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Curious friends give their palate a workout

December 26, 2008 |  8:33 am

CuriousA new cafe is bringing the farm to the west Los Angeles neighborhood of Mar Vista. The Curious Palate Market and Kitchen opened almost three weeks ago as a cafe with an open kitchen and a shop selling a small assortment of foods, many of them from local producers and farmers.

Elliot Rubin and Mark Cannon have, separately, traveled much of the world and, as Rubin said, care passionately about food and where it comes from. Rubin grew up on a farm, trained as an engineer and has experience in agricultural equipment manufacturing. Cannon has worked in food and as a television producer.

The owners work with local farmers, including walking about a block to a Sunday farmers market on Grand View Boulevard. Among the items for sale are dried beans from Suncoast Farms in Lompoc and cider vinegar from Mill Road Orchard in Paso Robles. Small producers include Sparky's root beer and MarieBelle chocolates.

Located near the post office on Venice Boulevard, the Curious Palate has eat-in and takeout dishes, mostly soups, salads and sandwiches, priced around $10.

Among the sandwiches on the menu, which the owners plan to change seasonally, are smoked salmon with cucumber, avocado and sorrel; a grilled cheese with aged Gruyere and mozzarella; and meatloaf on a roll with lettuce and caper-mayonnaise. The neighborhood has been talking about the mac and cheese, with Gruyere, goat cheese and a cheese of the day.

The coffee is from Intelligentsia.

The Curious Palate, 12034 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles 90066. Open Tues-Sun., 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (310) 437-0144.

Photo credit: Curious Palate