Tar & Roses
Farm-centric hot spot w/ wood-fired oven
A pricey ($30-60) new american restaurant with organic meat options in (@ 6th St) (Santa Monica) with critics pick & date night offerings.
Tue-Sat: 5:30pm-10:30pm Sun: 5:30pm-9:30pm
Andrew Kirschner has developed a bit of a superstar status in Los Angeles within the past few years, but that doesn’t stop him from personally greeting diners and taking names at his latest venture, Tar & Roses. The Santa Monica hot spot is Kirschner’s love song to all things wood-fired, where small plates and snacks dominate the menu and the smoky scent of the wood chosen for that day (usually walnut) wafts through the narrow dining room.
Tar & Roses is all about high quality meats, boasting some serious nose to tail; you'll find braised lamb belly, bone marrow, and “korean style” steak tartar. (Little known fact: high quality organ meats are full of nutrients). We drooled over the chimichurri-topped hanger steak sourced from Boulder Valley Natural Farm (where antibiotics and hormones are forbidden). However, don’t be fooled by the menu’s preponderance of meat. We happily found appetizers to be heavy on locally sourced vegetables.The nearby Santa Monica Farmer’s Market provides the majority of the produce, like the fiery, wood-roasted padron peppers drizzled in lemon juice and dusted with a salty bottarga. More seasonally fit was the bowl of roasted summer squash — yellow pattypan and mini zucchini were given a bold dressing of paprika, mustard and honey-topped pancetta.
For those seeking a meat-free meal: a luscious plate of ricotta gnocchi left us scraping the bowl clean. Lemon-infused and light as air, this dish had none of the cream- and potato-heavy elements of traditional gnocchi and was instead dotted with tender fava beans, spinach and asparagus. And for pescatarians? Being a stone’s throw from the Pacific, it’s hard to resist sampling Tar & Roses’ seafood. Our advice? Forego the shellfish pot and instead opt for the gorgeous branzino which arrived whole, head and all, stuffed with pea tendrils and lemon and tasted nothing short of spectacular.