Not your average restaurant, and certainly not your average bar, Brilliantshine on Wilshire in Santa Monica has had its swingin’ saloon style doors open for a few months now and continues to draw in the curious crowds from all over the city. Brilliantshine was no doubt one of the most highly anticipated openings in Los Angeles this year, and once I’d made the incredibly key discovery that drinks (most of which are made with whiskey) would be crafted by the cocktail master duo, Julian Cox and Josh Goldman, and that Brilliantshine would be offering brunch… the decision to get in while I could was a no-brainer.
You’re over there right now all like, “that’s cute, you know the first and last names of who makes your cocktails at Brilliantshine… you’re so cool.” Well the funny thing is, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve had drinks created by these two as well – and you probably really liked it. (Think Sotto, Acabar, Picca, Circa, and more.) The brains behind Brilliantshine are just two guys who happen to be really good at what they do, that are worth keeping an eye on in LA. Much like some their LA culinary counterparts including those like Roy Choi, Julian Cox and Josh Goldman are paving the way in terms of bringing new meaning to “cocktailing”.
Brilliantshine is your local neighborhood bar that also happens to be an incredible Peruvian inspired restaurant; not a Peruvian style restaurant that also happens to have a bar. It’s a relatively unconventional approach but it gives the Westside hideaway that much more appeal. The word “hideaway” being no exaggeration mind you; don’t feel stupid if you drive past it 10 times saying to yourself “where the fuck is this place?” – I did it too.
Besides having a moment with an incredible cocktail, another one with a damn near perfect chicken wing, and yet another one with the best s’more (possibly ever), the moment I walked through those wooden saloon doors, into what felt like a scene in the Pirates of the Caribbean, was crucial. It was one of the biggest, happiest surprises I’ve gotten in a long time walking into a new restaurant in LA. Complete with a cozy courtyard tucked in between surrounding buildings, a candlelit interior, an antique wooden piano that served as a wine station, glassless windows, and of course a cozy, “weathered” side room with a fully stocked bar, Brilliantshine is LA’s favorite new “rustic coastal saloon” – as dubbed by it’s owners.
Both the cocktail and food menus change almost daily, so you can almost never expect to see the same things upon every visit (save the Rye n’ Goslings cocktail, thank god). But seriously think about that… that’s how talented, and excited the Brilliantshine team is to share with the cocktail and food loves of Los Angeles their extensive, and on point knowledge. There’s just nothing not to love about this place.