Archive for the 'Wilshire – Santa Monica' Category

Wilshire – Santa Monica

Congratulations to Andrew Kirschner, executive chef of Wilshire. He can’t discuss any of the details, but do start watching the Next Iron Chef on Oct 3.

From Feast:

“Season three of The Next Iron Chef, hosted by Alton Brown, will be filmed in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York City. The season kick-off is on Sunday, October 3 at 9 P.M.. Andrew Kirschner, Executive Chef of Wilshire, in Santa Monica will be among the top toques contending for the glory”

Another huge surprise, my good friend Simon Majumdar will be one of the judges! For those who don’t know Simon this is his resume:

“Simon Majumdar is a food and travel writer, broadcaster and co-author of Dos Hermanos, one of the most popular food websites in the U.K. and internationally. GQ magazine recently called Dos Hermanos “Michelin Starred Blogging,” and in 2008, Simon was voted one of the 1,000 most influential people in London by The London Evening Standard. He left his book publishing job in 2007 and set out on a quest to travel the world and “go everywhere, eat everything.” The experience took him to more than 30 countries in one year and resulted in his best-selling memoir, Eat My Globe. He has continued traveling and eating around the world, and his latest book, Eating for Britain, was published in May 2010″

See here for Simon’s take:

Wed. – August 25th post

Wilshire is not haute cuisine – it is solid food with a huge emphasis on market fresh vegetables and herbs.  Also Chef Kirschner adds many Asian elements to his cuisine – a personal favorite of mine. We tend to order our favorites, knowing that Andrew always adds different market fresh vegetables to the main protein.

BYO Champagne

At our favorite table, fish swim in a small pool and the fire pots keep you toasty.

Kumamoto oysters dynamite, wasabi tobiko caviar, panko breadcrumbs on a seaweed salad – we have had this before and really liked it. For some reason this was just too dry.

Hamachi, ponzu, wasabi, cilantro with a “salad” of radish and cucumber – another repeat dish with sushi quality fish

Soft shell crab, corn, braised bacon, avocado, tomato, red onion, lemon – the soft shell was done perfectly, but the wow of the dish was the accompaniments.

BYO Red Wine

Crispy sweetbreads, chanterelles, grilled figs, bresalo – a nice combination of complementary  flavors

Grilled pork loin (that had been brined then grilled), hamhock polenta, swiss chard, huckleberries – the pork was moist, the outside crunchy and I could have had an extra side dish of just the polenta.

Bottom line – a lovely evening at our favorite table with excellent service.


Wilshire is one of our favorite restaurants. We have only been for dinner and decided that a leisurely lunch outside at our favorite table on a bright sunny afternoon would be perfect. We only ordered an appetizer and a main.

BYO White Wine

Ahi Tuna tartar, avocado, sesame seaweed, yuzu, togarashi, shiso, nori strips, wonton crisps – well-balanced, super premium tuna and a perfect beginning.

Prime Rib French Dip, horseradish creme fraiche, au jus (John had this on the side), fries – John said OK

Soft Shell Crab po-boy, cabbage slaw, remoulade, heirloom tomato, truffled potato chips

The po-boy opened – where oh where is the crab?? – I was anticipating a plump, crusty soft shell and what I got was a tiny bit of limp crab with a huge amount of potato chips. I took one bite of the the po-boy and rejected it. To the restaurant’s credit, it was taken off the bill.

Soft Shell Crab from Wilshire from one of our dinners – this is why I ordered the po-boy and what I anticipated – a plump, perfectly battered and fried soft shell.

A real Soft Shell po-boy – New Orleans

To replace the po-boy – Hamachi, ponzu, wasabi, cilantro – excellent with sushi grade fish

A gift – Coconut Creme brulee with fresh berries

A lovely place to have lunch – I just wish the entrees were the equal of the appetizers.


Wilshire is such a pleasure to go to. Andrew Kirschner is a very talented chef whose accompaniments to the main protein is  extraordinary – think the freshest herbs and vegetables imaginable. Andrew must live at the farmer’s market! Also I love his introduction of Asian elements to his dishes – there is not a trace of blandness to this cuisine. Your mouth is alive with different  flavor profiles.

Chef Andrew

The service is always spot on and my many questions about ingredients are always answered patiently and correctly. We did one for 2 on all courses except for the softshells. (I don’t share softshells.)

BYO Champagne

Kumamoto Oysters Dynamite – Oysters broiled with panko breadcrumbs and topped with crunchy wasabi tobiko caviar on a seaweed salad – a one slurp wonder with varying textures from the panko, the tobiko and the seaweed.

Hamachi – Absolutely pristine sashimi grade hamachi dusted with a smear of wasabi with pickled ginger and a “salad” of radish, cucumber, red onion and gobo root

BYO White

Soft Shell Crab, coated with panko and deep fried, a salad of English peas, yellow and red baby tomatoes, frisee, watercress leaves, cucumber, pickeled ramps with a saucing of white balsamic, thyme and olive oil – perfectly done soft shells with an incredible salad of the freshest ingredients.

Close-up of the salad for the softshell – look at that beautiful salad – the peas were wondrous.

Grilled Rainbow trout, sautéed pea tendrils, green papaya and mango salad (mint, cilantro, Thai basil and chili) with a fish sauce and topped with fried shallots – Again, there was a definite Asian accent to this dish that added a refreshing note to the perfectly cooked fish.

BYO Red Wine

Rigatoni with Chorizo Bolognese, wild arugula, shaved garroxta (sheep’s milk) – on to Italy for some pasta – Chef Andrew definitely takes you on a culinary tour.

Duck Breast, Bamboo rice, blistered baby bok choy, kumquat chutney and kumquat reduction – we were getting full – this was a half portion!

Wilshire is definitely a restaurant not to be missed. If you live on the Westside, there is the added bonus that you don’t have to fight the traffic. The menu changes frequently, depending on what is seasonal and what is in the farmer’s market. This is anything but boring food and I do love the accompaniments to the main protein.

Wilshire – West Los Angeles

Wilshire restaurant is our “find” restaurant of the year. I am still in shock that this wonderful restaurant is so close to home and I could kick myself for what I have been missing all these months. We love the patio area and with the heat lamps and the flaming hot pots (pictured), there is no issue with being cold.

Another view of the patio.

Wonderful Chef Andrew Kirschner

BYO White Wine

Torched seared hamachi, yuzu rind, shiso leaf, bonito flakes, ponzu sauce- each element needed to be eaten together – delicious with sushi grade hamachi

Octopus and Seaweed salad. Enoki mushrooms, pickled gobo root, chili lime vinaigrette – there were 4 different kinds of seaweed – my first thought was with Chef Andrew in the kitchen who needs a sushi bar.

Miso marinated black cod, sticky rice, micro cilantro, nori- another Asian influenced fish – it is as if Chef Andrew read my mind and did many of my favorite dishes.

Tai Snapper from New Zealand with a crust of panko and rice flower that had been lightly fried in soy oil, shisito peppers, king trumpet mushrooms and a citrus soy dipping sauce. Usually this is served as the whole snapper, but Chef Andrew created a tasting portion – perfectly balanced and not a hint of grease

BYO Red Wine

Grilled Kurobota pork loin, green garlic polenta, brussel sprouts, braised apple, ham hock cider jus – this was not exactly a tasting menu portion of meat – the stars of the dish though were the brussel sprouts and the polenta. Let it be noted that John is a non veggie type of person and he declared the brussel sprouts the best he has ever tasted.

Sonoma duck, pea tendrils, hazelnuts, kumquats and kumquat gastric – a well-balanced combination of flavors

Colorado lamb rack, roasted caulflower, golden raisin couscous, fennel salad, lamb jus – Chef Andrew’s accompaniments to a main protein are just perfect – the couscous was perfect

Roaring Fourties Blue cheese from Australia and Cave Aged Marisa sheep cheese from Wisconsin – nice presentation and a perfect ending with the last of the red wine.

So many items on Wilshire’s menu sound appealing. I think, next time, and there will definitely be a next time, I will have Chef Kirschner front load the menu with appetizers, particularly the seafood and the fish in tasting menu portions i.e. the kumamoto oysters, the grilled sepia, the hamachi collar, the red curry mussels, the pumpkin ravioli and the steak tartare but I wouldn’t want to forgo the miso black cod, the thai red snapper, the octopus seaweed salad or the torched hamachi. My advice – just let the Chef create a menu. I’m ready to go now.

Wilshire – Santa Monica

Friday night driving in Los Angeles is a nightmare. It can take one hour just to go from the Westside to Beverly Hills. So our problem was to stay west off the 405 freeway and find a restaurant that had an extensive menu of wood grilled prime steaks. (One person in our party only eats steaks.) I hadn’t been to Wilshire since Andrew Kirschner had become executive chef, but a number of people suggested that I should try it. What an inspired choice and definitely a restaurant that will be on our “go to” list.

The entire staff was tremendous. Kirk, the sommelier couldn’t have been more accommodating. Nick, the GM, remembered us from Spago. Brian, our server was terrific  – he grew up in Kansas, drove tractors at the age of 11 on his dad’s farm and has a passion for food. Chef Kirschner  came out introduced himself and told us some of his favorite menu items. How much more can one ask for?

Executive chef – Andrew Kirschner

BYO White Wine

A gift from the chef – Kumamoto Oysters Dynamite, the oysters were encrusted in panko crumbs and deep fried. They sat on a seaweed “salad” and were topped by wasabi tobiko.  What impressed me was not only the depth of flavor, but the intensity of the flavor profile that was decidedly Asian.

Steak tartar, quail egg, grilled sourdough – an excellent version.

Grilled sepia, njuda sausage, baby brocolli, lemon, almonds. Njuda sausage is a special type of dried sausage made with black pepper, hot pepper, salt and fennel seeds, typical of Calabrian cuisine from southern Italy – again the depth of flavor was superb – delicious.

Another gift from the chef – we were sharing everything so this was a passing marathon. Red Curry Coconut Mussels, Grilled Bread. I felt as if I were on a trip around the world and what a trip!

The broth was exceptional with the lemongrass adding just the right touch.

Another gift – this was getting better than Christmas. Green garlic and potato soup, black truffle and asparagus – you would think we were regulars – we weren’t, but we have every intention of becoming regulars.

Caesar Salad, Romaine leaves white anchovies, lemon croutons, parmesan

BYO Red Wine

Dry Aged New York Steak with grilled garlic, greens topped with parmesan – a safe entree well-executed with THE extra of shaved black truffles

Mashed potato, yukon golds

Duck breast, farro, stinging nettles, hazelnuts, blood orange gastric – the sauce had just been changed for tonight’s service. That is one of the hallmark’s of chef Kirschner’s cuisine – use what is fresh and organic from the local farmers.

Morrocan Spiced lamb Stew, quinoa, banana raita, pequillo pepper harissa – I didn’t taste this but there wasn’t a drop left.

Photo through the wine glass

Condiments for the lamb stew

More gifts!!!!

Apple Fritters, caramel sauce, cinnamon ice cream

Orange Creme Caramel, creme fraiche whipped cream

Cookies to go – not pictured

Wilshire was a complete surprise and I can’t believe that a restaurant of this caliber is so close to our house. We will be back often.