Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wilshire Restaurant (Santa Monica)


I had been meaning to check this place out since I saw Chef Andrew Kirschner's brief stint on The Next Iron Chef II.  I finally went last night but sadly the Executive Chef is no longer there.  Apparently, he parted ways with Wilshire a couple of weeks ago.  Talking to the kind manager, I was told Kirschner will be opening Tar & Roses, sometime in September.  Signage is already up at his upcoming restaurant.  It's located on Santa Monica and 6th.  On to the food...              

The starter bread is sourdough and the peppercorn butter is creamy and spreadable [not solid, like so many other restaurants] with a nice kick.  - 4 stars

My only cocktail of the night was the Whiskey Summer.  It was okay but at 14 bucks, I'd pass and get a brew if I had to do it all over again. I would have ordered another drink but in the hour that we were there, we were not asked if we wanted another round.  - 3 stars 

Our server, however, recommended a flavored lemonade for a non-alcoholic drink and the Ginger Mint Lemonade was perfect.  It was Mojito-esque - but so was the price.  6 dollars for lemonade?  I expect to pay around that amount for Beer.  - 4 stars

We started out by ordering the Tuna Tartare.  It was decent but lacked seasoning and acidity.  17 bucks for this? - 2 stars   

One of the entrees we ordered was their Chimay-Marinated Skirt Steak with Fries.  The steak itself was moist and cooked to the doneness it was asked for.  It had a great crust on it as well; but like the other items we had ordered, it too needed salt.  Furthermore, as good and moist as the steak was, it still needed a sauce.  Who knows. Perhaps if you order the steak with the salad and not the fries, the vinaigrette would work with the steak as well.  In any case, the steak and fries are just begging for a sauce.  - 3.5 stars                    

My dish was the Blue Cheese Burger.  I was hoping to like it more than I did.  I found the patty under-seasoned and the bread too spongy.  - 3 stars    

Not knowing that the burger came with a side of fries, I ordered a side of Cauliflower Gratin.  I was expecting a cheesier dish but all I got was cream, cauliflower, a bunch of slivered red onions and a slight taste of Gruyere Cheese.  - 2 stars      

Overall, the restaurant is a tad bit expensive for me so I don't expect to return.  Perhaps if the food and drinks were more to my liking, I'd consider coming back.  Even though, Andrew Kirschner is long gone, every dish we ordered was from his menu.  Nothing we had was better than good and the majority of the dishes were just decent.  I hope when I do visit his new outpost later this year, he'll pack a lot more flavor than what I experienced here. 

Cocktail Menu.

Sourdough Bread & Peppercorn Butter.

Whiskey Summer - Berheim Wheat Whiskey, Apple Juice, Berenjager & Ginger Beer.

Ginger & Mint Lemonade.

Tuna Tartare with Avocado, Nori & Fried Wonton Crisps.

Chimay-Marinated Skirt Steak with Fries.

Point Reyes Blue Cheese Burger with Pickled Onions, Garlic Aioli & Arugula.  Served with Fries and Pickle Spears.

Cauliflower Gratin with Gruyere Cheese & Pine Nuts.

Was I this tipsy after 1 drink?   

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