I love going in search of good dining deals, especially at restaurants where the regular menu tend to be pricey. So when Wilshire Restaurant (where entrees run from high twenties to forties) announced their $15 White Plate Special, I was intrigued. They offered a special dish for each day of the week, coupled with a glass of wine or cocktail for $15.
The special is only available at their bar but they have ample seating at their front indoor bar and a patio area out back. If you haven't been to the Wilshire Restaurant, it's an upscale yet borderline trendy restaurant in Santa Monica.
Tuesday's special sounded the best to me (how can you pass up on polenta fried chicken) but unfortunately, we were there on a Wednesday. But don't cry for me, I love a big bowl of pasta as well.
Thai afternoon - han soju, coconut milk, coconut water, thai basil, fresh lime, ginger beer
I'd usually pick wine but I just had to order this cocktail. It was refreshing with a nice citrus to it, however it was kind of weak. I wondered if it was always lacking an alcoholic punch, or if they made it weaker as part of the White Plate Special. Still a delicious drink, though.
Their regular menu was too good to pass up so we decided to split the white plate meal and supplemented with two appetizer items.
Shrimp skewers marinated in green curry
The shrimp was cooked perfectly and had a nice char to it. I really enjoyed the green curry sauce and the flavors were really clean.
Since I went through the cocktail too quickly, I decided on an Albarino for my next drink.
Chicken liver pate pickled onion, dijon, grilled country bread
I'm all about liver mousse. It was so rich, velvety and intensely flavored. The crusty bread was pretty darn good too.
One word: HEAVEN
Spaghetti with meatballs and garlic bread
Ok, this photo doesn't so it justice, but this bowl was huge! Definitely a lot of food for $15. And the meatballs were so tender and not heavy. After sampling many meatballs at Amy Pressman's Test Kitchen event, I've come to the conclusion that my favorite types of meatballs are the ones that aren't too dense.
The White Plate Special is a pretty awesome deal. Some restaurants may serve you inferior dishes if it was discounted, but I thought the spaghetti and meatballs was very tasty and abundant. You really can't get a better deal here especially since nothing on their entree menu is priced at less than $20. Wilshire also has happy hour Mon-Sat from 5-7pm and they have really good yet affordable items on their menu such as kobe beef sliders, burrata pizza and burgers. So before you shy away from fancy, pricey restaurants, check to see if they have specials or a happy hour menu. If you're lucky, you may walk away with a great meal at a fraction of the price.
Hits: price, liver pate, pasta
Misses: weak (but tasty) cocktail
2454 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90403