Restaurant Openings

Now Open: Truxton's American Bistro in Santa Monica + No-Label Cask Wine Program

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Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 9:13 AM
click to enlarge "Bahn Mi" Steak Sandwich at Truxton's Santa Monica - JANE SHALAKHOVA
  • Jane Shalakhova
  • "Bahn Mi" Steak Sandwich at Truxton's Santa Monica

Truxton's American Bistro, which has been open in Westchester near LAX for the past seven years, has opened a location in Santa Monica. The restaurant is serving fairly standard American fare -- fish and chips, fish tacos, chili glazed chicken wings, etc. -- but there is something not so standard at Truxton's, and that's the wine program.

Put together by Lou Moench, who was a longtime manager at the original Father's Office, Truxton's wine program will feature wine exclusively from casks. Perhaps even more interesting, he's doing away with winery labels -- all you'll know when ordering is the varietal, the vintage and the region.

The idea is to challenge people's perceptions and prejudices. "We believe people are swayed by labels and by names, by Robert Parker and ratings, by cost and price," Moench says. "We're trying to remove all that."

I might argue that people are just as prejudiced about varietals and regions as they are about labels, but time and time again wine professionals have told me that labels do drive what many people buy.

There's also a claim that the wine served here will deliver much more value, because the costs of bottling and distribution are eliminated when getting a cask directly from the winery. Though given that labels aren't known, we'll never know exactly how much less costly these wines are. Wines are served by the glass, 1/2 carafe and carafe, with prices for a full carafe ranging from about $26-$40.

Truxton's chef is Greg Schroeppel, who worked for many years with Wolfgang Puck at Spago, Chinois and Granita. The owners are Tim Foley and John Kaufman. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner, and also for breakfast on the weekend.

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