Today is: Thursday, June 13, 2024

Upper West Restaurant Review

A new restaurant called Upper West has emerged in the place that was formerly the Santa Monica Bar and Grill, located on Pico blvd. almost directly under the 10 freeway overpass. Upper West has 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 Friday night we decided to try and see what makes Upper West
so special! Chef Nick Shipp is a native Texan and I must say that
his food was truly amazing and delicious!

Honey Rye Cocktail                               Upper West Martini

We could not miss their amazing appetizers. Among many amazing choices we opted for the Panchetta Wrapped Prawns, with brochette style prawns, jalapeno-goat
cheese soft polenta, blackberry raisin compote & espresso oil.

Panchetta Wrapped Prawns                      Chicken Tawook Kabob  

We also loved the Chicken Tawook served with free range chicken kabob,
brussel sprouts, garbanzo, ginzer zuchini chutney and cherry tomatoes.

Ahi Tuna Crispy Tacos

We also tasted the unique Ahi Tuna Crispy Tacos were amazing, served with
sushi rade ahi tuna loin, crispy plantain shell, rice crackers, sprouts,
orange-chipotle vinaigrette & jicama cucumber.

Arugula Salad                                        Beef Carpaccio

Pan Seared Scallops (Chefs Sample)

We also tried one of their delicious salads; the Wild Arugula with blue cheese dressing, smoked bacon and dried cherries, to die for! Since we truly enjoy
Seared Scallops, Chef Shipp sent us a tasting, it was fenomenal, a tomato
dusted-pan seared scallops, garlic parsnip puree, oro blanco grapefruit-
heirloom carrot salsa and a smoked olive oil. I could easily
eat a dozen of those succulent and fresh scallops.

Chipotle Fries

 Seared Sea Bass with Mashed Potatoes

My entree was the Seared Sea Bass, a pan seared sea bass, chorizo mashed potatoes, mint-bartlett pear salsa & fennel lemon butter sauce. I enjoyed the
flavor, it was very light and tender. My guest is a meat lover so his choice
was the Prime Coulatte, a prima sirloin steak, smoked bacon
McDaniel slaw and bourbon balsamic demi.

 Prime Coulatte Steak

For dessert my guest and I shared the Key lime tart with Graham cracker crust, blueberry syrup, basil-coconut sorbet. It was truly memorable. The key lime
filling was soft with a nice sweetness to tartness ratio, each bite was a
paradise. The basic-coconut sorbet was nice and refreshing, almost
acting like a palate cleanser between each bite. Also the
Brownie was truly amazing and if you are a
chocolate lover, you can’t miss it.

Key Lime Tart with Coconut Sorbet

Overall this was a resounding success for all of us; my guest and I kept raving
about the food, the drinks, and the scene throughout the night. By 7pm the
place was absolutely bustling with activity and I can only imagine how
packed it would be on a Friday or Saturday night.

Chocolate Brownie with Ice Cream

Our waiter was very prompt and polite, and our empty plates and glasses were cleared quickly. A quick check of the Yelp reviews shows that about dozen
others are also singing the praises about Upper West. Prices were
very reasonable. I have a strong feeling I'll be making many
return visits here. Highly recommended.

Special thanks to Chef Nick Shipp and to the
owner who were truly amazing to us!

Eyal Raziel, co-owner of Upper West, brings a diverse world-wide perspective to his vast bartending experience. Starting at age 18 at one of the bars on Allenby Street, Tel Aviv’s hottest nightclub scene, he moved throughout Australia before coming to the United States in 2002, working in Miami and Los Angeles. U.S. establishments included Window’s Steaks & Martinis, Shane Restaurant & Bar, and J Lounge, where he was a mixologist. His concoctions have won numerous awards and been featured in several magazines.
One of the most famous is the Honey Rye.

Honey Rye is made with Old Overholt Rye, Bargenjager honey liquor, a dash of Orange Bitters stirred on the rocks with a splash of ginger ale garnished with an orange peel.

Elad Benisti has spent more than a decade tending bar, as well as managing marketing, promotions and events for nightclubs and restaurants. He has worked across the globe, including Israel, Miami, New York and now Los Angeles. Most recently he was at J Lounge, he also worked at the Argyle Hotel, Pete’s Café, Shane Restaurant and Pangaea. His signature cocktails have been featured in magazines and won worldwide competitions in Europe. He is known for the award winning Cucumber Martini.

Cucumber Martini is made with either gin or vodka, sliced cucumber, mint leaves shaken and stirred into a martini glass with cucumber garnish.

For map and location click Here!

For more information please visit their website at

Article By: Mary Adams
Photos By: Chris Marx

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