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“Perfect. Really, Perfect.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tar and Roses

Tar and Roses
602 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA (Santa Monica)
+1 310-587-0700
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Ranked #1 of 514 Restaurants in Santa Monica
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $15 - $30
Cuisines: American, Californian, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Santa Monica
Cross street: SE Corner of 6th Street
Description: Centered around a wood burning oven, Tar & Roses serves up farmers market dishes with global influences.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Perfect. Really, Perfect.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2012

Shared five small plates and a dessert at this restaurant this week. Every dish was outstanding. Wine was fantastic. This is a smaller place than some, which lowers the ambient noise a bit. It is still loud. However, there was perfect food, and that is the real deal for foodies. Value is average, but quality is very very high. Ate mostly vegetarian, but I expect there are no losers on this menu. A roasted cauliflower appetizer was sublime, a beet salad amazing, octopus was tender and complex, roasted potatoes little bits of heaven, and a berry tart was one of the best desserts I have had in a restaurant. It has been said elsewhere, but if quality and creativity count, one can do no wrong at Tar and Roses.

I will say the crowd one walks through to get there from the pier is a bit eccentric. During our walk a totally naked woman was standing on the curb screaming her thoughts to the passersby as an example. I never felt threatened, but the popularity of the restaurant caused us to eat quite late, and on a warm summer night the streets have a wide cast of partiers and street folks and some who are are genuiinely disturbed, and you interacct with them all on the six block walk. Just something to be ready for. Not at all a slight on the restaurant, but a note to those who walk from the coastal hotels.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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327 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
“Great food with attention to detail”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2012 via mobile

Restaurant had a good ambiance for couples, not too crowded and ot too loud with good atmosphere. Menu has a great selection for trying a bunch of small plates. We started with an assortment of. Eats and cheeses from their blackboard menu, and we were surprised at the level of detail placed on presentation and the add ons(pickled vegetables, seasoned nuts, deep flavorful jams and spreads) that came with our selection. We got 4 small plates to share, each providing unique bold favors. The shellfish pot in curry sauce was excellent.
I would recommend this restaurant.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Monica, California
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Amazing food, best in Santa Monica!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2012

My fiancé and I went to dinner here on the weekend. We were so impressed we immediately booked again for a week later to bring visitors!

On our first visit we tried the platter with cheese, meats and breads - all delicious! Followed up with small plates of balsamic glazed ribs & wood roasted shishitos and a large plate of wood-roasted chicken. All the food was amazing!!! Our waiter was great, giving us good recommendations on all food & wines.

The restaurant is medium size but is very popular so I think a reservation is compulsory. Decor Is pretty modern and tables are close together but you don't feel squashed. The atmosphere is open and friendly, everyone asking others what they ordered when you see the amazing plates floating past.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
164 reviews 164 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
“Fabulous, Inventive Meal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

Tar & Roses is new restaurant which just opened earlier in 2012. My wife & I were directed by the concierge of a local hotel. It was a fantastic experience. The restaurant has a widely inventive menu. My personal favorite was the lamb belly, which is like pork belly (and just as fatty), an item I had not seen. You can build a delightful meal just by choosing among the small plates. The flank steak was also quite good. Service was professional and attentive. I would highly recommend.

Visited June 2012
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Muscat Governorate, Oman
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“One of the best restaurant experiences we had ....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

Not a huge place and very busy so make sure you make a reservation. Food was stunning, lots of smaller dishes geared towards sharing, just yummy. We were not disappointed with anything, our waiter Geoff was brilliant and helped us to make some amazing choices, but I don't think there are any bad choices. Tables are close and it is very buzzy the sort of place were tables chat to each other and ask what they ordered and how was it - I don't think they would have had any unhappy customers, really tasty, unusual, fresh, creative - amazing. All the staff worked flat out from the Chef/Owner Andrew to Marvin who was our water/bread boy and of course the lovely Geoff who lead us through the menu and the wine list with ease, polish and a great passion. We LOVED this place ...... we have told everyone about it, even Wolfgang Puck who we had the pleasure of meeting ..... you MUST go ....

  • Visited May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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