Tar & Roses

[Santa Monica]

Photograph by Andrea Bricco

Chef Andrew Kirschner left Wilshire restaurant more than a year ago to open his own place, and here it is. There’s an extra layer of sheen on this gastropub operation. Charcuterie boards are assembled with care in view of diners at the small bar. In the kitchen Kirschner roasts English peas in a wood-fired oven, and they’re devoured like smoky edamame. He tops grilled bread with brandade, pairs slow-cooked lamb belly with a tart apple chutney, and simmers shellfish in a captivating red curry. Desserts like strawberry ricotta crostata and arborio rice pudding only sound rustic. » 602 Santa Monica Blvd., 310-587-0700 or tarandroses.com.