The last time I ate at Rustic Canyon was in 2011, when Chef Evan Funke was serving up drippy burgers on Monday nights. It wasn’t until I picked up a copy of On Vegetables at my local library that I was reminded of the restaurant recently.
After zipping through Chef Jeremy Fox’s thoughtful forward and skimming some of the recipes, I immediately made dinner reservations for two. I wanted to experience firsthand the cooking of an ambitious chef who had finally found peace and balance in a professional kitchen. I hear it’s a rarity…
The Astronomer and I secured a sitter and made the trek to Santa Monica on a Saturday night. We were greeted with warm smiles even though we managed to arrive 30 minutes late for our reservation. The Westside is always further than I think it is.
The first dish was a fun take on the classic wedge salad. In place of iceberg lettuce was an array of endive, while the ‘nduja breadcrumbs and egg bottarga roughly approximated bacon bits ($18). A blue cheese dressing, blue cheese crumbles, and pearls of pomegranate rounded out the plate.