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Rustic Canyon set to open bakery-cafe

September 03, 2008|Jessica Gelt; Betty Hallock

RUSTIC CANYON Wine Bar & Seasonal Kitchen in Santa Monica plans to open a bakery-cafe and retail space next spring about two blocks down the street from its restaurant, near the soon-to-open Santa Monica Seafood. Owner Josh Loeb, pictured above, says Rustic pastry chef Zoe Nathan (whose star has been rising these days) "will be running the whole thing as far as food goes." Loeb isn't able to disclose the exact address yet because there's still a tenant in the space, but he says he's already signed the lease.

The new cafe, which is not yet named ("We've been bouncing names back and forth," says Loeb), will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will serve breakfast, lunch and takeout dinner. Expect farmers-market salads and sandwiches, along with pastries and fresh-baked bread from an on-site bread oven. There will also be specialty food items for sale in the cafe's marketplace.

Explaining the expansion, Loeb says, "The kitchen at Rustic is so small, we just can't do everything we'd like to do in it."

1119 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 393-7050;

-- Jessica Gelt


White truffles pop up early

White truffles have landed on the menu at Craft in Century City, and online foodies just can't fathom it. White in August? "Preposterous," says one Chowhound naysayer. "Nothing until October at best."

Better believe it, says Craft chef de cuisine Matt Accarrino. He says it's the earliest he's gotten them. "They are coming from Tuscany [not Alba], I'm told. . . . very fragrant." On the menu, there's Fontina and mushroom raviolo with an egg yolk and white truffle; Yukon potato pirogi with white truffle, Gruyere and cabbage; scrambled duck eggs with white truffle brioche buns. "I even made a truffle icing," Accarrino says.

Last year, a world-record 3.3-pound white truffle was dug up in Tuscany in November. Macao casino owner Stanley Ho shelled out $330,000 for it.

By the way, because of repairs being made to its floors, Craft is currently closed and will reopen for dinner at 6 p.m. Friday. Reservation lines are open.

Craft, 10100 Constellation Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 279-4180;

-- Betty Hallock


A kitchen at the Library

Will Shamlian and Michael Leko's Library Bar in downtown L.A. is about to open a kitchen. Manager Carlos Perez says that a menu is currently in the works and that the kitchen will most likely be up and running in a couple of weeks.

"We've been saying 'a couple of weeks' for about a month now," Perez jokes. "That's got nothing to do with us though; it's all about construction and permits."

According to Perez, there will be about a dozen menu items, including specialty burgers and fries. Beyond that, he says the food will not resemble typical bar food. "There won't be buffalo wings or shrimp poppers or anything like that," he says, adding that the chef is a friend of the owners and will be creating a similar menu for a new bar that the group is planning to open in Manhattan Beach.

Library, 630 W. 6th St., Suite 116-A, Los Angeles, (213) 614-0053.

-- J.G.


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