My wife and I were both born in June, so usually we do some epic eating this time of year. For our last birthday, we had an amazing, simple, salmon-centric lunch at Shunji. This year, we decided to celebrate with a pair of dinners at a pair of restaurants that Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb, of Huckleberry, Milo & Olive, and Sweet Rose Creamery fame, own in Santa Monica. For my birthday, we went to Cassia (link is to my review of their opening night—I will be recapping my birthday meal in a future post).
For my wife’s birthday, we decided to go to Rustic Canyon Wine Bar. We really enjoyed our first meal there last year, when chef Jeremy Fox had a lamb heart salad on the menu that blew us away, so it was an easy choice for a celebration dinner. We used Reserve to book our table, and we brought along our 9-year-old daughter—her big sister was away at camp.
I’m experimenting with Instagram embeds in my blog posts, and for this series of images, my captions not only include the names and descriptions of the dishes, but also my thoughts on each one, so I won’t rehash too much. Let me know in comments if you like this format. Read on after the images for my final thoughts.
The highlights of the meal for me were the Homemade Charcuterie, the Sweetbreads Piccata, and the Tasting of Cook Pigs Ranch Pork. The only disappointment of the night was the Clams Pozole Verde. The biggest surprise was the kimchi in the Pappa Pomodoro, not just in its inclusion in the dish, but for how much of a kick it had.
I am looking forward to trying the new dishes that Jeremy Fox is creating for Esters, the wine bar and shop that Kathryn Weil Coker (former wine director and general manager at Rustic Canyon) and her husband Tug, with Loeb/Nathan, will be opening this week across the lobby from Cassia! From the chef’s Instagram feed, it looks like Esters will be serving more amazing charcuterie, cheeses and other small dishes that pair well with wine. I guess that makes sense.
Again, I want to thank Reserve for booking our table for this meal. If you’re in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Boston, or Chicago, and you like dining at amazing restaurants, check this app out! Use promo code E18KGX in-app for a $10 credit!
Rustic Canyon Wine Bar
1119 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401