South, on Wilshire in Santa Monica
Has anyone yet tried South, the brand-new southern restaurant at 3001 Wilshire (former location of Royal Star and Punch Grill)? Was mentioned in LA Times as a "neighborhood southern sports bar." http://theguide.latimes.com/bars-and-clubs/latcl-south-venue We've been invited to an event there next week (but unfortunately probably can't go).
3001 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
3001 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403
The place is a upscale sports bar. It's definitely not a restaurant but something between a lounge and a bar. I have a feeling they will turn up the sound on the TVs for big games, but normally it'll be just music with sports in the background. The food is unremarkable, just average bar type fare. The service was fine though, and they have a heated outside patio, although the overall atmosphere of the place is kind of cold. Lots of open space and a kind of a minimalist black wood design. If you're in the area and want a place to get a few drinks or a place to watch a game with slightly better food than a pub, i'd say check it out. But it's not a destination. Similar to Q's, but Q's is definitely better on pretty much all counts.
In fact, gone South. The new owners have totally "redesigned" the place--if, by "redesigned" one means stripped down to the bare walls and floor and replaced the nice tables and chairs with fewer, higher and less comfortable tables and chairs. I think the intent was to reconstruct some of the off-campus pubs that spring up near some Southern universities, albeit with less neon. It does seem much more bar than restaurant but has a fairly extensive menu of Southern inspired food. In the evenings, it seems to be jammed and loud. I was there about a week after they opened and tried the popcorn crawfish, which were either overcooked or had been secretly replaced by rubber bands. I also tried the "muffeletta," which had the words but not the music (nor the proper bread); the accompanying fries were sad. [Sorry, MOM, I did not get to try the fried pickles] On the other hand, the waitress was quite good. It is probably worth one more try in case this was just opening jitters.