Given the recent spate of hot weather, Mrs. J.L. & I had a hankerin' for some summertime BBQ. We heard about Wilshire Restaurant starting a series called Neighborhood Barbecue Night on Sunday nights, so we decided to visit on the opening night (yesterday).
We got there around 7PM-ish, and the dining room was empty, but the patio was near full capacity. The usual Wilshire menu was also available, but we were here for BBQ! The menu (picture enclosed) was promising, and, being our first time there for their BBQ, we wanted a "sampler" of things. Luckily for the diners, there was a small mixed grilled platter (priced at $50, it was meant to be shared for 2-3 people, and even included coleslaw), so we jumped on that. The "usual suspects" of BBQ side dishes were available a la carte as well.
Main course: The platter (picture enclosed) was indeed a cornucopia of meat. The half chicken was very tender, not too dry. The Andouille sausage was good, the tri-tip was pre-sliced and done medium rare (just how I like it). The pulled kurobuta pork was served on grilled bread with BBQ sauce, but was so-so. I found the BBQ sauce to be a bit "cheap" tasting, for lack of a better description. My favorite of the main dishes, though, had to be the baby back ribs, which had a hint of ginger marinade - Excellent.
Side dishes: We opted for the potato salad, corn on the cob with garlic butter (picture enclosed), grilled veggies, and baked beans. All were well-executed, but the best had to be the corn, which was simply outstanding.
Drinks: Mrs. J.L. chose to imbibe an Argentinian red, while I chose the somewhat foo-foo white sangria. Both were tasty and complemented the food nicely.
Dessert: No special BBQ dessert menu, but I've always enjoyed the desserts at Wilshire. Life is short, so Mrs. J.L. & I shared 3 desserts: Strawberry Angel shortcake, the "coffee & doughnuts", and the trio of ice cream (on our night there, we got buttermilk, pistachio and banana ice creams). The shortcake was indeed an Angel cake, but it was denser, more like a biscuit (just how I like my shortcakes). The ice creams were tasty, but I'm becoming too spoiled by Tai at Scoops. The winner had to be the homemade doughnuts with coffee & vanilla ice creams (picture enclosed), by a longshot. Oh, and we each had a cup of good coffee to top off our meal.
The pace of our meal was excellent, and the service was attentive. Our server was pleasant and thorough, and the manager even stopped by to say hello. She was eager for real feedback, since it was the inaugural night of the BBQ series. I said we'll be back, and I mean it.
Total damage for the 2 of us: About $150 before tip. We walked out into the night very happy customers. Street parking was even free (on Sundays)! Like I said, we'll be back!
2454 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403