Last night I revisited the Wilshire Restaurant for a girls’ night out (plus 2 guys) and it was a blast. I know, I already reviewed this place and gave it a lukewarm going-over at that. But with a slightly different group of girls, ones who were more about enjoying each other’s company than going out to meet boys, the bar scene was a lot more fun. And it helped that the guys who came out with us were pretty good eye candy, filling that need for interaction with cute boys.
We made plans to meet at 8pm thinking that on a cold Wednesday night we’d be able to find a seat no problem, but when we showed up, the bar was packed. So we had to make due with standing around the corner of the bar itself. At least we were able to be in constant contact with the bartenders as well as have a good vantage point of the room.
Instead of my usual, this time one of the girls who happens to be a regular, suggested I try the bartender’s specialty, Purple Rain. It’s a cocktail of Chambord, champagne and vodka ($10) and it was quite tasty in a fruit juicy kind of way if you’re into that sorta thing. I guess after drinking whiskey-and-Cokes, I’m not used to fruity “martinis” anymore.
Feeling hungry, another girl ordered up a $16 Wilshire burger while the rest of us munched on her addictive fries which were hard to resist as they had just the right amount of spices.
The bar was so packed that it was hard to keep our group of 10-plus together. At one point we tried to move the party to the infamous back bar but were halted at the door. One of the guys managed to get in by telling the bouncer that he was “going back to the cigar bar,” but the rest of us were turned away for having too many people. I peeked in and saw that it was quite a beautiful little scene back there. That warm candlelight filled the room that seemed more like an extension of the restaurant with dining tables and chairs, no lounge seating.
We found out that it’s best to try your luck getting back there around 7:30 or so, and after a certain point the bouncers start guarding access. In fact, rumor has it that pre-7:30 is the magic time for coming to Wilshire and securing a seat. After that, even on a Wednesday night, you’re SOL standing in a pack of sardined scenesters, getting in everyone’s way and stepping on each other’s toes.
Things died down a bit after 10 or so and then we were finally able to get some seats, but then we only decided to leave because we wanted to go dancing. There’s no dancing at the Wilshire, no room and I don’t think there was even any music.
But, damn, if last night wasn’t a lot of fun! We drank a lot, flirted with more guys, and then took group pictures in the very pretty women’s restroom which had a big mirror that was perfect for preening and posing in front of. It was just too bad that it was only a Wednesday and we’d have to pay for this night of drinking and craziness the next day at work.
2454 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, California 90403
Cross Street: 25th Street
Bar hours: Mon-Sat 5 pm-1 am
Sunday 5 pm-10 pm