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The Wilshire - Santa Monica

I am from the East Coast and trying to set up a rehearsal dinner for about 30 people. The Wilshire is one option I am thinking about. We range from real foodies to vegetarians as well as some who are not so adventuresome.
Any thoughts on the food, ambience and service?
Thanks in advance

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  1. Food: tiny portions
    Service: spotty
    Ambience:?
    Our last time here even after I spoke to the Manager - too pricey when we all left hungry

    3 Replies
    1. re: ZoeZ

      I've heard only good things about Wilshire.One of our friends raves about it and it was on my list to try. Go figure. Check their website and wait for more comments re Wilshire. My daughter did a rehearsal dinner for about 30 people at Cafe Bizou in Santa Monica. The food and service was very good and very reasonable in price. It was during the summer and we had a private patio. Everybody had a good time. My other daughter did her rehearsal dinner at Valentino - a high end Italian restaurant, probably 2 to 3 times the cost of Bizou - but no better in my opinion. It was years ago. hopefully things haven't changed too much. Good luck.

      http://www.cafebizou.com/

      1. re: ZoeZ

        Zoe - order more food if you're hungry.

        1. re: foodiemahoodie

          I imagine ZoeZ already felt overcharged and underfed.

      2. I think it would be fine based on your criteria.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ipsedixit

          +1. Went there several yrs ago and thought it was fine (but not amazing). New American (so a diverse and inoffensive array of menu choices), a nice patio (didn't sit there, but it looked lovely when I took a peek; not sure how many it would accommdate), and a relatively sleek (but not pretentiously so) interior. Nice place to go on a date, and I imagine it'd make a fine place for a rehearsal dinner.

        2. I have had mixed feelings about Wilshire. The patio is great -- interesting lighting, a lot to look at, really nice on a good-weather evening (which is most of the year in Santa Monica). I have had some delicious dishes there with really fantastic sauces. On the other hand it is a bit pricy. And they have discontinued their blue-plate dinner weekday special in the bar area. If you can't find street parking you have to pay for valet. And when I went for a DineLA lunch about a year back I was really disappointed in how a day manager handled a problem. (Item on posted DineLA menu wasn't on the restaurant's DineLA choices, but was available on the regular menu, and she fought with me about permitting me to choose it as a DineLA choice.) I took my brother's family there, so I like it, but there are costs and inconsistencies there.

          And so you know -- it is Wilshire, no "The."

          8 Replies
          1. re: nosh

            That's disappointing to hear about the manager.

            I do agree that the place is pricey, but I feel that Santa Monica in general is pretty pricey (for nice sit-down places) so it's not necessarily a worse value than anything else in the area would be (and I presume that, for a rehearsal dinner, the convenience of the location generally trumps value). And having an attached lot (even if it's valet) again might make it worth your while if you have 30 people in your party.

            1. re: ilysla

              I'm looking forward to trying it. It does have a new chef there. The former one left to start up Tar & Roses. (maybe not the last one - maybe just one of many?) The new chef was formerly of Cache. (not to be confused with La Cachette); Nyesha Arrington (formerly of Melisse) and Joel Robuchon.

              1. re: foodiemahoodie

                From Joel Robuchon??? I don't know much about chefs, but did this person work at The Mansion in Las Vegas? The meal I had there (many yrs ago) was quite possibly the most amazing meal I've had had.... Have only been to Melissa twice, but both times it was excellent.... Might be worth another trip to Wilshire....

                1. re: ilysla

                  According to an online bio - she worked at both Robuchon restaurants in L.V.

                  1. re: foodiemahoodie

                    Thank you all for your excellent inputs - I am leaning toward booking this and appreciate the thoughts about prices. I will be working with the restaurant in terms of what food we offer, so hopefully can get to an appropriate budget.
                    While we are there, and are staying in Pacific Palisades - are there any restauratns we shouln't miss for just two - four people for a fun night after the wedding.
                    Thanks again in advance...

                    1. re: snowcone

                      "While we are there, and are staying in Pacific Palisades - are there any restaurants we shouln't (sic) miss for just two - four people for a fun night after the wedding."

                      http://www.maison-giraud.com/#/restau...

                      1. re: snowcone

                        Maison G is the BEST place we have in the Palisades, so please enjoy! I don't want them to go out of business for lack of it!

                        There really isn't any place else with comparable quality unless your travel back into SaMo.

            2. Just returned from my week in California and wanted to touch base about the rehearsal dinner and to thank all of you for your input. We booked Wilshire and it was outstanding. The location, ambience, service and food were just about perfect. Our party grew to about 50 people which was nicely accommodated in the back area/open patio.
              The chef, Nayesha Arrington, took time from her busy Saturday night to greet us and she could not have been more warm and welcoming. I can't wait to return to the LA area and have dinner here.

              Also, appreciate the recommendation of Maison Giraud in Pacific Palisades. Outstanding.

              So thanks again for all your inputs - could not have been more helpful and appreciated.

              2 Replies
              1. re: snowcone

                Happy to hear Wilshire worked out perfectly & that you enjoyed Maison Giraud ! Thanks so much for letting us know, makes our efforts worthwhile! Come back & see us sometime!

                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                  Just so we know, what did Wilshire run for a group of 50? And did that include drinks?