Location: 2454 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 586-1707; www.wilshirerestaurant.com.
Ambience: Contemporary American restaurant with a chic two-tier garden patio anchored by an outdoor bar at one end. The menu from chef Andrew Kirschner focuses on organic produce from local farms. The bar menu is served late, and on weekends the place is thronged.
Service: Varies from very laid-back to hovering.
Price: Dinner appetizers, $11 to $20; main courses, $24 to $27; steaks, $26 to $40; sides, $5 to $8; cheese plate, $18; desserts, $8. Lunch appetizers, $7 to $15; entree salads, $15 to $26; sandwiches, $13 to $18; other lunch items, $19 to $25.
Best dishes: Steamed mussels with tangerine and chili, hamachi ponzu, steak tartare, chestnut gnocchi, pan-roasted salmon, wild mushroom duck pot pie, roasted leg of lamb, grilled Kurobuta pork chop with white corn grits, chocolate pudding cake, banana cream cake, buttermilk doughnuts.
Wine list: Stellar selection of interesting bottles and wines by the glass. Corkage fee, $25.
Best table: One of the booths in the dining room that looks onto the garden.
Special features: Two private dining rooms, one in its own building adjoining the patio.
Details: Open for lunch from 11:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and for dinner from 6 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday; the bar is open from 6 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, until midnight Friday and Saturday. Full bar. Valet parking is $6 at dinner, $4.50 at lunch.
Rating is based on food, service and ambience, with price taken into account in relation to quality. ****: Outstanding on every level. ***: Excellent. **: Very good. *: Good. No star: Poor to satisfactory.