UPPER WEST IN SANTA MONICA BRINGS IN THE CROWDS
SERIOUS BAR MENU ALSO IMPRESSES
Los Angeles/Santa Monica, (Perfect Meal Today) 3/3/17/–I have to confess that I had not heard about UPPER WEST restaurant In West LA/Santa Monica before my recent visit, but can gladly report That the seven year old restaurant is doing just fine. The dining room Is large, bustling and quite noisy especially when some of the locals are on their second bottle of wine. However there is a different vibe at lunchtime with the local business crowd , but the night crowd is definitely the free spending younger variety.
So what about the food you might ask! Well the menu is very extensive And the chef Nick Shipp moves it around quite a lot. Apart from being super trendy the prices are very reasonable and noticeably lower than similar menus in Beverly Hills or Hollywood. I started out with the daily special of ‘Smoked Linguica Sausage Cacciatore,’ a beautifully executed dish with gnocchi alla romana, saffron, kumquat conserva, olive puree and an underwhelming taleggio cheese,
Not content with that I had to try the very fresh tasting ‘Octopus Carpaccio’ that was very well complemented by the yuzu-sambal dressing, fennel, kalamata in a lemon vinaigrette. Seemingly sticking to the Italian theme I decided to try the main course of ‘Miso Glazed Duck & Apple Meatballs’ that came in a fairly spicy kombu broth infused with ramen, tofu, shimeji and herbs for $23. Pretty interesting tasting dish, certainly a first for me which is indicative of what is going on in the high energy kitchens of Upper West. My companion went for the Prime Flat Iron Steak ($28) which is served here with a Mcdaniel smoked bacon & gorgonzola slaw in a bourbon balsamic demi.
Upper West also prides itself on the creative cocktail menu all mostly priced at $11 each. Here are the base spirits that the mixologists like to use: Rittenhouse Rye, Platinum Vodka, Botanist Gin, Hendricks Gin, Milagro Reposado, Glenfiddich 14, Titos Vodka, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Wai Japanese Whiskey, El Charo Tequila, Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum and Reyka Vodka. They also do Whiskey flights here for $24 with the following high profile brands: Bruichladdich, Balvenie from Scotland and from America they have Buffalo Trace, Heaven Hill and Woodford Reserve. However if you fancy trying the MacalLan Single Malt with the 12yr Sherry Cask, the 15yr Fine Oak and the 18yr Sherry Cask that will set you back $41. The wine list is also very impressive and far too lengthy to mention here and many of them coming by the glass. If you want something to go with some of the spicy appetizers then go for the Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand at $38 a bottle. If you feel like splurging on a classy red wine later in the meal then you could no better than the Chateau de la Cour, St Emillion Grand Cru 2011 from France, a sublime blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
Upper West-3321 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405