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The Westside Local: Serving Creativity and Farm-to-Table Freshness

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By Jackson Bonar

“Our customers say we’re cozy inside and out, a come-as-you-are kind of place” says Nicki Lukin, GM Owner and Managing partner of The Westside Local. Nestled in the West side neighborhood
of downtown Kansas City, not only is it a destination for some, it’s a local hangout for others.

No dress code is needed whether you’re out for a casual night or going to an event at Kaufman Center. Dine inside or on the patio and enjoy their seasonal farm-to-table menu. They were one of the first farm-to-table restaurants in Kansas City, changing their menu every six months. You’ll be sure to enjoy their from-scratch menu from Chef Julio Ventura. A lot of their offerings stem from his Hispanic background as he uses his grandmother’s recipes from Veracruz, Mexico.

Their themed, ever-changing specialty cocktail menu presently is inspired by the Wheel of the Year marking the year’s chief solar events. We sampled the Ostara, a pristine vibrant yellow cocktail with Licor 43, basil-infused vodka, orange juice, unsweetened coconut yogurt and brûléed orange, refreshingly chic.

One of their seasonal dishes is their Quinoa, a tri-colored quinoa with celery, jalapeno, edamame topped with fried rice noodles and wontons with a sriracha peanut sauce piled high in a creative presentation. It’s like a canvas painted by a master chef; even if you think it’s too pretty to eat, the taste is what truly matters, which is on another level.

For the lighter appetite, the Arugula and Spinach Salad is freshness to the max. On a bed of arugula, accompanied by ripe strawberries, red onion, grilled asparagus, avocado, candied pecans and feta cheese, this is a taste sensation beyond all others.

The Westside Local opened in 2009, a vision of Brandon Strick that turned this urban location into a hipster destination eatery. Wood floors and exposed brick walls all complement the contemporary American cuisine, creating a neighborhood place for all to enjoy. It’s friendly and open to all; whether you choose the indoor dining space or outdoor pet-friendly-on-a-leash courtyard, you are family at The Westside Local.

A customer favorite starter is their Deviled Eggs, elevated with both appearance and flavor; don’t miss out on this work of art. Other customer favorites include their Mac & Cheese, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Jalapeno Jam Burger, the Summit Burger and my favorite, the Jalapeno Grilled Cheese. Nicki recalls one time they decided to take the Jalapeno Jam Burger off the menu and the response from their customers was “Why!?” Needless to say, it was back on the menu very quickly.

We also had the pleasure of sampling Al Pastor Chicken Skewers; its presentation was reminiscent of a tropical holiday. Two skewers stacked with marinated chicken breast, pineapple and red onion are served with pico, salsa verde, cilantro-lime rice, refried black beans topped with queso fresco and local corn tortillas.

The Westside Local has a staple of regular customers from the area, but they also see plenty of new faces from word of mouth and their 4.6-Star Google rating. One reviewer said in her recent Google review, “Very cool and trendy vibe, but also down to earth and personable.” Adding to part of that vibe is the ever-changing collection of artworks showcasing local artists against the exposed brick wall. Some of the works of art never make it back to their creators as they are sold at the restaurant with all of the proceeds going to the artist.

While the restaurant may see plenty of new faces, you’ll see plenty of familiar ones with their staff. With longevity from two up to nine years, their servers and kitchen staff embrace their commitment to scratch preparation and consistency, making The Westside Local what it is today. All of their condiments are house made including the ketchup, a customer favorite, and each of the aioli flavors is made using real egg yolks, not just mayonnaise; ketchup and two aioli flavors are served with another favorite starter, Pint of Fries.

After your next yoga class or before the symphony performance, head on over to The Westside Local; you won’t be disappointed. They’re open for lunch Tuesday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and dinner, 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday with lunch hours the same and dinner to 10:00 p.m. Brunch is served on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and dinner from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Visit for menu previews, gift cards and reservations or call 816-997-9089.