Restaurateur Julian Cox is the cocktail nightlife guru of the most eclectic restaurants and bars of LA.  He is extremely tapped in and consults for the hottest spots.  I had the chance to hang out, talk shop, and photograph him for Los Angeles Magazine’s May issue.  Not only does he leave his point of view and magic touch thru cocktail programs at places like Rivera, Sotto, Picca, Playa, Short Order, Petty Cash, and Bestia (to name a few…;)) he’s recently indulged in opening up his own bar, Brilliantshine.  When I think portrait of a mixologist/cocktail-master, I personally undoubtedly need some liquid nitrogen for it to feel complete!  Best of all, he’s so down-to-earth and thoroughly passionate about his craft.  Check out the work and my latest here,

Westside Changes.

Being one of the more established areas in LA, the westside sometimes feels like it changes very little. But, good news people! Lots of good changes have come. Read on for some of the newest lovely additions to our beloved coastal area. 

The Anchor [ venice ] Though there were a lot of great things I had at this restaurant, I cannot take my mind off of their lobster roll. Usually not something I’m a large fan of, the lobster roll is a New England fav and the Anchor did a great job of adding some LA flare. Made with shaved black truffle, this dish MELTS in your mouth and I would come back to only eat three of these.

Chestnut Club [ santa monica ] This new addition to the Santa Monica “club” scene (and if you are a local, you know I mean club in a very loose sense) is slightly upscale and cozy. With a more dark and cozy vibe than most other places in the area, Chestnut is a good spot when you are looking for a chill night out on the town.

Brilliantshine [ santa monica ] Immediately adjacent to Tinga, this new place has already gotten quite popular since its recent opening. It is small but has a nice ambiance with an open courtyard, one bar, and a dining area. Though I’ve only tried the drinks, the food is said to be very great as well (I’m sure having a former exec chef from Paiche helps).

Hoping the westside continues to grow and add more great restaurants and nightlife - it helps keep us on our toes!


The Obligatory Vodka Drink at Brilliantshine

Brilliantshine, Westside

Brilliantshine is beautifully rustic, new cocktail-heavy bar and restaurant in Santa Monica. The food is generally delicious and small enough to not make it the focus of your first date, but the well-crafted drinks are king here. With the quiet ambiance, it is the perfect Westside lounge to get to know each other.

Brilliantshine, 522 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA, USA, (310) 451-0045

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Brilliantshine. This is one of the coolest spots in Los Angeles to grab a bite to eat in Santa Monica. If you feel the heat is getting too much, like those afternoons we have here, when it feels like we might just because of the amazing sunshine, casually go on fire as we are working, then chill out at their wonder-bar.

The menu is Peruvian, if thats what floats your boat, but you do have the occassional American, French, Italian dishes. Vodka, Bourbon, London Dry, is surprisingly popular in a place that claims to be inspired from the mystical Peru, but there is no need to be so surprised because the drinks here are there speciality.

Do you not like the shaken or the stirred enough? Too comfortable for your drinking habits as a Brit? Then just stick to their most favourite editions. For the food, its supposed to be sitting on the side of you can choose the fish, that’s what they do amazing off, whether its striped bass or scallops.

If you absolutely have to have meat on your dish, post the usual American breakfast, or the only time of the day you can actually get a good steak here, then you can go for the classic chicken wings or the rib sandwich.

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