New Dinner Date Spot in Santa Monica

A lot of business plans are hammered out at the kitchen table.
Few, though, are then served up on that same table.

That is unless you’re Josh Loeb, whose restaurant was spawned from monthly dinners he cooked at his parents’ Rustic Canyon casa, then in his LA apartment, for groups of friends and then eventually strangers from the Internet (Rustic Canyon births some brave fellows).

Fast forward to four years later and the opening of Rustic Canyon, Loeb’s very own sleek, no-fuss dining room (just add about 15 tables). Soft-opened this week, it’s a faintly retro neighborhood respite with dark brown and green walls, Inglenook booths and a relaxed, no-excess vibe, a welcome change from the usual Wilshire resto.

Taking a break from the kitchen, Loeb has chef Samir Mohajer (Axe, The Little Door) taking on the seasonal market fare with Mediterranean flavors—like Fra’ Mani ‘All Natural’ Salumi (we checked with homeland security—it’s just cured meat) and Monkfish in Saffron Anise Broth with Pee Wee Potatoes (don’t worry, they have nothing to do with Paul Reubens), all so wholesome and heartfelt we’ll forgive that the menu says “prepared with love.”

Loeb also specializes in high-quality, low-production wines like the Hitching Post ‘Generation Red’ from the Central Coast…so while it’s Rustic, you won’t really be roughin’ it.

Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen, 1119 Wilshire Blvd (between 11th and 12th), Santa Monica, 310-393-7050,

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