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Rustic Canyon Wine Bar - 52 Reviews - 1119 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401-2011, Santa Monica, CA - Local Favorite Reviews - Phone (310) 393-7050

Rustic Canyon Wine Bar

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1119 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401-2011
Santa Monica, CA 90401
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(310) 393-7050
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Rustic Canyon Wine Bar - Santa Monica, CA
Rustic Canyon Wine Bar - Santa Monica, CA
Rustic Canyon Wine Bar - Santa Monica, CA
Rustic Canyon Wine Bar - Santa Monica, CA
Rustic Canyon Wine Bar - Santa Monica, CA
Rustic Canyon Wine Bar - Santa Monica, CA
Rustic Canyon Wine Bar - Santa Monica, CA
Rustic Canyon Wine Bar - Santa Monica, CA
Rustic Canyon Wine Bar - Santa Monica, CA
Rustic Canyon Wine Bar - Santa Monica, CA
Rustic Canyon Wine Bar - Santa Monica, CA

Reviews

( 18 )
( 8 )
( 9 )
( 4 )
( 13 )

Best

A friend of mine recently introduced me to this gem of a restaurant in Santa Monica. Since we had nothing planned for New Year's eve (the holiday is overrated anyway), we decided ...

Worst

I had dinner here the other night. The ambiance in the restaurant is really nice, the lighting is perfect and the staff is very friendly. The food is average nothing special but i...

A bit on the fancy side, but well worth 10/5/2012

A bit on the fancy side, but well worth the dinero! Friendly service, thoughtful wine list and a well designed menu perfect for pairing. Sit outside for prime people watching. more

Hey management, here's a $1 buy a clue...... 2/3/2011

"" Will never go there again. After my husband gave the hostess $20 when he stopped in to make our dinner reservation in person earlier in the week (to try & get a good table for my birthday dinner), we were 10 minutes late in arriving at the restaurant and the hostess had given our table away. After standing in the bar area for 45 minutes with $14 glasses of wine, 2 people in our party of 4 sat down on stools at the bar and the hostess proceeded to tell us we couldn't sit there because the seats were reserved for walk-ins. Really - paying customers who have been standing and waiting almost an hour for their table aren't allowed to sit at the bar? Their hostess needs to get an attitude adjustment and their manager needs to learn how manage. We promptly finished our wine and left their establishment after having the hostess shoo us off our bar stools and we had a wonderful Italian dinner at Peppone's in Brentwood where the staff couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating - and our tab came to over $500, your loss Rustic Canyon. If I could give ""no stars"" as a rating I would. more

executive decision ""you're fired"" 10/4/2010

The food is fresh the wine is overpriced the staff is neither interested, helpful or professional. Who likes to feel insulted by the staff ""specifically the hostess"" with the competition out there ""NOT ME"" I will never bring business clients here again. Further more the food/service at other venues is much more palatable. Gjelina and tasting Kitchen !!!!! thanks more

Cheeseburger in (a wine) paradise 2/18/2010

In the summer it was lush slices of crispy duck breast laid over a pool of sweet corn puree and roasted peaches. In early fall it was lamb meatballs with heirloom tomatoes, pickled chiles, green olives and mint. And in the winter it was the cheeseburger -- a perfect half pound of medium grind beef, luxuriously topped with sharp cheddar cheese, onion fondue, bread and butter pickles, herb remoulade, and arugula. To say Rustic Canyon Wine Bar is only for winos would be a grave injustice. The Niman Ranch burger ($16) is proof that the upscale Santa Monica restaurant can be enjoyed by anyone with a pair of teeth. The wine is just the frosting on the cake -- ideally a cake made by pastry chef Zoe Nathan from sister restaurant Huckleberry across the street. Pros: Cheeseburger, impressive wine list, atmosphere Cons: Expensive more

Rustic Goodness 1/30/2010

After reading the reviews, I didn't know if I should drop by, but my friend insisted since her mother... more

Rustic Goodness 1/30/2010

jinkwell Provided by Partner
After reading the reviews, I didn't know if I should drop by, but my friend insisted since her mother recommended the place. We arrived and were t... more

average 10/20/2009

I had dinner here the other night. The ambiance in the restaurant is really nice, the lighting is perfect and the staff is very friendly. The food is average nothing special but it feels like fresh organic food which is nice. The wine list is way too extensive and there is not even a bottle under $40. I saw wines on the list that were more than double that I have seen at other restaurants. Pros: nice ambiance Cons: long and expensive wine list more

Great atmosphere and even better burgers! 7/6/2009

Mondays are specialty burger and artisinal beer nights. Tonight's highlight was a burrata burger with burrata and fresh tomatoes on top of a juicy patty. A cold beer is the perfect accomplice. Don't forget to try the donut holes with chocolate dipping sauce. This place is definitely a keeper! Pros: Great food, rustic decor, good wine Cons: Smaller menu, parking more

a special place for special occasions (where every dining experience is a special occasion) 1/4/2009

A friend of mine recently introduced me to this gem of a restaurant in Santa Monica. Since we had nothing planned for New Year's eve (the holiday is overrated anyway), we decided to celebrate at Rustic Canyon with a small group of our closest friends. What a great time we had! We pigged out on eight exquisite courses -- including succulent oysters, fresh tortellini, and sinfully delicious dessert. Near midnight, the friendly (and good-looking) staff passed out tiaras, hats, horns, and of course flutes of champagne. We counted down and toasted to the ending of a crappy year and the beginning of a new year with promise.\r \r By the way, my friend had warned me that the one downside to Rustic Canyon is that when it gets busy (and it's always busy), it is impossibly loud in there. But we were pleasantly surprised to see newly installed sound absorption panels on the ceiling. We had no trouble hearing one another on New Year's. Guess Rustic Canyon is pretty good at taking customer feedback, so speak up. I do! more

Kid and Palate Friendly Rustic Delight 1/2/2009

My cousins were visiting from manhattan with their two kids, ages 5 and 9. Quite the little foodies! Due to their busy schedules, we had only one night to spend together. As a proud, life-long westsider I wanted to share with them something I felt represented santa monica at its best. It was a no brainer. I took them to rustic canyon! As expected, everything, from the persimmon salad to the special butter pasta hand made to order for a finicky 5 year old, to the perfectly cooked skirt steak and deliciously crisp fries with aioli, was on point. Even the house made pickles that that come with the impressive burger are a delight. The wait staff was amazing. My little cousins wanted to take our waiter, Gabe, home by the end of the night! Not only is he good with kids, he makes a mean latte. As if everything wasn?t already good enough, we ended our night with zoe nathan?s amazing pastries. We ordered the banana cream pie, apple rhubarb crostata and cookie plate! The banana cream pie, with its perfectly flakey crust, slightly salty caramel and rich vanilla pastry cream, is probably the best you?ll ever have in your life. The cookie plate is an experience in and of itself. Just like the restaurant, it has a little something for everyone: tastefully tart lemon bars, caramel wedges, mini chocolate cupcakes, a delightful cream puff, fruit crisps, ginger and chocolate chip cookies galore! Rustic Canyon, thanks for being something consistently good in my world! more

really gone downhill since the old chef left 12/9/2008

I used to be a regular at Rustic Canyon, but the place has really gone downhill since the old chef Samir left. The once great burger is now a sad excuse for a meal. The fries are soggy. McDonald's has better fries! Why did the new chef ruin a good thing? You have to wait forever to get your food and the new chef is always standing by the door flirting with the hostess. It makes the customers uncomfortable and by the looks of it, the hostess is uncomfortable too. Maybe the food would come out faster if he were in the kitchen, not standing around blocking the walkway. I walked by on a busy Friday night, willing to give the place another try, but when I saw the chef standing over the hostess shoulder while paying customers wait for their food, I kept on walking. The owners sure made a mistake and ruined what used to be a great place. Pros: great location, the desserts are still good Cons: long wait, terrible food, incompetent staff more

My latest favorite Westside restaurant 12/4/2008

This is my latest favorite Westside restaurant. Selections change often, food is fabulous, wine selection by the glass and bottle is great and the service is impressive. Listen to your wait staff, they know what to recommend . . .some of my favorites are. . . the beet salad, shepherds pie (sounds weird but you have to try it, so fantastic), either of the fresh pastas, the duck confit, fish, and you have to have dessert! Hands down a must try! more

Like Eating at Home Among Friends With a Gourmet Chef Working Magic in the Kitchen 9/5/2008

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. \r \r \r 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. \r \r \r \r 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. \r \r \r 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. \r \r \r 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. \r \r \r What a treat that Rustic Canyon is in walking distance from my house! Pros: Farmers market fresh food, the friendly staff, solid dishes Cons: Brunch only on Saturdays! more

A really great meal, don't miss the doughnuts 9/5/2008

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. more

Rustic Coingone 8/26/2008

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. Pros: wine and organic ingredients Cons: everything else more

Not worth the expense 8/22/2008

Just went to rustic Canyon recently, and although nothing was terrible, neither the service or the food justified the high prices.\r \r 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.\r \r 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.\r \r 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.\r \r 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. Pros: Good Location, Nice interior Cons: Unspectacular food, poor service for the price more

Pasta was so freakin good, as was the duck!!! 7/8/2008

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. Pros: Amazing food, warm service, knowledgable staff Cons: valet is 6.50, but I guess that's the norm now more

Restaurant in Decline 7/6/2008

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. Pros: Good wine selection Cons: Food quality has declined as well as cliental more

Getting better and BETTER... 7/1/2008

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!) \r \r 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. Pros: Food, Service, Romantic Cons: A tad noisy more

avoid at all cost. 6/25/2008

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. Pros: wine list Cons: service, staff, food, valet, rude hostess.. more
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Editorial

  • 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...

  • 11/4/2008 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Sun - Thurs, 5:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Fri - Sat, 5:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m
  • Payments:

    Master Card, American Express, Visa
  • Neighborhoods:

    West LA, Wilshire Montana
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