit tarts.  Soon after the diners strolled out into the night, dispersing onto Sunset Blvd.  Something about cooking a whole animal lent a communal air to the experience, as many diners ended up in conversation with folks they did not arrive with.  The crowd was mellow foodies, although I have never seen so many pictures being taken of food by a non-blogger crowd.  The whole lamb was dramatic and deserved to be recorded for posterity.

Hulme removing the lamb from the cooker
The beer was provided by Tustin Brewery which brought both a light ale and their Red Hill Red.  The beer was flowing freely and was refreshing.  Each month's event will feature a different local craft brewery.

I highly recommend this experience.  My one caveat is to show up by 6:30, so you can be there when the animal is removed from the heat.  As the meal is communal, there is only one serving time.

Tender Greens Hollywood: 6290 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood. Phone: (323) 382-0380. Website:

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