Tar & Roses

Since opening 2 months ago, Tar & Roses has been filling the dining room, which seats about 45 in the main dining room, eight at the bar, and 20 on the patio, every night.  Finally, with a little advance planning, I was able to coordinate my dining partners and get a reservation. Tar & Roses offers a “modern and rustic” menu with small and large plates.

Chef and Owner Andrew Kirschner, named “Best New Chef in 2008” by Angeleno magazine, is a local boy.  Prior to opening his own restaurant, he spent the last decade at LA icons such as Joe’s in Venice, Chadwick in Beverly Hills, Table 8 in West Hollywood, and Wilshire in Santa Monica.  When I commented how happy I was that he decided to open up on the West Side, he said that he loves the area having grown up here. Lucky us who live west of the 405!


The wine list is a manageable size with an interesting selection of wines from Italy, Spain and California. As the restaurant is named after the tasting characteristics of wine made from Nebbiolo grapes, we decided to stay in theme and ordered a bottle of Sottimano Langhe Nebbiolo.

Chef Kirschner’s “modern and rustic” menu is divided into four sections: Snacks, Small, Veggies, and Large.

Popped corn, crisp bacon, brown sugar, chili (sweet, spicy, and salty)

Wood roasted English peas, mint, sea salt

Oysters Dynamite, sea urchin, panko

Ricotta gnocchi, pea tendrils

Wood roasted whole branzino, meyer lemon risotto

Kurobuta pork chop, roasted yam, black kale

Baby broccoli, parmesan pudding, breadcrumbs

Wood roasted parsnips, honey, mustard, crisp pancetta

Wood roasted potatoes, garlic, spicy tomato aioli

Strawberry ricotta crostata, honeycomb ice cream

Aborio rice pudding, passionfruit caramel, marcona almonds (rich and creamy)

Everything was delicious!  I don’t think you can go wrong with any item on the menu. I can’t wait to come back here and am thrilled that it is only a short drive away.

Tar & Roses
602 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA
Phone: 310-587-0700 ‎