Upper West

Note to owners: Please stop referring to New York in your restaurant names. You’re here now—get over it. With that off our chests, we welcome Upper West, an unfussy Santa Monica tavern. There’s not enough emphasis on drinks to call this place a gastropub, but it’s close. Dishes hold a little bit of everything, from mussels in a saffron broth to ahi “tacos” served in plantain shells to grilled steaks and burgers, the latter served with a giant knife stabbing the center. (We’re not sure what ours did to deserve the punishment.) Prices are sane, which helps to excuse the food’s overall clunkiness. More than a dozen wines by the glass and the honey rye cocktail—made with Old Overholt, honey liqueur, and orange bitters—don’t hurt either.