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Santa Monica’s Rustic Canyon Taps First Female Executive Chef in 16-Year History

Plus, a deadly shooting at an Inglewood dining institution, a farmers market returns, and more

A woman in glasses and a purple apron smiles at the camera.
New Rustic Canyon executive chef Zarah Khan.
Elise Freimuth

Rustic Canyon’s Andy Doubrava, who’s been with the restaurant for seven years and was named executive chef in 2019, is leaving the crown jewel of the Westside’s Rustic Canyon group to launch a sustainability-focused dinner series with his wife, chef Tiff Ortiz. With Doubrava’s departure, the Santa Monica restaurant named its first female executive chef in its nearly 16-year history: Zarah Khan. She most recently helmed the kitchen at Silver Lake’s Botanica and will officially step into the role on October 25. (Previous executive chefs include overseeing chef/owner Jeremy Fox, who now also runs Birdie G’s, and Evan Funke.)

Khan, who staged at Rustic Canyon a few years ago, is expected to bring some of her signature bright Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors to the restaurant’s menu, while maintaining its robust larder and fermentation program. “Thinking back to the first e-mail I got from Jeremy Fox a few years ago inviting me to stage, to now — what a trip. I am so excited to see what kind of food we dream up in that kitchen,” says Khan.

“One of the beautiful aspects of Rustic Canyon is its ability to offer chefs a fresh canvas on which to explore what a great neighborhood restaurant can be,” says Fox, who is a fan of Khan’s and dined at Botanica as soon as it reopened for on-site dining. “I feel very fortunate to be working with Zarah, to help her continue that exploration, and most importantly, to be able to use my company discount to eat her food anytime I want.”

A deadly shooting at Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles

Variety reports that rapper PnB Rock was shot and killed yesterday while dining with his girlfriend at the Inglewood location of Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘N Waffles. Rock was reportedly also robbed at the scene. Some are speculating that the shooter learned of his location after it was posted on social media.

Thursday farmers market returns to City Hall

The nonprofit Los Angeles River Artists and Business Association is relaunching the popular Thursday L.A. City Hall Farmers’ Market on Main Street (between First Street and Temple Avenue, across from the entrance to Los Angeles City Hall) with a grand reopening on September 29. The market, which closed due to the pandemic in 2020, will be held year-round on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine.

Cofax goes nuts for donuts

Breakfast burrito go-to Cofax has another morning option to add to the mix: Find the South Bay-based, Black-owned Nuts & Bolts yeasted donuts at the Fairfax coffee shop, in flavors like sugar and French toast. The donuts are also currently available daily at Menotti’s in Culver City and Venice, Bluey’s Market in Santa Monica, and Two Guns Espresso in Manhattan Beach, and for delivery via online ordering.

A week-long Negroni celebration

Highland Park Spanish restaurant Otoño is celebrating Negroni Week until September 18, offering three special Negronis made with spirits ranging from the traditional gin to mezcal and tequila. A portion of the proceeds from the Negronis’ sales will benefit Slow Food USA.

Casa Vega’s Hispanic Heritage Month happenings

Historic Valley Mexican restaurant Casa Vega has lots of exciting news tied to Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15). It’s bringing back its celeb partnerships, teaming up with former LA Dodger and Mexican American MLB star Adrían “El Titán” González on a limited run of “El Titán” michelada, made sans tomato juice with Tapatío hot sauce, salsa negra, Worcestershire, Maggi seasoning sauce, lime juice, and Calidad cerveza.

There’s also a Mexican Independence Day celebration on September 16, a Latinx drag queen brunch on October 6, and more. Proceeds from the ongoing specials and celebrations will benefit No Us Without You. Follow the restaurant on Instagram for more information.

Rustic Canyon

1119 Wilshire Boulevard, , CA 90401 (310) 393-7050 Visit Website