The Rustic Canyon Wine Bar & Seasonal Kitchen is a restaurant that transports you from the streets of Santa Monica to a familial atmosphere. It is a vision of owner Josh Loeb, whose passion and love for food helped create this bistro.
Loeb recalls the first night Rustic Canyon opened in 2006, feeling anxious, excited and nervous. Now 10 years later Loeb is celebrating the success, and support from the community of Santa Monica.
“I am very excited along with everyone else at Rustic Canyon to be celebrating our 10 year anniversary,” Loeb said. “After a year of Rustic Canyon being open I was thrilled, and never thought it would get this far. It is a great feeling to know that this restaurant is flourishing and is currently better than it has ever been and I am eager to see residents of Santa Monica at our Anniversary dinner.”
Josh was born and raised in Rustic Canyon area near Santa Monica and grew up with a family who loves food. He said, “I started hosting dinners at my house, then worked at a restaurant for some time and decided to open a restaurant in December 2006, a day where I was scared yet eager to open this place to the residents of Santa Monica.”
Rustic Canyon has become more than a business place for Loeb, it is a second home filled with family and friends, memories that bring smiles to many faces including customers.
“What makes our restaurant’s different is that we like to think that when you walk through the doors you feel as if you’re walking into a warm, intimate, and welcoming home. Almost as if you are becoming part of the Rustic Canyon family.”
Loeb met his wife Zoe Nathan who is also his business partner. She joined the Rustic Canyon team as a pastry chef in 2007 and they now have three children, Milo, Tallula, and Felix.
Santa Monica has a number of restaurants, some unfortunately going out of business fairly quickly. Rustic Canyon is able to not only stay afloat in the restaurant industry but also have five other restaurants in the city. Loeb owns Huckleberry, Sweet Rose Creamery, which now has five locations. Along with Milo and Olive, Cassia, and Esters.
“Restaurant’s go out of business for a lot of different reasons, Santa Monica is a very expensive city when it comes to rent,” Loeb said. “The city agency is traditionally hard to navigate. Financially it is incredibly tough in this industry and being busy here in Santa Monica does not necessarily mean money is coming in. It is a penny’s business,” Loeb said. “Every restaurant has months where it is not making much money that is the tough spot where finances can hurt and sometimes cause business to shut down. I am thankful that I am able to have multiple restaurant’s that are supported by people here in Santa Monica.”
Loeb has been in the restaurant business for 10 years now and expresses his keys to success. He tells every member of his staff; nearly 400 people that everything served should be fresh as if it was being served to children.
Rustic Canyon continues to thrive because of their unique dishes from the homemade focaccia, burrata, & beet molasses to the exquisite wine selection. The team takes pride in being a farm to table neighborhood restaurant where dishes are often inspired by ingredients from the nearby Santa Monica Farmers’ Market.
The restaurant is now on their fourth chef, Jeremy Fox. The team agrees that he is the most talented, creative and humble man there. Fox garnered a Michelin star while working at Ubuntu, and brings a unique quality and vision to the restaurant and creates every dish by hand with the best ingredients in town.
Rustic Canyon has many regular customers, loyal residents that visit several of Loeb’s’ restaurants and always expressing their thoughts and opinions to him.
“We love each and every one of our customers,” he said. “We respect our customers and I think they know that and that is probably why our December 8th dinner is almost sold out.”
Rustic Canyon family will be hosting three-month dinners to celebrate the 10th anniversary. The events will take place October 3rd, November 7th, and December 8th.
The first dinner is Out of Town Friends on October 3, with people like James Syhabout, Carlos SalgadoMourad, Lahlou and Gerard Craft in addition to James and Carlos. Co-Owner Zoe Nathan will be preparing the dessert.
The second dinner will be held on November 7 and is Local Friends like Jessica Koslow, and Josef Centeno, Ori Menashe, and Walter Manzke, with Rustic Canyon’s Jun Tan handling dessert.”
The third and final dinner is on December 8, now sold out, where Fox welcomes back Samir Mohajer, and Evan Funke in addition to current Rustic Canyon talent Chef de Cuisine Brittany Cassidy, Sous Chef Andy Doubrava, Pastry Chef Jun Tan, and Co-Owner Zoe Nathan.”
The six course meal is $125 per person and tickets are available for purchase online through https://rusticcanyon.tocktix.com only. No reservation will be taken for these events.
By Marina Andalon