Tar & Roses

4.8
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2146 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Good for a Date
Tar & Roses is a globally inspired culinary experience.

With our heart beating in Southern California, we want to create a welcoming ambiance for all to come and celebrate food. Jonathan Gold of the Los Angeles Times, claimed that Tar & Roses "...may also mark the first time in our nation's history when cauliflower became more delicious than prime steak," and we love to push the limits when it comes to traditional ideas of food. With our rotating selection of local craft beer and our ever-changing menu, there is always something new and exciting to try.

When you step into Tar & Roses, you'll feel like you are coming home. We invite you to come share a meal with us.
What 2146 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
Food
4.8
Service
4.6
Ambience
4.4
Value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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R
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined 8 hours ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Outstanding in every way

P
Los Angeles
113 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

Wonderful, delicious, and creative food. Great staff...especially John and Julio! Only drawback...noisy BUT the noise didn’t distract from the exceptional food.

JR
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Amazing food and awesome staff. Highly recommend anything on the menu.

SA
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

This restaurant created ordinary food into creative,tasty,delights.

C
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 6 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I had heard about Tar & Roses from a few locals, and it definitely did not disappoint! The ambiance is romantic with dim lighting and it’s not too loud, although it was packed. We had 8:30pm reservations on a Friday night. The service was fantastic. Our server, Brad, was friendly and made us feel welcomed as first time guests.

The oxtail dumplings were my favorite. A good portion of meat and a satisfying mix of rich flavors. The grilled octopus was a close second. Cooked perfectly, I love octopus and this was one of the best I’ve had. The bone marrow was also worth mentioning.

Two of us shared an appetizer, five small plates and dessert. That was more than filling enough. It wasn’t cheap but definitely worth the quality of food and the full dining experience. I would highly recommend!

WH
Denver
19 reviews
Dined on 6 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Exceptional experience all around. Friendly staff, great food. Highly recommend

BM
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 6 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The food was a miracle of flavors and surprises. The service stellar all around. No flaws except for the slight blemish of too loud and too jazzy music for dinner.

FB
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on 5 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Good food, good wine, good service, good ambience. Everything was perfect and I will definitely go back again.

l
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 5 September 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 3

I don't know if we were there on an off night but it was... fine? The place is cute, the service is great - very attentive and friendly folks, but the food was invariably mediocre. I was really looking forward to this date night, but every dish that came out my husband and I just looked at each other like, "why is this so boring?". A lot of the dishes were reminiscent of comfort foods dressed up gourmet style, which COULD be great - but they never really transcended just okay-tasting comfort food that's not not pricey. The wine was pretty good though! We didn't even want to bother with dessert we were so non-plussed.

j
Los Angeles
35 reviews
Dined on 5 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

While everything was pretty terrific (food wise, ambiance), the wine was a disappointment. I stated to the server I enjoy Brunellos and Burgundies. She recommended a pricey ($132) bottle of Brunello that was not smooth, very "earthy," and way too large/big a wine for what we ordered. I felt I knew more than she - and she could have deferred to someone more knowledgeable but didn't.

MH
Baltimore
5 reviews
Dined on 4 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The food was just exceptional. I’ve eaten several places in and around LA - Venice Beach etc and this was the best dinner we have had.
It’s the attention to details of each dish. Even the roast chicken was so moist you can tell they brined it before cooking. The octopus was fabulous. The squid ink pasta wonderful. John was a great waiter too. Excellent service.

JA
San Francisco
48 reviews
Dined on 4 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Delicious, unusual food. Jeff and Jesus were top-notch with service.

C
New England
19 reviews
Dined on 4 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Went to Tar & Roses on a whim and it was fabulous! Try a few small plates and mix it up. You won't be disappointed.

AA
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on 3 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

The best restaurant in Santa Monica.
(Maybe Los Angeles)

d
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on 3 September 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

interesting menu. all dishes our table had were very good. great wine selection. plenty of staff for busy place, so service was attentive.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 1 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Went here for my birthday and enjoyed the entire experience. They offered us complimentary drinks while our table was delayed, all the wine and food recommendations were spot on. One of the best dining experiences in memory.

CP
Los Angeles
19 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

We love this place! The food is fantastic and the service wonderful. We like to sit in the patio as it is quieter and more pleasant. It can get quite noisy inside. We were lucky to have Brad be our server again and he's amazing. He gave us perfect recommendations and made our night so much lovelier because he's so charming and easy going. We had the shellfish pot, which was delicious and got extra bread following Brad's advice, which was perfection to soak up that delicious red curry broth. As always, the oxtail dumplings were excellent and the liver mousse and hangar steak impeccable. The nice surprise was the green beans with Moroccan spices. All fantastic!

GL
Central Coast
4 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Amazing food and service ! Went with my girlfriend for dinner. We had 4 different small plates and each one was better than the other one. All delicious and the right balance of taste, texture, acidity. We had great recommendation for wine. Truly loved our evening.

HD
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My girlfriend and I went to T&R for a special birthday dinner. Our experience was top notch. We ordered the oxtail dumpling appetizer (4 small dumplings filled with super tasty oxtail meat) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Not too big, not too small. Next came the small plate - Singapore Chili Crab Cake - basically one crab cake (with special spices) served on a bed of special sauce. Excellent. I’ve lived in Singapore, and experienced Singapore’s famous Chili Crab, so I was curious how this would be prepared. And I live Crab cakes. This dish was a very tasty tasty crab cake, embodying the essence of Singapore’s Chili Crab. Excellent. Well done. And finally we had the RibEye Steak for two (large platter). Done medium rare, but nice and crispy on the outside, served very simply with a very tasty Parmesan Arugula salad. I have not had Arugula taste so good.

At this point, we were just starting to get full. But we couldn’t resist ordering a dessert to share, since it was my girlfriend’s birthday. All the desserts sounded great - it was a tough choice. Eventually we ordered the Chocolate “Tar” Bar - a somewhat crispy/chewy Chocolate dessert/bar - served with salted caramel gelato and roasted hazelnut halves (and popcorn pieces?). Just heavenly. After the dessert we were stuffed - too full, but I have no regrets. It was a special night.

Our waiter was excellent. He gave us just enough expert information/ advice without being overbearing. His prediction that we had ordered just enough (before we ordered the dessert) was spot on.

All in all a wonderful evening. It was cheap (about $200 including wine/beer and a decent tip), but definitely worth it.

JS
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The chicken liver mousse and oxtail dumplings were a great start to our meal! The whole fried red snapper was great but the ribeye was FANTASTIC! We were really hoping to begin the evening with a cocktail but unfortunately it’s only a beer & wine bar.

DT
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on 30 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Delicious as usual

KK
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on 30 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Tar and Roses is always pleasure to visit. Old friends are still on the menu (whole grilled Branzino) as well as some new additions. While it is usually quiet conversation and a nice dinner for my wife and I, a recent evening was made even more memorable by having couples on either side that were friendly and fun, so new friends were made. The strawberry crostata topped off a wonderful evening.

SP
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 29 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent in all areas. Hope to return soon. Would strongly recommend to everyone.

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on 29 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Just got married!

o
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on 28 August 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Went wednesday night. Food was outstanding, restaurant was somewhat trendy and comfortable. Great service. Only downside as with newer places, you can’t have a conversation unless you yell. So tired of this. Not sure why they think you need to leave with a hoarse voice.
How about a moderate amount of chatter and some low background music mixed with an acoustical ceiling? Now that’s an idea!!

KC
Los Angeles
15 reviews
Dined on 28 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

Great food, the fish, salad and crostini dessert
I love that food

SS
1 review
Dined on 27 August 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 5Ambience 4

I had heard the food is amazing but we ordered three things from menu and everything was average.

JA
Central Coast
9 reviews
Dined on 26 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

My only quibble was that the chicken had no color on it. The skin was very limp and should have been, in my opinion, crisped up.

CK
1 review
Dined on 26 August 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Staff was very attentive and worked as a team. My husband is a bone marrow fan and Tar & Roses was his favourite bone marrow dish yet. The oxtail dumplings were a delight!

E
1 review
Dined on 25 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We love tar & roses. Food and service are exceptional. Try to come back as often as I can. I highly recommend the place. Restaurant experience done right.

R
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on 25 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Great food and service. A little loud for our “older” taste.

F
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on 25 August 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Food and wines are excellent!
Too much noisy in the main room; the space in the back is much quieter and nice...
Booking in advance is essential.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 25 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Everything about Tar and Roses is quality. It is a crime that this restaurant isn’t part of the California Michelin Guide. In possibly 50 meals there I’ve never once seen a drop in quality. What a truly special Santa Monica establishment. Never change! Just bring back the Bao :)

JM
1 review
Dined on 25 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

First time dining there and the food and service were exemplary. Knowledgeable server who steered us in the right direction when choosing menu items. Each dish was terrific. I especially enjoyed the chicken liver pate with raspberries and honeycomb!

OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Delicious but a little loud.

JB
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great innovative food, spectacular attentive service and fun environment!

ER
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 23 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Phenomenal food! It is very expensive but worth it

TT
London
2 reviews
Dined on 23 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

AMAZING! Loved the food, loved the vibe. Great experience all around

DM
Munich
2 reviews
Dined on 23 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent restaurant. Different and inspired dishes cooked to a very high standard. Good wine selection.

L
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on 21 August 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 3

Love this restaurant. The food is consistently excellent and the serve is good. My complaint is the seating is too packed in and tends to be noisy.

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