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Wilshire Restauant in Santa Monica

Has anyone tried this restaurant... and if so, What is it like. I am looking for a very special restaurant for my mother's 90th birthday. She likes continental food. Should I consider the Wilshire Restaurant?

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  1. Although I like Wilshire (especially the ice cream shoppe dessert menu they offered on Tuesday nights), there are probably better choices for your purpose. Wilshire is attractive but the best seating is outside and it favors a young and noisy crowd. The food is good (not really Continental, though) but not outstanding, particularly for that price point. Among the places you might want to consider instead are La Cachette [www.lacachetterestaurant.com]--nouvelle French, Melisse [www.melisse.com]--more classic French, Ortolan [www.ortolanrestaurant.com]--modern French, Spago [www.wolfgangpuck.com]--Cal-Asian, Valentino [www.ValentinoRestaurant.com ]--alta cucina Italian or Vincenti [www.vincentiristorante.com]--alta cucina Italian. If she is an adventurous seafood lover, take a look at Providence as well [www.providencela.com]. A lot of good buzz on here for the newly reopened Bastide [www.bastidela.com] as well but I have yet to get there. Have a great time wherever you wind up!

    1. Yes, it is very good, yet you should plan on going early, per her age bracket, and then you will avoid the noise and hip factor that tends to show up later on. At 6:30 or 7pm you are fine, but by nine, well, good luck.
      Make sure Matt Straus the sommelier takes care of your wine needs. He really knows wines.

      1. My 90-year old mother loves Michael's in Santa Monica; particularly when she is seated in the garden. She loves the food and the ambiance.

        1 Reply
        1. re: maudies5

          I thought of Michael's as well, but not really in this chilly weather. I'm not a fan of those patio heatlamps (not particularly Michael's, but anywhere) -- I always feel like I'm being grilled on one side and still cold on the other.

          I gotta go for La Cachette. Really fine food, quiet room, good service.

          My other suggestion would be Gardens on Glendon in the S/E side of Westwood Village. Not the caliber or expense of La Cachette, but very comfortable and they are very experienced at catering to that clientele of a certain age and history.

        2. Wilshire and a birthday for a 90 year old mother are probably a bad mix.

          As someone else suggested above, Michael's might be a better choice, or even One Pico (at Shutters) -- both of which are in the same area.

          1. Depening on your mom....my mother-in-law, also 90, loves it when we take her to NEW places. We haven't taken her to the Wilshire, but I am sure she will love it if we go.

            Valentino is a very good recommendation for ambiance and food (but it's Italian not Continental). Michael's (California cuisine) and Melisse (French) are nice, too. Hope you find a perfect restaurant for this special celebration!

            3 Replies
            1. re: fdb

              The Hotel Bel Air would be lovely for this celebration.

              1. re: maudies5

                I agree that the setting is lovely, but the L.A. Times recently gave the Hotel Bel Air a pretty dismal review for food.

                1. re: perk

                  I thought that review was way off base. I dined there recently and thought the food (although not exceptional) was very good and the service was outstanding. Of course, the setting is elegant and beautiful.

            2. I think Josie would also be a very good option.

              1. I think Wilshire is excellent and does not receive enough recognition on this board. Wilshire, along with Josie, is one of my favorite special occasion restaurants. The patio is especially lovely. I think the food is outstanding and the chef is extremely dedicated to organic and sustainable practices. Nearly all of their produce comes from the Santa Monica Farmers' Market. I do not at all think Wilshire is a poor choice for your 90 year old mother. I also don't think it is as noisy as others seem to. I have been on week nights and weekends, and I do think you should go early, but I also doubt your mother will want to be eating dinner at 9:00 pm anyway. All in all, I think it is a wonderful choice!

                1. the last time i went to Wilshire, the food was just 'ok,' but the desserts were wonderful.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: westsidegal

                    Yes, Danielle Keene is a fabulous dessert/pastry chef - formerly at Blair's in Silver Lake - their loss was Wilshire's gain.
                    Here is the website for menu info:

                    1. re: carter

                      Thanks for the link to Wilshire's website menu. Darn, one of my pet peeves -- no prices. The usual acknowledgement that the items are just representative and subject to change with market availability, but still no prices. Don't restaurants like Wilshire understand that for those who don't know the place and therefore look up the online menu, prices are essential info? (If I've been there, I already know something about the menu and price level.) Worse, their failure to post prices makes me assume that they are higher than they probably are.

                      1. re: nosh

                        Allocate entrees to the $25-32 range, with apps $10-15, desserts around $9-10.

                          1. re: Servorg

                            Thanks carter and Servorg. $25-32 would be ok for some of the entrees listed, but very high for others (e.g. chicken breast). And I'm a very big fan of menupages. But to all restaurants and web designers -- We all know that website menus have items and prices that are subject to change. But include the prices! Unless it is a market item like lobster or a sushi bar where availability and price may change daily, include the prices! No other exceptions.

                    2. How packed does the bar get on weekend nights?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: AlabasterDisaster

                        It's strange because that seems to vary wildly. I've seen it absolutely packed on a Friday night and pretty much dead on others. I think it may be less crowded now that the Parlour has opened down the street.