Upper West
Upper West

Upper West

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.theupperwest.com/
  • Phone: (310) 586-1111
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am to 3:00pm

    Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
    Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm to 11:00pm
    Sunday: 5:00pm to 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Global, International
  • Executive Chef: Nick Shipp
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Delivery, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Prefixed or customized buffet and seated menus, with full bar service.
    We can accommodate off site or personal home catering as well.
  • Entertainment: 12 foot projector screen featuring movies, shows, and sports events.
  • Special Events: Private room accommodating up to 50 people, the main dining room can accommodate up to 100 people, and the entire restaurant can hold up to 170 including the bar.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 1 block west of Centinela
  • Public Transit: Santa Monica Blue Bus line #7
    Bus Stop Pico & 33rd St
  • Parking: Valet
A word from Upper West
*** Monday Night ALL NIGHT HAPPY HOUR/ Tuesday Night 50% off All Bottles of Wine/ Wednesday Night Build your own prix fixe meal for only $36****



A rising star in New American cuisine, Chef Nick Shipp has earned dozens of rave reviews for his market-driven seasonal specials and his solid menu of top hits. His ability to put an innovative twist on classic bistro dishes made Sophie Gayot admiringly term him, “The Mad Scientist.” At Upper West, Chef Nick’s food takes center stage in the TriBeCa-style loft that blends the sexy girl/boy bar style with a service-driven, popularly priced, contemporary restaurant, and a comfortable all-weather patio.



Upper West offers a full-service 27-foot bar, a sophisticated beer and wine collection, a long list of tantalizing specialty cocktails, and valet parking for your convenience.
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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
  • Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
Upper West reviews from OpenTable diners
163 reviews since July 30, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.4
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelEnergetic
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (106)neighborhood gem (103)good for groups (76)vibrant bar scene (70)hot spot (67)special occasion (42)great for lunch (35)romantic (25)notable wine list (23)late-night find (20)great for brunch (12)great for outdoor dining (10)kid-friendly (5)scenic view (4)Show More
  • Keep Coming Back
    RsimenVIP
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    I keep coming back to this restaurant as the food is always deliciously consistent and the vibe is always there! My husband and I are always introducing Upper West to friends who thank us, then introduce it to their friends! The owners are routinely present; always greeting us as with a smile and a handshake, making sure we're happy. Would love if they opened one closer to Encino...perhaps Upper Valley, Upper North?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Way too expensive for the type of food
    Diner
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    I had a burger which wasn't seasoned at all it lacked salt! And to pay $18 for a burger is not ok in my books
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Upper West has an Upper Hand
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    Great fun, loud space. Good service. Varied menu, with food ranging from good to very good, with a decidedly EPIC grilled cheese. Great for a large group or celebration due to the large space and loud vibe. Overall a worthy contender to the Santa Monica usuals.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday dinner
    richardoedwardo29
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    Had the Gnocchi and it absolutely blew my mindballs. Beer list was awesome, just an overall very pleasant experience. Will definitely return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wish I lived closer to Upper West
    SBB55VIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Visiting Santa Monica for business and leisure, we read about and booked dinner at Upper West and loved every bite. While the room was very loud - partly due to a large party nearby, the evening was otherwise perfect. The octopus carpaccio was light and fresh and the ramen with duck and apple meatballs was something I would eat every day - it was heavenly with bright, delicious broth and fragrant complex flavors. Our key lime tart was also surprisingly light and large enough to share. Walk don't run to Upper West. If I could, I would have one open next to me in Washington DC!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Kale Salad!!! Mac and cheese!!! Tuna tacos!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Wether you want an appetizer or a dinner it is all great!!! I have been there twice in the last month. The great food is consistent. Love it. I want to go again!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Steve
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    Food was interesting and tasty. Nice atmosphere but way too noisy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very Cool
    Schincat
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    I like Upper West because it has a varied menu that ranges from very normal to gourmet. If you don't want your salmon blackened, just tell them and it comes plain and grilled. Their veggie burger is second to none. Plenty of wines to choose from as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Upper west
    Pdxfoodlvr
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Fun atmosphere with Key Largo playing on the wall and classic Cure piping in on the sound system. Sat in the atrium/patio area which was kept cool by the open windows. Service was prompt. Noise level was high but not obnoxious. Appetizers were excellent, especially the lamb crepes and fish tacos. Really enjoyed the chorizo gnocchi with squash, sweet and spicy. Good drink selection, both cocktails and wine. Desserts all looked good but only had room for the cream cheese ice cream carrot cake, definitely worth it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing food!
    pickyfoodie
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    I love food and everything our group ordered was tremendous! We had a group of 6. We were seated right on time for the reservation. The menu was exciting and clear. The food was extraordinary. Appetizers, entrees, and desserts were all magnificent! Could not be pleased. It's the best place we've eaten in LA this year.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Sharon
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    The Best service that we have had in a long time, from Luigi. Food is delicious and innovative.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • EXCELLENT CHOICE
    JGGG
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    WE HAVE EATEN AT THIS LOCATION ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS AND WE ALWAYS HAVE AN EXCELLENT EXPERIENCE. THE SERVICE IS GREAT. EACH TIME WE EAT THERE WE ARE ALWAYS EXCITED TO RETURN.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great neighborhood find
    RMA1
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Came to Upper West to celebrate my husband's birthday. The food was fantastic, the service was wonderful, and we will certainly be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great spot for business lunch
    TherealmjbVIP
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    I have had a couple of business lunches at Upper West and find it relaxed, quiet, private enough, with great for and service. You can cover a lot of ground quickly as its not too busy during the lunch hour. And the menu is diverse enough to satisfy curious, healthy, and indulgent. I'm planning on having dinner here one of these days...
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Innovative takes on standards
    Steve69VIP
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Many unique and, very tasty, takes on standard items. great use of seasonable items in salads and entrees. The Cuban sandwich had Pastrami, peppers and whole grain mustard. Very, very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Large group of 30=great experience!
    WilleniumVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Upper West offered a great array of food options and Fred's direction with my large group made it easy! Satisfying many different pallets in a large group is always a challenge! The food @ Upper West from the flat iron steak to the butterfish were awesome! i will be back the next time I visit Santa Monica! Thanks Fred!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Upper Crust!
    MitchVIP
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Met a friend here for dinner Wednesday night and the place was not quite full but had a great energy about it. Started out with a fantastic Happy Hour drink called the Honey Rye served in a martini glass and really enjoyed it...them! Next, we shared the lamb nachitos which were excellent and ordered the burger for my main course. The burger was very good but unfortunately my "medium" burger turned out to be a "well-done" burger. I was too hungry and couldn't wait so I ate it as is. Highly recommend however, that you not settle for well done as it was a bit on the dry side. Otherwise, really enjoyed everything including a fun vibe coming from the whole restaurant. Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tried and True Over and Over Again
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    This restaurant consistently serves food that is high quality, delicious and visually appealing. The focus is clearly on quality not quantity, though the servings are generous enough. The crowd is mixed and so anyone can feel comfortable here. Although it is more upscale, it is not pretentious. The staff is always friendly and the chef Nick is amazing, frequently greeting and serving guests himself.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Don't rush the customer
    Peace1971VIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Although the food was delicious, we felt very, very rushed by the staff to eat and get out. Before I could even finish my appeitizer, my dinner was tossed on the table. It was ridiculous and insulting. For as much money as we spent (because it was not cheap) I would have thought they would have at least let us try and relax and enjoy the meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food good but not enough
    MarkB
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    We've been going to Upper West for a couple of years. It seems that while the food has maintained it's quality, the portion size (especially the flatiron steak and salmon dishes) had decreased quite a bit while the prices have gone up. For that reason, I will not return as frequently as there are many choices of restaurants who also have good food and priced reasonable portions.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Decent experience
    Jess
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Service was attentive enough and friendly. The food was good, but not outstanding. The menu lacks identity, and a lot of dishes seem to be "trying too hard." Steak was cooked beautifully, although under-seasoned. The ambience leaves much to be desired, and the huge amateur-looking art display is both overwhelming and unappealing. Yuck. Overall enjoyed our meal, but probably won't be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Overall it's excellent...
    luv2dineout
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    but it can be loud & very crowded. so it's not for an intimate date but the food is amazing. drinks are spectacular. wines are excellent. the service is first class. you'll have a great time & you won't break the bank doing it. great for meeting friends or for a lively night out with your significant other.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food great, service meh.
    ElyseLeone
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    The food is incredible ALWAYS. But the service isn't at the same level- Especially when they are busy. I personally suggest sitting at the bar. You can order food there and it will be much faster. But even the slow service won't keep me away from the amazing food!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food as always
    Jkeeton
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    I've been to Upper West more than a dozen times, and for the most part the quality of the food is consistently delicious. Nick Shipp, the chef, comes up with great flavor and texture combinations that never disappoint. I'll keep coming back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Upper West - Fantastic Everything
    PatMarguliesVIP
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    I love coming to The Upper West ... the food is wonderful, the service is delightful, the wine and cocktails are perfection... It is always a "great nite." Thank you Upper West!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Food
    lskslente
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Very good food. There is a lot of variety. There are elegant twists on comfort foods like mac as well as fish, past, burgers. There is something for everyone. Friendly service. The valet service is a bit pricey but otherwise a good dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    We enjoyed the evening but found we couldn't hold a conversation as there were large noisy and happy groups around us, so a restaurant for parties not couples perhaps
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • luv2dine99VIP
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    Always...always the best. Last week's dining experience was my sixth. So sorry we didn't discover this amazing place sooner!!! Food quality, selection and service is 5 stars for sure.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Upper West
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    The food here is fantastic. The short-rib sandwich is to die for! Service can be a bit slow at times, but overall this a great little lunch and Happy Hour spot!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wish I knew sooner
    WayneVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    I had never heard of this restaurant even though I live on the west side. Went for a party, like the food, went back with my wife. The food is excellent. As good if not better than the fancier restaurants.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • One of the best chefs in LA
    TravelManVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Our group of 6 was able to sample a wide assortment of dishes here, and the chef, Nick Shipp, proudly delivered some of the dishes himself as he explained the complexity of his food. Great food in general - good service - relaxed fun atmosphere. The most expensive places in town are not always the best…the ones with great food like Upper West are!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Has It All
    Lindy
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Looked great in reviews, my BF thought it was too close to freeway overpass...however, once inside it was hip, energetic, and fabulous. The food is creative and different from all the other foodie spots, even the veggie sides are upped by a couple notches. I loved the bold paintings on the walls, as well as the huge window that looks into a private party room and through to the outside, very creative to create the inside vibe while downplaying the outside which is nothing to look at. All our food was awesome, met the owner, the chef, and the beauty at the front, all we're great and made sure my birthday celebration was very nice with kindness that I think they were showing all their guests. New server gets 4*, he'll come to speed no doubt
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Generally a Great Option
    DrShorterVIP
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    I'm always happy with what Upper West does. Their food is really quite well conceived and presented. I feel that every single dish I have ordered there is four of four stars. And although the place is usually really packed (and too loud to have a quiet conversation), the service always seems top notch. Every employee (excluding the valet guy) has been incredibly efficient, nice, and helpful. The hostess here is one of my favorite in all of LA. If I opened up a restaurant, I'd try to get her to join me. The cocktails are incredible and the wine list very impressive. It's a good sign that when you eat somewhere, you remind yourself to keep coming back. Upper West does that for me every time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food.
    zewing77
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    Good food. Friendly staff but they get a bit overwhelmed when it's crowded. Hot as balls in there when it's warm outside. Need more circulation and AC
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • NinaVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Food, service and ambiance are great. My only complain was the room temperature, it was very hot. Granted, it was a hot day in LA, but you can always adjust AC.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good lunch spot
    JDeatswest
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    I went with a friend to lunch and we really enjoyed it. Both of our salads were delicious, and I really appreciated how mindfully the food was prepared. My Garden Salad was as colorful and beautifully plated as it was tasty, which to me adds significantly to the dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Far too noisy
    Ruthie
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    While the food was quite good the noise level was painful and made real conversation difficult. I'll probably never go there again. Also every dish has bacon in it --enough with the trendy bacon even in one of the desserts.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food for thought..
    JustGVIP
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    If I am a the Don, then upper west, is my Loui's Cafe.. er withour that one part... In the midst of the hustle and bustle, the jockeying for parking, the jay walking that feels like a game of frog, and the trader joe's foodies, lies this golden, majestic restaurant. A beautiful girl greets you at the gates to what seems to be Heaven's kitchen. The menu is small and simple, but good enough to want to try everything at once. My go-to is the Burrata, an 'appetizer' fit for royalty (or Vito Corleone, hell, even The Don himself.) The Burger makes the night, overall. A great experience fit for a boss, a date or even a small get together with amici queridos!
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not a bad meal yet
    CBATek
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Upper West has satisfied this customer again. I've been there with groups and as a couple and in either setting, it works well. Great drinks, great good and a courteous staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What a disappointment...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    So excited to try this neighborhood favorite. It might have been a different story if we hadn't gotten the world's worst waitress. Wait. I know. We were expecting a great experience. But when it takes 20 minutes to order your wine, another 20 before you get it, then your meal is served and no one notices you have no silverware, have to track down someone to get some, and then....our waitress asked if we'd like to see a dessert menu. We said "Yes". She disappeared (again) and after 20 more minutes I tracked her down and asked for our check. She was oblivious to the fact that we'd never seen dessert menus, been offered coffees, etc. Clueless. While the food was good it wasn't spectacular so there's no way we'd ever go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic