Friday, July 30, 2010

White Plate Menu at Wilshire Restaurant

Last week Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica began a new dinner program in their bar areas in which the White Plate dish of the evening plus a beverage is available for only $15. The dish changes nightly:

Monday: Steak frites
Tuesday: Polenta fried chicken with summer corn salad
Wednesday: Meatloaf with fried egg and smashed red bliss potatoes
Thursday: Carlsbad mussels with shoestring fries and saffron aioli
Friday: Newcastle brown ale-battered cod and fat chips
Saturday:Spaghetti and your mama's meatballs with cheesy garlic bread

The beverage offered is a featured red or white wine, a draft beer or a specialty cocktail which include the bees knees or a margarita among other selections.

This is a tremendous value and is available in the entire front bar/lounge area near the entrance as well as at the bar in the patio. You can get dinner and a beverage for almost the same price as some of the cocktails.

Last week I tried the fried chicken (Tuesday) which came as a large boneless piece of thigh and leg meat. I was asked whether I preferred white or dark meat, a nice touch that I hadn't been expecting. The chicken is breaded in polenta, which not surprisingly tasted like a cornmeal crust. The chicken was served on a bed of summer corn salad. The chicken was reminiscent of the lauded fried chicken available on Fridays at Huckleberry (also in Santa Monica), so if you enjoy that chicken you will likely enjoy this version.

I opted for the Bees Knees, made with Junipero gin, house made triple syrup and fresh lemon juice. It was well made for a restaurant cocktail, although don't go expecting the precision of The Roger Room or the Varnish. It is apparent that consultant Alex Straus spent time training the staff how to make these drinks properly.

Overall it was an excellent value and I would recommend this deal, especially as you are not restricted to physically sitting at the bar to order it (there are bar tables in the bar/lounge area). Chef Andrew Kirschner has been improving the quality of the whole food program and this is a great way to bring people into the restaurant who might not otherwise have come to sample his cuisine.

Wilshire Restaurant: 2454 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica. Phone: (310) 586-1707. Website:

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