Location: 1119 Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica, Ca 90401. 310-393-7050
Date: Dec 20, 2010
Cuisine: Farmer’s Market Californian
When I first moved out to California in the early 90s LA cuisine was typified by Asian influences and whacky fusions — all of which I enjoyed. In recent years fusion has become more subtle — and more prevalent — and more and more top restaurants have become ingredient driven. Those whose chefs have a knack are really good, and Rustic Canyon is one of them. My review of a previous meal is here.
Another gem from my cellar. Parker gives this 95. “Another unbelievably rich, multidimensional, broad-shouldered wine, with slightly more elegance and less weight than the powerhouse 1996, this gorgeously proportioned, medium to full-bodied, fabulously ripe, rich, cassis-scented and flavored Grand-Puy-Lacoste is a beauty. It should be drinkable within 4-5 years, and keep for 25-30. This classic Pauillac is a worthy rival to the other-worldly 1996. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2025. Wow! What extraordinary wines Grand-Puy-Lacoste has produced in both 1995 and 1996. At present, I have a marginal preference for the blockbuster 1996, but I am not about to argue with anybody who prefers the 1995! Both are compelling wines.”
The menu here changes daily. Very little is the same as the last time I visited and reviewed.
Like in Spain, olives on the table.
“Squash blossoms, goat cheese and mint.” Fry is always good. This is a Roman dish, specifically, it’s a Jewish Roman dish that’s centuries old — and it’s still great.
“coleman farms lettuces pickled shallots, parmigiano-reggiano, mustard vinaigrette.” Tasted more like pizza than salad!
“panzanella hierloom tomatoes, green olives, red onion, country bread, arugula.”
“ricotta gnocchi braised duck ragu, parmigiano-reggiano.” These melted in the mouth, and were as good as a similar dish at any Italian joint.
“niman ranch pork chop roasted pears, pancetta, porcini, sage.”
“niman ranch burger, breakfast style. With confit bacon, sunny side-up egg, hash brown, tilamook cheddar, 18 hand-cut french fries.”
Zoom in here for the heart stopping view.
If you read regularly, you’ll have seen this favorite before. Parker gives this 96. “Beaucastel has been on a terrific qualitative roll over the last four vintages, and the 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape (which Francois Perrin feels is similar to the 1990, although I don’t see that as of yet) is a 15,000-case blend of 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise, and the balance split among the other permitted varietals of the appellation. This inky/ruby/purple-colored cuvee offers a classic Beaucastel bouquet of new saddle leather, cigar smoke, roasted herbs, black truffles, underbrush, and blackberry as well as cherry fruit. It is a superb, earthy expression of this Mourvedre-dominated cuvee. Full-bodied and powerful, it will undoubtedly close down over the next several years, not to re-emerge for 7-8 years. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2025.”
The desert menu.
Coffee ice cream, more like gelato.
“Pear ginger sundae, pear riesling sorbet, gingerbread crumbs, caramel sauce.” Not your classic sundae. The pear sorbet and the breadcrumbs tasted like pear pie. The creamy looking stuff was more a creme fraiche than a whipped cream. Overall delicious.
“Passion fruit posset, creme fraiche whipped cream, toasted pistachios.” Tasted like passion fruit pudding. I love passion fruit.
Again Rustic Canyon proves it’s chops. And Ron Howard was there too.