I’d like to start by saying that I am remiss for letting this draft sit in my archive of pending posts for so long. I was lucky enough to enjoy a meal several weeks ago at chef and owner Andrew Kirschner’s Tar & Roses – and my timing was unwittingly fortunate, as shortly after, a fire stemming from one of the restaurant’s wood-burning ovens caused this Westside hot spot to initially – now indefinitely -- close for repairs. This truly is a culinary shame, as the meal I savored was one of the most start-to-finish delicious experiences I’d enjoyed in ages. Born and raised in Santa Monica, Chef Kirschner began his career in the kitchen with a summer job at age fifteen, ultimately graduating from California Culinary Academy and working in both San Francisco and Aspen, where he cultivated a passion for working with locally raised and sustainably produced ingredients. Having returned ton Los Angeles in 2000, Kirschner worked at exceptional restaurants around the city – from Venice, to Beverly Hills, to West Hollywood – before ultimately becoming Executive Chef and Partner at Wilshire in Santa Monica (where he garnered Angeleno Magazine’s acknowledgement as Best New Chef of 2008). With Tar & Roses, Kirschner’s take on farm-to-table small plate dishes with an immense focus on the ingredients themselves kept his restaurant packed on a nightly basis since its opening in 2012, with his philosophy and bold flavors bringing creativity and beauty to his craft. With a menu ranging from Charcuterie, Snacks, Veggies, Small Plates, and Large dishes, I found myself enamored with the Popped corn with crisp bacon, brown sugar, and chili; over the moon with the Balsamic glazed ribs with aleppo pepper and fried basil; and clamoring for more of his curry-based shellfish pot with maitake mushrooms. As full as I found myself, it was impossible to pass up the Strawberry ricotta crostata with LA Creamery honeycomb ice cream (which officially made anything with strawberry and ricotta my new favorite dessert).
A sign on Tar & Roses’ now-closed door encourages diners to enjoy their nearby sister restaurant, Santa Monica Yacht Club – so though I’m thrilled to have been able to experience Chef Kirschner’s first solo step in the culinary world, I can’t wait to see what his new endeavor has to offer as well.
Dress: (borrowed from) Laura Byrnes Lana Cocktail Dress in Melting Leopard Canvas
Lips: Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in American Doll
Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills DIPBROW® Pomade in Soft Brown
Glasses: Bonlook Keiko frames in Tessa Tort
Bag: Kate Spade New York (old)