1119 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA | Directions 9040134.025059 -118.491258
Sun - Thurs, 5:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Fri - Sat, 5:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m
Neighborhoods: Wilshire Montana, West LA
They have a new burger every Monday! Make sure you check their site for what's coming next! I personally love the breakfast one!
One of the best burgers in LA. Menu is a bit pricey, but worth it for the quality of food. Great date night restaurant.
Citysearch Editorial Review – Heavy dark woods, organic materials and high white ceilings create a romantic atmosphere. Votive candles flicker and a jazzy global beat plays low while the young Santa Monica crowd chills at the wine bar, in the small crowded lounge, or at tables and booths. Owner Josh Loeb spring-boarded off hosting wine dinners in his home, and he personally rotates boutique selections gleaned from small-production vineyards around the world. A seasonally driven Cal-Med menu features ingredients from local farmers and fishermen. Sharing is encouraged and the enthusiastic waitstaff is savvy about pairing wine to each dish (or person). Appetizers include a subtle pizzetta of salami and wild greens, or bolder flavors like sliced filet mignon with silky horseradish cream. Mains are light and pleasing, especially the crispy wild snapper prettily nestled in a bed of shaved fennel, or a meadow-y spring risotto with English peas, asparagus and fresh morels.
Like Eating at Home Among Friends With a Gourmet Chef Working Magic in the Kitchen – I am probably the biggest homebody I know. I don't go to my friends - they come to me. So it's significant when something actually lures me out of my shoe box apartment. One of my biggest temptations is Rustic Canyon, where everybody knows my name and can predict my favorite drinks and dishes.
Half the time, I dine at RC alone, at the bar where my favorite bartender, Donan, serves me up his latest drink concoction and is polite enough to laugh at my anecdotes.
The other half the time, I dine with friends or business companions in the main dining room, which is somehow oddly appropriate for either fun or professional conversation. While I am no wine connoisseur, it's pleasing to hear my wine maven friends exclaim over the impressive wine selection.
I have a hard time straying from certain mainstays on the menu such as the cheese plate with warm raisin bread, the mussels in a sauce so good that I often ask for a second helping of dipping bread, and the burger with wild arugula. Then again, Rustic's seasonal dishes often sound too enticing to resist. Right now, I'm lovin' chef Evan's hand made butternut squash mezzaluna (half moon shaped pasta), wild chanterelle mushroom and leek root risotto, and pan roasted black cod.
But enough about dinner. Let's talk about my favorite meal: brunch. First, I'll start out with a complaint: Rustic ONLY serves brunch on Saturdays! The rest of the time (mainly on Sundays), I have no idea where to get a good brunch. Pastry chef Zoe has gotta be the most ballyhooed gal in town right now with her heavenly brunch creations. Like sweet? Try a hearty slice of her blueberry cornmeal coffee cake (my fave) or indulge (and then starve yourself the rest of the day) in the chocolate banana bread pudding. Prefer savory? The warm prosciutto and gruyere croissant is a must, as is the fried egg sandwich with bacon, gruyere, and arugula.
What a treat that Rustic Canyon is in walking distance from my house!
A really great meal, don't miss the doughnuts – Went to Rustic Canyon with a group of six last night. Food was AMAZING! I'm a Farmer's Market junkie, and I love that this really is a place that cooks from the market. The best dishes were a Butternut Squash pasta that I'm still craving today, Burrata bread salad, these delcious little mozzarella risotto things, and a grilled pork chop with roasted pears. I love the quality of the ingredients they use and our whole table was in love with the homemade doughnuts that came with a rich hot chocolate. We ordered two more of them, but they do take about 10 minutes an order so next time I'll just be smart and order them all at once. I don't know much about wine, but the staff seemed to, and we were very happy with everything we drank.
They should call this place Rustic Coingone 'cuz your coin will be gone when you leave and you will feel gyped. The food is tiny, like that AMPM commercial where the couple goes out for a nice dinner and the food is for rabbits, and they end up going to AMPM afterwards to fill up on junk food. While the wine list is solid, the hungover-while partying all night 20 something staff is a joke, the prices are sky high, there's a lot of noise and the tiny portions makes this a must-miss westside eatery. I appreciate the fresh ingredients, but why treat us like fashion models? How much did that organically grown carrot set you back? People in Santa Monica need good restaurants, but don't fool yourself into believing this is one of them. There is more style than substance here, and that is truly disappointing given the potential of this restaurant/wine bar.
Not worth the expense – Just went to rustic Canyon recently, and although nothing was terrible, neither the service or the food justified the high prices.
We started with the sweet corn agnolotti, which was the only highlight of the food for the night - very tasty and sweet... however, the portion was TINY - literally about 3 bites each for the two of us. We also got the soft shell crab - the crab itself was very good, but the accompanying corn concoction was quite bland.
After waiting for about 15-20 minutes, we got our main courses - the lamb and steak. The lamb did seem like high quality meat, but had almost no salt or spicing, or anything to make it special at all. Also, my wife asked for medium rare on the medium side, and the lamb came RAW in the middle. They were nice about fixing it, and it came back cooked correctly, but it took a while.
The steak was a big letdown - although it was decent quality meat, and actually was salted unlike the lamb, it was again a very tiny portion for the price. Give me that same steak and a few spices and my $100 gas grill at home, and I could top Rustic Canyon's easily. The fries that came with the steak were not that great, and I would have expected a more inventive, tastier side dish at a restaurant that prides itself on its food.
Service was not up to par with the prices either... our waitress was very hasty and disappeared halfway through our meal - we had to flag down the hostess to get our check and then again to pay the check, and the waitress never apologized or said goodbye. The hostess was friendly, though, and gave us some free cookies - pretty much the only friendly thing that we experienced the whole night.
Pasta was so freakin good, as was the duck!!! – I've been a semi-regular at Rustic Canyon since they've opened and have always been a big fan. The food is fresh, not overly fussy, and you can truly taste the quality of the ingredients. ( I'm a Farmer's Market junkie and see the Chef and Pastry Chef at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market) all the time. I was in last week and had the Goat Cheese Tortellone, Soft Shell Crab with Corn Succotash, Duck with Morels and a delicously good Strawberry Crostata, and I have to say the food is better than ever. The staff was great as always, and I even had delicious summer beer, which I wish I could remember the name of.
Restaurant in Decline – I have eaten here many times, before the first chef left. Back then, they had the best lamb I have ever had anywhere. I just went back this evening for my birthday dinner and the food was terrible. The lamb(a special tonight) was too salty, fatty, flavorless and incredibly small. I used to love this place. Now I will never go back. The staff used to dress nicely, the customers as well, now it's mainly twenty year old trust-fund kids wearing sneakers, raggy tees and jeans who know nothing about and don't appreciate food and wine. The staff are new hires from the SM JC who wear casual clothes now. No longer is this a place you can take someone for a nice dinner for a special occasion. This used to be a restaurant reminiscent of the great wine county restaurants of Sonoma and Napa county (where I spent many years of my life). Now, the food does not even pair with the wine anymore. With the old chef leaving, so did the quality of the food and the quality of the environment and ambiance. So sad. Time to find a new restaurant to eat at.
Getting better and BETTER... – I completely disagree about the food taking a turn for the worse since their new chef was hired. I live around the corner and have eaten there twice in the last month and thought it was just as good as ever. Last week, my husband and I went there and shared the softshell crab over some type of corn succotash and for our main courses, we had the farro risotto and the scallops, which were AMAZING. They also have a new pasta section on the menu and the hostess told us that the new chef spent 3 months in Bologna learning how to handmake pasta. We decided to skip the pasta that night, but soon regretted our decision when we saw it brought out to the table next to us. For dessert, we had the blueberry corncake, which was delicious(both savory and sweet!)
Since I live so close, I try to make it in a couple times a month. That said, I've found that the menu has only gotten better since their last chef left. The new menu is both sophisticated and innovative, and the staff's enthusiasm about it is apparent.
avoid at all cost. – Since replacing their original chef. The quality of the food has had a incredible decline in quality and flavor. Their once famed burger makes me want to drive to carls Jr. I'll never eat there again. I've eaten here many times since its inception. What a shame.
Wonderful! – I've been going to Rustic Canyon for over a year and have always been pleased, but lately it's gone to another level. The food is really fantastic now. They have recently hired a new executive chef who makes some of the best pasta I have ever eaten (and I'm talking about Babbo and Filidia in NY, La Botte and Angellini in LA) Simple, fresh, hand made with an unbelievably delicate touch. As for mains...I had the rabbit (which I have never had before) and it was delicious. I will be ordering it again. The scallops are great as is the steak and the starters...mussels, beet salad and the truly wonderful panzanella salad. I know I'm going a little nuts here, but I've been there twice a week for the past few weeks and haven't been disappointed. The desserts are spectacular, as always. I had a Raspberry Butter Cake, my friend had the seasonal crostada and we had the ice creams. There isn't a better mint chocolate chip in the world. Fantastic!! (I'm not a big wine guy so I can't comment on that except to say that the people I've been with are happy with their selections and recommendations). They told us the pastry chef does a Saturday breakfast cafe where she bakes tons of different things. I'm going. In case you haven't noticed, I like this place (and I've always found the service to be friendly and attentive). One drawback? It can be a little loud, but hey, everyone's having a good time.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Rustic Canyon Wine Bar on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.