The reasons to haul out to Rustic Canyon on Wilshire and 12th Street are plenty: this chic yet cozy restaurant is named for the ONLY Westside neighborhood I'd move to, our friend Jon is the mixologist, and it's owned by a fellow Crossrodian. We took our chances driving across town on a Thursday night to nab one of the highly sought after bar stools, but it was worth the risk.
Sitting with friends and Jon as he kept the bar going and we sampled Rustic Canyon's food and drink = bonus.
I took my time with the Indochine, a sweet prosecco-based drink with a light tang of ginger and lemongrass, since I allowed myself just one libation (o.k., plus a bunch of tiny sips). In my previous life I would've sucked it down and made my way through many of the other drinkies, none of which you can go wrong with -- as long as effervescent white wines agree with you.
Favorite dishes included the bowl of skinny crispy fries, wild snapper ceviche, intense mussels, and fried green tomatoes with burrata, which is quite substantial and fatty but not greasy.
After the savory foods were gone, the bar was crowded with desserts -- Gaviota strawberry shortcake, peach cobbler, and the marshmallow-blanketed rocky road bread pudding. All very large portions (almost too large, if there is such a thing) and made with the bestest, freshest ingredients.
No more being at a loss about where to eat in Santa Monica. Now, if only a similar place called Bronson Canyon would open on Franklin Avenue...
1119 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401