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“Minimalist food in a minimalist setting”
Review of Rustic Canyon

Rustic Canyon
Ranked #84 of 693 Restaurants in Santa Monica
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$31 - US$40
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighbourhood: Santa Monica
Cross street: 11th
Reviewed 24 November 2013

If you asked me what the restaurant looked like I would be at a loss to tell you. But that's the point. Both the food
and the design of this intimate restaurant have minimalist origins. The food is what people think of as California cooking---clean, fresh and restrained, prepared to be enjoyed with a glass of wine. The Menu has 6 catagories: snacks, small plates, big plates, vegetables, cheese plate and desserts. We began with grilled ciaba---whipped bone marrow, "fuyu" persimmon & honey. This was followed by two salad: beets with reed avocado, and tutti frutti farms kale. For an entree I had a clam and mussel posole verde made with green garlic, amberjack crudo, preserved lemon, and caper shoots. If your thinking New England seafare it wasn't, but delicious just the same. The desert, apple eat em with your hand pie, made with cinnamon sugar and vanilla whipped cream was also delicious. And did I mention the dark amber beer on tap--the best ever. The service was friendly and knowlegable what you would expect to find in a California eatery. All-in all this is a good neghborhood restaurant.

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Thank Alan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (165)
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101 - 105 of 165 reviews

Reviewed 16 October 2013

This is a small restaurant. The booths are tight and the whole place seems kind of hectic, it is not a relaxing atmosphere at all. The menu is very small as they make everything fresh for the day, the portions are small but tasty, Overall, I would not go back, I think it's overrated,

1  Thank Lovick16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2013

The staff really knows what they are doing from the bar, table and kitchen. The menu is a mini adventure for local/green grown goodies, the service professionally casual, the wine list is the work of persons who really love wine and the wines by the glass are excellent which is good because they have a lot of "expense" account wines by the bottle, albeit very, very good ones. A go to place for for food/wine lovers.

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Thank waitsriverkid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2013

This was my first visit here so I was going on recommendations from friends and others here. The food lived up to expectations - well cooked, well presented, and well priced, though there is only a limited menu to choose from. Still, everybody found something to satisfy them, so no complaints there. The server? Well, let's just say that she seemed to be disinterested and distracted. When my party arrived there were only two other tables occupied, so it wasn't as if it was busy, but she was reluctant to explain the menu (the names and descriptions of some items were hardly self-evident), and generally didn't seem to want to do anything except take the order. The same at the end of the meal (by which time things were busier) - didn't ask if we wanted coffee or anything else to drink, and didn't say anything when we left. Most unusual, as servers often burden you with too much information - and if they want a good tip, you'd expect them to be a bit more pleasantly engaged in conversation. The receptionist at the door was the same - looked and sounded miserable. So I'd go back for the food, but then maybe not, as I do like to be surrounded by cheerful people.

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Thank Theologyprof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2013

There were so many delicious small plates at Rustic Canyon. For two people I'd recommend about 6 small plates for a nice filling but not quite stuffed meal. The only dish that was slightly off was the toast with gruyer and bone marrow. The broth kind of just made it a salty, soggy yet overly rich mess. Back to the excellence... The Burrata with avocado had us licking the bowl. The spare rib gnocchi was unexpectedly light and fluffy, not the dense, filling gnocchi usually served at restaurants.

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Thank Gayle H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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