More restaurants are piling on the barbecue love we're seeing so much of this year. Add Rustic Canyon to the list. Owner Josh Loeb is turning the casually genteel Santa Monica restaurant into a hub of smoky action on Saturday, July 4 only, starting at 4:00.

Loeb tells Squid Ink that the Rustic Canyon crew, including Chef Evan Funke, wants to “basically make it the kind of party we want to go to on Fourth of July.” The to-be-finalized a la carte menu includes slow cooked BBQ pork ribs, lobster rolls, soft shell crab sandwiches, corn and crab chowder, and homemade ice cream. It also means the best of the summer farmers' market, so they're psyched “to do watermelon and tomato salad, lots of corn stuff.”

A grill will be assembled on-site behind the restaurant, and “Beer Chick” Christina Perozzi curates the drink program with specialized and rare brews.

1119 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 393-7050 or

Coming up sooner is Nick + Stef's Steakhouse's last minute, outdoor BBQ and happy hour happening this Thursday, June 25 from 3:30-9:30 p.m. Downtown. Chef Brian Kiepler's specials include carne asada tacos for $2.50 and $6 summer cocktails.

Wells Fargo Center, 330 S. Hope St., Downtown, (213) 680-0330 or

This event isn't until later next month, but the 12 spots are likely to go fast. Ben Ford wears two chef's hats as griller and teacher on July 19 at Ford's Filling Station for Chef Ben's Master Griller Class. The course is from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and costs $120 per participant. RSVP to (310) 202-1470 or e-mail

9531 Culver Blvd., Culver City, (310) 202-1470 or

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