Tar & Roses: My Santa Monica Small Plates Love Affair

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Tar and Roses


Small plates are in general a good thing, as long as the restaurant in question has set out to perfect the small plate and not leaving you hungry.  Tar & Roses gives comfort and delivers big flavors with each small plate.  I sat at the bar, as I like to do when dining alone, after about a 15-20 minute wait.  Parties of three or more seemed to be quoted a wait time for over an hour on a Monday at 7:30 pm so I would highly recommend making a reservation ahead of time.

The wine list is solid but I found the wines by the glass to be limiting, I had the Nebbiolo and really no complaints.  The food was the star of the show.  I started with the yellow tail crudo which was served on a slice of cantaloupe with a citrus and lime leave cabbage slaw.  I thought the melon might be too sweet but the spicy peppers on the top were the perfect foil.

Yellowtail Crudo


I followed the crudo up with a Bruschetta and Charcuterie platter with homemade pickles and mustard.  The burrata with cherry tomatoes and duck rillettes were standouts and perfectly seasoned.  I ended with the charred gem lettuce salad which was a nice salty, funky and sweet combo with pancetta, dates and blue cheese; a solid end to a comforting meal.  If you find yourself in Santa Monica make the effort and find yourself a seat at the bar and have a few small plates.


Tar & Roses
602 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401