Jul 12, 2010

The Wilshire in Santa Monica

I've learned to always trust a local's recommendation when searching for a restaurant. I wanted to take my family to Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger's Border Grill in Santa Monica, but my sister's good friend, who practices law in Los Angeles highly suggested the Wilshire restaurant. And was she ever correct. Located on Wilshire avenue in Santa Monica, the Wilshire exudes casual elegance with a fabulous al fresco dining area in the backyard complete with an outdoor fireplace, soft white lights and a
enough greenery to transport you from LA to the wine country.

The food was absolutely delicious. I sensed it was going to be special when our server highly suggested the Grilled Half-Chicken with Morel Risotto and Truffled Chicken jus ($28) as the house specialty. Of course, I had to have it. Our server didn't lie. Every single dish had top notch ingredients and layered with flavors. My French brother-in-law asked the server if the restaurant carried Pahlmeyer wines. A few minutes later, he apologize for not having the Pahlmeyer, but he presented us with a fantastic aternative: Pahlmeyer's Jayson 2005. A juicy claret style wine which perfectly blends the earthiness of a Bordeaux impersonating as a California cab.  

Just like a highly informed concierge, our server was professional, friendly and very knowledgable about the menu and the wines. Along with the cozy atmosphere, this local recommendation is worth passing along to others. 

Heirloom Tomato with Burrata, Cucumber,
Sourdough Croutons and White Balsamic ($17)
Soft Shell Crab with Sungold Tomatoes, Cucumbers and
Pickled Onions ($17)
The House Specialty - Grilled Half-Chicken with Morel Risotto
Braised Shortrib, Mashed Potatoes, Glazed Cippolini ($27)
This was incredible too - Miso Black Cod, Crispy Rice,
Shiitake Mushroom Salsa ($28)
The Classic - Steak Tartar with Quail Egg and Grilled Sourdough ($15)
Pahlmeyer's Jayson Claret 2005
The atmosphere is festive year round
Dining under the stars
The cozy lounge
Potted trees in the front proch
Bathroom door detail
Filipino Capiz Chandeliers

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