Nick Shipp used to work under Wolfgang Puck; he also used to be head chef at downtown’s Pete’s Cafe and Bar, once beloved of many a local Chowhound. But now he’s in charge of his own kitchen, at the brand new Upper West.

havepixel loves the place, and will be back often. On a first visit, there were many wonders to be had. Appetizers include seared beef carpaccio: basil balsamic and horseradish aioli, with paper-thin slices of high-quality beef layered with sheets of Parmesan for an excellent complexity of flavor and texture.

Braised lamb crêpes is another treat, with very tender lamb and salty lavender demi-glace. It’s heavily and deeply flavored; havepixel’s only complaint was that the intensity of the lamb masked the taste of the crêpe.

The BLT is spectacular: plenty of thick-cut bacon spiced like pastrami, with green tomato, butter lettuce, and corn and sun-dried tomato aioli. The bacon is spectacular, and the BLT comes with plenty of it.

It’s all a resounding success, says havepixel; the only worry is that the place won’t do well because of its slightly odd location.

Upper West [Westside – Beaches]
3321 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica

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