New pastry chef at Rustic Canyon
After a tip-off at the Wednesday Santa Monica farmers market, I went to Rustic Canyon last night to check out the new dessert menu, courtesy of the new pastry chef. (Pastry chefs seem to play musical kitchens more than most chefs.) Until two weeks ago, Rustic Canyon had not had a full-time pastry chef; it had been relying on the expert services of Roxana Jullapat (Campanile, Lucques), who had been consulting on the dessert menu. With Jullapat moving to Oregon, the restaurant now has a new in-house pastry chef: Zoe Nathan, who spent the last year at BLD and the two years prior to that at San Francisco's Tartine. You can tell Nathan's training is as a baker: Her Valrhona chocolate espresso pudding comes with a house-made mini croissant as well as market berries. I also had the fig and blackberry crostata with crème fraîche, along with a bowl of assorted ice creams and sorbets (mint-chip, cinnamon and espresso for the ice creams; mixed berry-peach and lemon-buttermilk for the sorbets). And alongside my double cappuccino came a tiny cocoa-nib meringue. Good thing I didn't eat dinner first. (Apologies to Chef Mohajer.)
Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen, 1119 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 393-7050.
-- Amy Scattergood
Photos by Amy Scattergood