3321 Pico Blvd Santa Monica CA 90404
(310)586-1111
Check Out Our LA Times Review!

Check Out Our LA Times Review!

By Noelle Carter, Los Angeles Times June 16, 2011 Dear SOS: Have you tried the roasted veggie burger at Upper West in Santa Monica? If you haven’t, you must. It is hands down the best veggie burger on the planet. Would love to see if the Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen can come up with the recipe. Carly Irion Santa Monica Dear Carly: Upper West’s version of the veggie burger is a wildly flavorful combination of ingredients, packed into a generous patty and grilled to perfection. Served topped with a thick, smoky tomato aioli, roasted piquillo peppers, sliced avocado and a chunky, sweet-tart pineapple relish, this is one burger that might even make a convert out of the most ardent meat lover (at least temporarily). Upper West’s veggie burgers Our recipes, your kitchen: If you try this or any other recipe from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen, we would like to know about it so we can showcase it on our food blog and occasionally in print. Upload pictures of the finished dish here. Total time: About 3 hours, plus cooling times Servings: 6 Note: Adapted from Upper West in Santa Monica. Shred the vegetables and cheese using the shredder attachment on a food processor; a grater can also be used. Liquid smoke is available at most well-stocked supermarkets. Roasted piquillo peppers, packed in jars or cans, are available in gourmet markets and select well-stocked supermarkets. Tomato aioli 2 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme 1 tablespoon plus 1¾ teaspoons dried oregano 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil 2 tomatoes, halved lengthwise 1 1/4 teaspoons liquid smoke 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise Salt,...
Overall This Was A Resounding Success

Overall This Was A Resounding Success

Recently a neighborhood friend alerted me to a newly opened restaurant–Upper West–located just a mile or so from our residences in West LA. You’d think I would have been all over a nearby restaurant opening but somehow this place eluded me. Am I losing my credibility as a crazed foodie? I don’t think so! Anyway, the restaurant was in its prior life Santa Monica Bar and Grill, and after months of renovation an all-new eatery has emerged with an all-new interior, new owners and staff, and a vibrant menu of American fusion dishes. Championing the kitchen is Nick Shipp, who once worked under Wolfgang Puck and was formerly the head chef at Pete’s Cafe and Bar near downtown LA. Last Thursday night I decided to round up some coworkers for dinner at drinks to see what Upper West has to offer. I arrived a few minutes past 5pm–the restaurant’s opening time–and met up with a few coworkers who had just walked in. The interior is modern, plush, and tastefully outfitted with mattress-sized prints on the walls, hanging globe lights, and a monstrous projection TV in an enclosed patio. Upper West boasts a full bar with specialty martinis and a handful of wine and beer offerings, some of which are offered at $4 until 7pm. After a few minutes of studying the drink menu, I decided on the Pepperoncini Martini with Casadores Reposado tequila, pepperoncini tomato juice, Belgium white beer: It’s served in a chilled glass with salt pressed against the rim. Strong flavors of tomato and pepper give the drink a tangy and savory profile; think bloody Mary but...
Comfortably Classic With An International Flair

Comfortably Classic With An International Flair

Bringing in a crack international team can be a huge boon to your chances for success, assuming you can adapt to Don Cheadle’s faux Cockney accent. Proving it: Upper West. Upper West’s a loft-like, open kitchened bistro w/ a huge patio, serving up dolled-up versions of American classics and helmed by a team that’s been in charge of restaurants the world over, from Miami, to Tel Aviv, to, yes, even Fort Worth, Texas. Most of the food’s comfortably classic: a meatloaf sandwich w/ black olive tomato sauce, watercress, and Fontina cheese on a Cuban roll; “Shells & Cheese” w/ Asiago, goat cheese, Irish white cheddar, mozzarella, fresh tarragon and a crunchy Parmesan crust; and a smoked-bacon slaw abetted sirloin steak w/ a bourbon balsamic demi-glaze so alluring it’ll make you all but forget she’s like, ew, 60. Of course they’ve also got international options including ahi tacos w/ orange-chipotle vinaigrette & jicama-cucumber salsa inside fried plantain leaves; crepes featuring either braised oxtail w/ crunchy Russett potato or madras curry w/ garlic spinach, Israeli feta & lavender demi; and meatballs sided by carnarolli, roasted garlic soy sauce, almond-apricot gremolata, and edamame, which you should stay off of because Ed just got off yours. Read more:...
NYC Feel Without Manhatten Price Tags

NYC Feel Without Manhatten Price Tags

This casual, loft like Santa Monica restaurant has a New York City feel without Manhattan price tags. A large, square room, it feels like your coolest friend’s apartment, with loungey music and flatscreen TVs and a projector broadcasting hoops (when there’s no game, they show Bruce Lee movies). Overwhelmingly helpful servers guide you through a list of $10 cocktails, like a Bubblelicious-flavored Zentini (Absolut Berry, muddled lime, and grated cinnamon), or the now standard Lychee Martini, mixed about as perfectly as they come. Waiters suggest pairings from a solid wine list, with many available by the glass. They’ll even bring over some samples to test out. Beers ranging from ironic (PBR) to excellent (Allagash) flesh out the bar’s offerings. No one does classic American comfort food like this place. Shells and cheese is satisfying and over-the-top, with a mix of asiago, goat, Irish white cheddar, and mozzarella covered by a crunchy parmesan crust. The BLT is the best you’ll ever have: thick cuts of pastrami-spiced bacon, butter lettuce, and green tomato, with sweet corn aioli on focaccia. Beef carpaccio is another...