Andrew Kirschner, former chef at Wilshire in Santa Monica, opened the doors to Tar & Roses on Tuesday. The restaurant located on the 6th block of Santa Monica Blvd is the perfect distance from 3rd Street Promenade to avoid endless waits and encourage a local and loyal crowd. The menu has a wood-fired, rustic yet modern flare that encourages curiosity and entices the taste buds.
The decor is humble and well executed, making for a comfortable home-like atmosphere that makes you want to slowly enjoy every minute of your evening. The staff was prepared for the opening and educated on the diverse menu.
Now on to the real good stuff, the menu was an inspiration to any foodie. Divided into five sections: snacks, small, large, pre-ordered family style & veggies allowing you to dine as you would like, whether that is sharing small plates or dining on a extravagant family style dinner. In addition the chalkboard is marked up with a carefully curated list of mix and match cheeses, charcuterie & bruschetta.
We mixed and matched salted cod with capers bruschetta, Coppa, wild boar (I can’t remember the traditional name), a spanish hard cheese and a soft cheese made from cow, sheep and goats milk. The presentation was well executed — served on a wooden board branded with the T&R logo, our cheese, meat and bruschetta assortment accompanied by two different jams, a handful of nuts, wood-fired bread and some pickled vegetables was perfect.
Not extremely hungry but unwilling to part with Tar & Roses we moved on to the snacks and ordered up the charred octopus skewers with salsa verde and piquillo pepper aioli and the bone marrow with pickled onion marmalade, sea salt, served with sourdough bread. If you haven’t had bone marrow before, please don’t judge this is like the nectar of the gods. You use a tiny spoon to scoop out the decadence and spread its deliciousness on a piece of bread. A delicacy in many countries and for any foodie this dish is a must try.
All in all I am proud to welcome Tar & Roses to the Santa Monica community, I wish them the very best in success and encourage all of you to get out there and try it. A word to the wise if you are going with a group, call at least 5 days ahead and you can enjoy a family style meal. The family-style menu was adorned with a whole roasted goat, roasted goose, standing rib roast and a seafood pot. Priced per person this is my first pick next time the family is in town!
Tar & Roses, 602 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica
Dinner: 5:30pm – 10:30pm; Phone: 310-587-0700