Our Critics' Picks


Tar & Roses

602 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Critics' Pick
Tar & Roses +

Anne Fishbein


  • Mon.-Thur. 5:30-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 5:30-10:30 p.m.; Sun. 5:30-9 p.m.
  • $$$
  • Beer/Wine
  • Street Parking, Valet Parking
  • Reservations Recommended, Reservations Accepted
A meal at Tar & Roses is anything but forgettable. Flavors have been distilled, and nothing I ate had that pleasant but unremarkable quality that marked so much of what was presented in the months right after the restaurant opened. More risks are taken. Chef Andrew Kirschner used to do a kabob made of chicken oysters — cute but hardly life changing. Now there's one made with tender hunks of lamb heart, singed at the edges and deeply flavored, served with banana raita and harissa. Tar & Roses is still a hard restaurant to get into, though the host staff seem to be dealing with it far more graciously than a couple of years back. In fact, everything about the place seems more grown up, less trendy for the sake of the obvious of-the-moment benefit. The people still crowding into the restaurant know something that we previously didn't: This is by far one of the best places to eat in Santa Monica. - Besha Rodell Read our full review.

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