A Santa Monica native and former Iron Chef contestant, Kirschner tells us, "I'm thrilled to be back in Santa Monica. I was raised at 24th and Montana. It's what I've been working toward my entire career." [Photo gallery after the jump.]
Tar & Roses looks out over the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and 6th Street. It features a bright main dining area with floor-to-ceiling glass windows that leads to a small bar and a long row of two-tops. The 50-seat restaurant will add another 30 seats when the back patio opens in two weeks.
In the front, there's also a small market area selling foodstuffs that Kirschner says they use when cooking the dishes at Tar & Roses: paprika, quince paste, Israeli couscous, Italian chocolates, jam, yuzu and at least three kinds of olive oil including a house-branded version that Kirschner describes as light and fruity.
The restaurant's name, Tar & Roses, refers to the classic aromatic descriptors of Nebbiolo, a Northern Italian grape. For Kirschner, they're also a reference to the contrast between "old and new, modern and rustic" that he hopes his restaurant embodies.