|Craving Cocktails Rating||
Upper West in Santa Monica, formerly home to Flints and the 310 Lounge, is a sophisticated yet casual venue with the feeling of a New York loft. If Vince, Eric, Johnny Drama and Turtle were on the prowl West of the 405 they would surely make this their local. Upper West offers a 27-foot bar, a number of high-tops and a large patio perfect for lunch, Happy Hour or a private event. Owners Elad Benisti (formerly of J Lounge and the Argyle Hotel) and Eyal Raziel (hailing from Tel Aviv, Australia and Miami) have a major hit on their hands.
On our visit host Elad and Bartender Cameron Bennett started us off with a great round of cocktails including their newest signature cocktail the Macallan Snake Bite (Macallan 10yr, St. Germain, splash of Laphroaig 10yr, orange bitters and lemon peel), Green Devil (Gin, Maurine liquor, lemon juice and grapefruit bitters), Honey Rye (Old Overholt rye, Barenjager honey liqueur, orange bitters, and orange peel), Cucumber Martini (Gin or Skyy vodka, cucumber and mint) and a Pepperoncini Martini (Hornitos Reposado tequila, pepperoncini tomato juice and Blanche de Chambly Belgium white beer). Elad won the prestigious Lucas Bols Award for Recipe of the Year in 2008 for the Cucumber Martini which we all thought was outstanding!
Executive Chef Nicholas Shipp, hailing from the Lone Star state, attended the Culinary Institute of Dallas and worked for Wolfgang Puck. He also was the Executive Chef of Pete’s Café in Downtown L.A. At Upper West he is continuing to express his interest and passion for modern American/Global cuisine which fully carries over to his Happy Hour menu.
Chef Nick made us a fantabulous assortment of small plates including a Vegetable Pizza (Gluten free with grilled eggplant, black olive tomato sauce, mozzarella and truffled paquillo-arugula salad), Lamb Nachitos (BBQ braised lamb, black bean puree, yellow corn-olive tapenade, sweet pickled jalapeno, jack and cotija cheeses), Wings (Spicy sambal-wildflower honey sauce and sesame seeds), The Dog (Grilled Kielbasa, celery seed, shaved fennel, tomato-red pepper relish, caramelized onion and stadium mustard), The Bar Burger (Balsamic Walla Walla onion marmalade, arugula, pasilla goat cheese spread), Plantain Ahi Taco (Al a carte in a plantain shell, rice cracker, orange-chipotle vinaigrette and jicama cucumber salsa) and Whole Roasted Corn (Whole corn with avocado butter, smoked paprika and cotija cheese). Each of his dishes surpassed the last!
Upper West offers Happy Hour every day and all night on Mondays. On Tuesday all bottles of wine are 50% off. On Wednesdays they offer a prix fixe dinner of an appetizer, entrée and dessert for just $33. If you are a sports fan, Upper West has a 42” TV in the bar and a 12’ HD projection screen. Once a month Upper West has special DJ events as well as rotating tastings from select wineries, distilleries and breweries.
Upper West was packed with young urban professionals on our visit and was hosting a birthday party on the patio. Given that there was not a seat in the house, our service was still impeccable and the atmosphere was amazingly relaxed. They will be participating in Dine LA this month which is always a hit. If you want to experience a Happy Hour on the “Upper” limits of fantastic “West” of the 405, this is the place for you!
|Happy Hour Details|
|Name of Restaurant||Upper West|
|Address||3321 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405|
|Happy Hour Hours||Everyday 5pm-7pm and Mondays all night|
|Price range for drinks||$4 Beer and Wine, $6 signature mixed cocktails|
|Price range for food||$4-$9|
|Featured Foods||Vegetarian white truffle pizza, Plantain Ahi Taco, Whole roasted corn with avocado butter|
|Name of chef||Nicholas Shipp|
|Name of owner||Eyal Raziel and Elad Benisti|
Upper West in Santa Monica, formerly home to Flint…
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