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Restaurant Reviews

The 5 Things You Need Know About This Week's Review of Tar and Roses

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Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 9:30 AM

click to enlarge Tar & Roses chef Andrew Kirschner - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Tar & Roses chef Andrew Kirschner
This week, the restaurant review is a consideration of chef Andrew Kirschner's very popular Santa Monica restaurant, Tar & Roses. We urge you to read the full review, but for a quicker bite, here's the diet version:

Food: Creative, produce-inspired small plates. From the review: "Andrew Kirschner has taken everything we love about kinda-Spanish, kinda-New American food and made it especially appealing." Creative vegetable-based options are especially appealing.

Drinks: Tar & Roses bills itself as a wine bar, and the list is very cool, with a focus on Spain, Italy and the more unexpected regions and varietals of the United States.

Looks: Farm-chic. From the review: "The wooden tables and rustic farm accents here are lit beautifully, the warm glow shining up somehow rather than down, creating a flattering light -- to both the room and the customers."

Price: It's easy to spend a lot of money here, especially if you're drinking. Small plates are around $10 each, but you'll be tempted to order too many of them. The average cost of my meals was about $65 per person.

Takeaway: Very well executed, but also so much like everything else out there it's hard to get hugely excited about it. From the review: "Twenty-four hours after my first visit to Tar & Roses, I had a pleasant lingering memory of my meal there, but I could barely remember anything I'd eaten. The food wasn't forgettable in the sense that the flavors were unremarkable; it just tasted and felt like so much else of what's out there that it was hard to distinguish. It's done very, very well, though, and Kirschner imparts more playfulness than many chefs of his generation and genre."

Read the full review here.


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