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A SPRING FULL OF EXCITING BEGINNINGS
Happy Spring everyone. It’s a really special time of year as some of our favorite produce like peas and asparagus are peaking, strawberries are getting sweeter with more depth of flavor, and the first cherries and stone fruit are just around the corner. Spring is also a time of growth and new beginnings and we at the Rustic Canyon Family of Restaurants are swimming in new projects right now. Highlighted in this newsletter is the introduction of Tallula’s, our newest restaurant just on the brink of opening, as well as a change in how we take online reservations for Rustic and Cassia, the release of Jeremy Fox’s long awaited first cookbook and new offerings at Esters, Huckleberry, Sweet Rose and Milo & Olive. So without further ado here’s what’s happening right now at the Rustic Canyon Family of Restaurants.
HERE COMES TALLULA'S
We are beyond excited to announce our newest project, Tallula’s, opening sometime in the next month. Tallula’s is a project close to the heart, a Mexican restaurant in the old Marix Tex-Mex space near PCH and Entrada in Santa Monica Canyon. We grew up going to to Marix Tex-Mex on Entrada Dr, and for a while now we’ve wanted the opportunity to do something really personal in that space. Last year we connected with Marix’s long time owners Mary Sweeney and Victoria Shemaria (who also own Marix in West Hollywood, which remains open). They had a great 30-year run at their beach location and were looking to pass it on to someone who would handle it with great care. Tallula’s will be our neighborhood Mexican restaurant with familiar Mexican dishes using the best local and primarily organic ingredients.
We’re doing this project in partnership with our Chef and partner at Rustic, Jeremy Fox, and the extremely talented Mario Alberto, formerly of Laurel Hardware, will run the kitchen as our Executive Chef. Look for dishes like have Half Roasted Organic Chicken with Mole Casero, Market Vegetables and Fresh Herbs, Heritage Turkey Enchiladas, Grilled Fish Tacos with Mexican Sauerkraut and Tomatillo Salsa, plus great Ceviche, House Made Chips and Guacamole and Duck Chilaquiles. The bar will be manned by Rustic’s cocktail creator Aaron Ranf with great classic Margaritas, Palomas and other cocktails inspired by agave spirits and the best seasonal fruits. A thoughtfully-curated wine list will be put together by Esters’ own Kathryn Coker.
Tallula’s will be open nightly at 4 PM 7 nights a week. We’ll send another note when we have a firm opening date and when we begin taking reservations. We hope to see you there.
A NEW WAY TO MAKE ONLINE RESERVATIONS
After many years working with Open Table, the Rustic Canyon Family of Restaurants is officially making the switch to a new online reservation service, Resy. Although we’re often late adapters to technology, we’re really excited about Resy and feel it will ultimately provide an easier and more intuitive reservation experience for us in the restaurants and for our guests.
Online reservations for Rustic Canyon and Cassia can be made by going on our restaurant websites or by going through the Resy app. We love how easy Resy is to use and the helpful text confirmations, reminders and tips they provide to our customers. We will be using Resy at Tallula’s when that opens as well. The other great thing about Resy is that they work tirelessly to make their product better, so if you have any feedback for how the reservation experience can be easier for you please let us know and we’ll pass that on.
RUSTIC CANYON'S JEREMY FOX RELEASES ON VEGETABLES
We’re very excited to announce that Jeremy has released his long awaited cookbook, On Vegetables, published by Phaidon. This incredibly beautiful book dates back to his time as a Michelin-starred chef at Ubuntu, where, although he was a omnivore himself, he focused on working exclusively with vegetables and bringing out the most in them. On Vegetables is a beautiful love letter to veggies, to the multiple ways they can be used, to the fact that they are not just a side show, but deserve to be the star of the show themselves. The book can be purchased at Amazon or at most of our restaurants, including Rustic Canyon, Esters, Sweet Rose and Huckleberry. In honor of the release of the book, Rustic Canyon will be hosting a very special cookbook release dinner. On Monday May 8th, Jeremy and his amazing kitchen leaders, Brittany Cassidy and Andy Doubrava, will be cooking a 5-course all vegetarian dinner featuring dishes from the book. The cost of the dinner, which includes a signed copy of the book with each ticket, is $105 and tickets can be purchased through our website. For those of us who never made it to Ubuntu to experience Jeremy’s exclusively-vegetarian menu this is a night not to be missed.
HAPPY TWO YEAR BDAYS CASSIA AND ESTER
In the next couple of months, Cassia and Esters will turn 2. It’s been a great couple of years on 7th St., and what we’ve loved most is how many of you use both places, often in the same night, to make for a special evening. Cassia continues to thrive and grow. Bryant continues to refine his classic dishes while adding new exciting additions to the menu like Cold Sesame Noodles, which can be made extra delicious with the addition of Blue Crab, as well as Pork Meatballs with a Cashew Curry and Tomato Sauce served with Clay Oven Bread, and Grilled Eggplant with Lemongrass Curry. Kenny Arbuckle, our fearless cocktail leader, continues to innovate with great new drinks like a Kumquat Pisco Sour, Thai Basil Margarita and a Blood Orange Aperitivo made with a Lemongrass/Pineapple infused Vermouth. The cover comes off the patio on May 2nd so we hope to enjoy many of these and other favorite dishes and drinks with you all the rest of the Spring and throughout the beginning of the Summer.
The innovation continues at Esters where earlier this year we were lucky enough to welcome the super talented Chris Ono to run the #littlekitchenthatcould. In roughly 300 square feet of space without a hood, Chris has elevated the food at Esters from just wine bar offerings to a robust menu that you can make a full meal of. Chris trained under famous local Sushi Chef Morihiro Onedera, so his love of raw fish translates into a great Local Amberjack Crudo with JJ’s Lone Daughter Citrus and a rotating selection of delicious Oysters that pair great with Kathryn’s selection of Champagne and bubbles. Chris also trained in New York at Eleven Madison Park and is turning out other great dishes like Koda Farms Chickpea Salad with Soft Boiled Egg and Harissa, Slow Cooked Beef Stew with Fregola Sarda and an amazing Corned Beef Reuben with Sauerkraut and Raclette. A modified lunch menu is served daily from 12-4, a great happy hour begins goes from 4-6 and our full dinner menu also begins at 4 nightly.
Also, we’re so proud of our partner and beloved Sommelier Kathryn Coker as she was named as one of Food & Wine’s top 8 Sommeliers in the country!! Kathryn has an amazing knack for finding beautiful small production wines from around the world and the ability to tell their stories. If you’re a wine lover or know someone who is, we highly recommend signing up for one of our Wine of the Month Clubs. There are multiple levels of the wine club with varying prices so you can choose whichever you prefer and each month two thoughtfully curated wines can be shipped to your home with notes from Kathryn telling the story of each winemaker as well as great tasting notes on the wine itself. One of my favorite moments of the month is when my box arrives!
OTHER FUN HAPPENINGS AND MORE TO COME
All of our other restaurants and shops continue to thrive and create new offerings that we can all be excited about.
Sweet Rose features new flavors like a Spread the Love Peanut Butter with Chocolate Swirl, the surprisingly refreshing Basil Ice Cream, and a collaboration on a new flavor with Jeremy to celebrate his new book, which is White Chocolate Ice Cream with Minty Pea Swirl and Macadamia Nuts. It’s so good! Sweet Rose is also now selling pints at one of our favorite markets, Erewhon so grab a pint if your shopping there in person or on Instacart.
Huckleberry is jamming along with great new dishes like our Organic Chinese Chicken Salad, a delicious hearty but healthy breakfast of Braised White Beans and Kale with Eggs, and the gluttonous Spicy Toad in a Whole Grilled Cheese. In the next few months we’re also planning the long-awaited return of our weekly dinner series at Huckleberry, this time with a very fun twist that we’ll say more about as it gets closer.
And Milo and Olive continues to be a neighborhood favorite with great new dishes like a Bresaola and Shaved Asparagus Salad with House Pickled Carrots, Arugula and Pecorino and a mouth-watering Spaghetti Alla Chitarra with Dungeness Crab. We will also be unveiling a new catering menu soon with great new options to make your next party or event a special Italian feast. Check our website for updates.
As always, we thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t grow the way we’re growing or doing what we love without your loyal support of our restaurants. We look forward to seeing you soon.