The Undercover Vegetarian: Rustic Canyon

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Thu, May 16, 2013 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge Roasted sugar snap peas at Rustic Canyon - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Roasted sugar snap peas at Rustic Canyon
Chef Jeremy Fox once presided over the most celebrated vegetarian menu in the country at Ubuntu in Napa. So now that he's taken the helm at Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica, it is no surprise that it's quite easy to eat incredibly well without meat at his current endeavor.

On the current menu, more than half of the "small plates" section celebrates the bounty of Southern California spring produce without a lick of meat. There are multiple salads, a chilled English pea and asparagus soup with ramps, fiddlehead ferns and nasturtiums, a plate that celebrates beets and another that celebrates burrata.

But still, you have to watch out -- Fox sneaks meat into a side dish of potatoes, roasting them in chicken drippings, and covering a lovely plate of spring asparagus with bone marrow gravy. And there's no traditional vegetarian entrée, though a meal of roasted sugar snap peas, potato croquettes and one or two of Fox's lovely salads sounds better to me than many vegetable plates around town anyhow.

Fox may no longer preside over a vegetarian kitchen, but Rustic Canyon is nonetheless welcoming for all types of eaters.

See also:

- Rustic Canyon Review: Chef Jeremy Fox Makes a Good Restaurant Even Better

- The Undercover Vegetarian archives

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