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.
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