About Our Family
It all started WHEN…
Founder Josh Loeb hosted an intimate series of dinners at his tree house-like home nestled in Rustic Canyon. He’d shop at the nearby Santa Monica Farmers’ Market for the best produce and come up with different themes for each night. Lovers of quality food and wine would gather around a long, candlelit table to share the joy of a meal created with thought and passion. New friends were made, stories were told and favorite wines were discovered. This is what inspired the idea behind Rustic Canyon, which opened in December 2006. Soon after, Zoe Nathan, also a Santa Monica native, joined the team as pastry chef. She and Josh fell in love, and with their friend Colby Goff, they began opening more restaurants in the neighborhood.
Our Rustic Canyon Family includes a variety of dining destinations, all in partnership with some of our favorite people and incredibly, talented chefs. We embrace seasonality and make as much as possible in-house using classic craftsmanship and technique, while sourcing the highest-quality ingredients from local farmers and vendors with sustainable practices. We believe in creating welcoming spaces for everyone, and really take “family” to heart, by ensuring our employees and all who walk through our doors feel at home.
Rustic Canyon - Helmed by Executive Chef Andy Doubrava and James Beard-nominated Chef/Owner Jeremy Fox, this hyper-seasonal, Michelin-starred restaurant is constantly inspired by the beautiful ingredients that come from local farmers and purveyors. We make everything from scratch here (even the sea salt) and the menu changes up every day. Our award-winning wine list, curated by Sommelier Ferdinando Mucerino, runs 500 bottles deep.
Huckleberry Bakery & Café - What started off as a series of weekend breakfast pop-ups at Rustic Canyon turned into a breakfast and lunch spot that debuted in February 2009. Zoe and Director of Bakery Operations Laurel Almerinda keep the pastry case overflowing with biscuits, tarts and doughnuts, while Chef/Partner Erin Eastland’s savory, market-driven menu features fresh salads, sandwiches and comforting breakfast dishes.
Sweet Rose Creamery - As one of the few homegrown Los Angeles ice cream shops, Sweet Rose was born out of Josh, Zoe, Colby and Founding Chef Shiho Yoshikawa’s desire to create delicious ice cream in a nostalgic setting. The first shop opened in 2010 at the Brentwood Country Mart, and we now have three other charming locations in Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Mid-City. Our small batches of organic ice cream feature ingredients from the farmers’ market and are handcrafted daily in our Santa Monica kitchen, with flavors ranging from nostalgic classics to more whimsical, seasonal offerings.
Milo & Olive - Also helmed by Chef/Partner Erin Eastland, this neighborhood pizzeria debuted in winter 2011, and it’s also the bread-baking hub for our group. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, pop in early for a morning bun, honey latte and a loaf of bread to-go. Later in the day, dig into classic and seasonal wood-fired pizzas, fresh, handmade pastas, wood-fired veggies and more. Don’t forget the Garlic Knot—it’s a local favorite!
Cassia - This critically-acclaimed Southeast Asian brasserie opened in June 2015 as a partnership with Chef Bryant Ng and his wife Kim Luu-Ng. Taking its roots from Bryant and Kim’s culinary heritage and experiences, it celebrates the fresh, vibrant flavors of Southeast Asia, while striking a unique balance of soulful, ancestral cuisine and a California sensibility, utilizing the best quality ingredients from local farmers.
Esters Wine Shop & Bar - Right across the hall from Cassia is this chic wine shop, bar and restaurant that opened in July 2015. Co-owned by RC Family Wine Director Kathryn Coker and her husband Tug, you can come for a glass of champagne and a meal, buy a special bottle for a friend, stock your wine cellar and attend weekly Sunday tastings. There are 250+ wines to choose from, along with cocktails, charcuterie & cheese and more composed plates by Chef Jessica Liu He for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.
Tallula’s - Just steps from the beach, this market-driven Mexican spot debuted in April 2017 and is helmed by Executive Chef Saw Naing and Chef/Partner Jeremy Fox. Josh and Zoe both grew up going to this location in its former incarnation as a Tex Mex restaurant. The team calls on time-honored recipes to make fresh chile pastes and salsas in-house, as well as their own heirloom corn masa for fresh tortillas. There’s also a great bar with one of the largest collections of Mexican, small-batch spirits on the Westside.
Milo SRO - A sister to Milo & Olive, this “standing-room-only” pizza parlor opened in April 2019 and specializes in large, New York-style pies for delivery and take-out, but you can also pop in for just a slice! Chef/Partner Erin Eastland and Zoe came up with the housemade pizza doughs and mini garlic knots. Everything is made with really great ingredients like organic flour and tomatoes, non-GMO mozzarella, locally-sourced meats and veggies, along with gluten-free and vegan options. Our Sweet Rose Creamery kitchen is housed in the back, so you can snag a pint of ice cream on your way out!
Birdie G’s - Tucked away within Santa Monica’s historic Bergamot Station, this dining destination opened in late June 2019 from Jeremy Fox. It celebrates regional American cookery and timeless family recipes, with a nod to the nostalgic spirit of supper clubs. The delightfully large and comforting menu features a variety of wood-grilled steaks and meats, fresh west coast seafood, pastas, salads and whimsical mashups like a "Sloppy Jeremy" Texas Toast and a "Hangtown Brei." There’s literally something for everyone! The wine list is equally massive and fun, featuring over 250 selections curated by Rustic Canyon Family Wine Director Kathryn Coker. Our fare is a little familiar, a little playful and we hope it reminds you a little bit of home.
Cassia Rice & Noodle Kitchen - Chef Bryant Ng and the Cassia team debuted this delivery-only and take-out “kitchen within a kitchen” in late June 2019. It specializes in more casual, Southeast Asian fare, and it’s the kind of comfort food Bryant and Kim love to eat home on a daily basis. Enjoy a variety of rice and noodle-based dishes made with the same level of skill, passion and high-quality ingredients that fans of Cassia have come to know and love. Everything is made to travel well and at a more delivery-friendly price point too!
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