Cheese maven Andrew Steiner, whose eponymous Santa Monica shop is conveniently close to Rustic Canyon restaurant, helps curate a Local Artisan Cheese Dinner there on Monday, April 20. Steiner's selections provide some interesting jumping off points from which chef Evan Funke and pastry wizard Zoe Nathan (also of Huckleberry, Rustic Canyon's new spin-off project) have conceptualized a slightly unorthodox dairy dinner. No mac n' cheese or straight up potatoes au gratin to be found here. Instead the menu includes crispy stuffed morel mushrooms with Red Darla cheese from Washington state, Niman Ranch short rib gratin that incorporates Cypress Grove's Purple Haze goat milk cheese, and trifle featuring Bellwether Farm's crème fraiche and brown sugar. ($65 per person, with cheese course and wine pairing optional).
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Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen is at 1119 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 393-7050 or www.rusticcanyonwinebar.com.