Santa Monica, CA, USA

Tar and Roses

It's been pointed out that I haven't done any food posts in a long while. I'm so bad at describing and talking about food, and as much as I love eating I don't have a very sophisticated palate at all. But I do love reminiscing on meals past and remembering what I ate, and I don't want all of my efforts being an "Asian taking picture of food" go to waste, so I guess I should try to do more food posts. Tar and Roses is one of Santa Monica's (and LA in general) most popular restaurants at the moment, but it's very unpretentious at the same time which is what I love about it.
For this meal we dined out on the "patio," which is actually an exposed brick room with a retractable roof at the back of the restaurant! So on a cold day it's really just a room, but of course, being LA, the weather is almost always nice!
Complimentary cheese plate! Was so good. I think they gave it to us because we had to wait a while for our table despite having a reservation. But they have tons of charcuterie and cheese items that you can mix and match to make your own board. I would not skip this.
tar and roses, lamb heart skewers
Lamb heart skewers. I love eating hearts in general so you don't have to ask how I felt about this dish.
 tar and roses, ricotta gnocchi
Ricotta gnocchi with asparagus and lemon. I usually hate gnocchi because it's so doughy but this was delightful. It was very light and refreshing for a creamy pasta.
tar and roses, duck liver, pate
Duck liver pate. I'm Vietnamese so I LOVE pate (Vietnam having been a French colony and pate being the most important ingredient in banh mi sandwiches), but as far as pates go I wasn't crazy about this. It had a slightly metallicky taste and the layer of duck fat on top didn't float my boat. And I don't love the pairing of pate with tomatoes at all!
tar and roses, crispy pig tails, honey and cilantro
Crispy pig tails with sriracha, honey, and cilantro. I like to think that because I'm Asian, exotic delicacies like this should be a walk in the park for me. But, let's be real, I don't even eat chicken feet. I could not get over how much these pig tails LOOKED and FELT like a pig tails so I didn't enjoy this at all. Especially how tails have tiny little bones!
tar and roses, squid ink, fettucini, fettucine
Squid ink fettucini. Since this is one of the dishes that yelpers raved about the most, it was quite a let down for me. I'm probably just not sophisticated enough, but I thought it was a bit bland. My foodie friends liked it :)
Eggplant. Eh. Gotta get in some veggies you know? I'm not a fan of eggplant in general. The burrata cheese was good.
tar and roses, wild, king, pacific, salmon
Wild Pacific King salmon. I love salmon but this dish was pretty meh.
Mixed mushrooms. The cool thing about this plate was that the mushrooms came out writhing on the hot plate as if they were alive!
Duck I wish we had ordered the Thai snapper instead!
 tar and roses, strawberry, ricotta, crostata, honeycomb, ice cream, la creamery
The strawberry crostata with honeycomb ice cream was definitely the highlight of the night. My boyfriend tends to merely tolerate desserts for my sake but he really loved this and wanted to order another which is really saying something!


  1. I love trying out new restaurants. I'm going to have to check this out, since I live in SoCal. :)

    xxDenysia Yu

  2. Yummy, yumm! Definitely worth trying! :)

  3. You definitely ate your heart out. Wow, excuse the lameness lol!

  4. Wow these photos are amazing! I'd love to try this restaurant if I'm ever in the area. The duck liver, strawberry costata, and squid ink fettuccine all look amazing!

  5. love the photos. this place looks amazing!

  6. ohhh now i'm hungry :[ squid ink fettuccine = scarily amazing??

    xoxo hobovogue ღ

  7. This food look so delicious :D


  8. Everything look so delicious!

    xx Karolina


Thanks for dropping by! I would love to hear from you, if you have a comment to add.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.