[Santa Monica]

They may call this a bar, and yes, the libations by prolific barman Julian Cox are exceptional. But Brilliantshine, which Cox co-owns with fellow mixologist Josh Goldman, is every bit the modern Peruvian restaurant. How to tell? There are more candlelit tables than bar stools, and Ricardo Lopez, who worked under L.A.’s Peruvian king, Ricardo Zarate, is in the kitchen. His shrimp ceviche is blindingly bright and flecked with hominy-like cancha. Rice is studded with Maine lobster and uni and showered with crispy puffed rice. The Korean-style chicken wings are the closest you’ll come to a bar snack here, and the “bar” is all the better for it. » 522 Wilshire Blvd., 310-451-0045 or