Opening in the late summer of 2014, Brilliantshine brings an understated flare to the Santa Monica bar scene. This spot is close enough to walk to the Promenade, but far enough away from bustling tourists that it achieves a hip, local crowd nightly. Tucked away behind a nondescript entry, this courtyard of bars can be a bit confusing to newcomers. There's a hostess at the front, a Mexican looking bar area to the left and then further back through a hallway are a couple of saloon doors and a low-key black and white sign that displays the Brilliantshine name. Both bars are part of Brilliantshine (and the hostess handles both areas if you're looking to sit down) though they have different drinks available. The area to the left is thematically on point for an extremely small Mexican watering hole. With eclectic pieces throughout the space and acoustics that really pump up the chatter, it truly feels like a space where people come again and again to regale their friends with stories over a drink. But don't be fooled by the atmosphere, though it may seem modest, their drink and food menus are anything but. Walking through the small western doors to the main area, their fancy cocktails and adventurous bites (think uni and hotate scallops) make a bit more sense. Brick walls and antique looking wooden chairs make up the interior along with a patio shaded in trees and glowing with the tiny yellow lights of tea candles. Fostering an intimate yet unpretentious and relaxed vibe, Brilliantshine accomplishes what many bars cannot. Brilliantshine is the type of venue that makes its patrons feel as if they are in on a great secret. Perfect for a date night or even a big group of friends, make sure you call ahead if you want a table, as they fill up quickly and the wait can be endless for this cool block of bars.