This week, S. Irene Virbila raves about the casual Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica, "a prime example of the new neighborhood restaurant" that everyone will want in their own neighborhood:
Rustic Canyon belongs to the updated breed of neighborhood restaurants like Literati II, Nook, Canele, and BLD that are opening promising new territory for the L.A. dining scene. Instead of focusing on special occasion dining, these more modest restaurants are offering sophisticated and earthy everyday food. It's a sign that Los Angeles is growing up as a food culture.After a back-handed compliment for Samir Mohajer—he worked at The Little Door, to which she says, "Despite that weak recommendation, this guy can cook"—Miss Irene comments that Rustic Canyon is anything but trendy (was it the server's pigtails or the hospitable treatment that makes it "not trendy?"), which is apparently a good thing. Unfortunately, the small booths and noise level are not. Classic Virbila. She gives Rustic Canyon two stars. Today the "S." stands for "standard." [LAT]
ELSEWHERE: LA.com's encounter at Eleven; charming Thai fusion at Naraya; 10 reasons why The Knife loves Lou; Food Marathon barely breaks a sweat getting to the new Le Pain Quotidien on Roberston; and Acme Instant Food's unpotent drinks at Red Pearl Kitchen.