4
The RoosterEXPAND
The Rooster
Michele Stueven

First Look: Bruce Marder’s Rooster Is the Cock of the Walk

Bruce Marder’s long-awaited Rooster in the former Bistro of Santa Monica space is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner with a menu worth crowing about.

After more than two years of transforming the historic corner location across the street from St. John’s Health Center, Marder has added to his gaggle of West L.A. restaurants, which include Capo, Brentwood Restaurant and Lounge, the iconic Cora’s Coffee Shop and Pono Burger.

Steak tartare and Pacific sardinesEXPAND
Steak tartare and Pacific sardines
Michele Stueven
Continue Reading

Heavily protein-forward, the Rooster house charcuterie program is cured and carved on site to order with an Italian hand-crank meat slicer and features Michele Blanchet smoked salmon, duck and other prosciutto as well as a sweet and nutty La Quercia Tamworth Acorn prosciutto; they frame the sleek and polished dining area in dry aging cabinets.

Other must-try appetizers are the Pacific sardines or steak tartare served on house-made sourdough and the BBQ Spanish shrimp cocktail. The Italian romaine white truffle Caesar is a must and plenty to share for two.

Italian hand crank meat slicerEXPAND
Italian hand crank meat slicer
Michele Stueven

A variety of aged steaks — prime New York bone-in, grass-fed filet, prime rib chop, Wisconsin veal chop from Strauss Meats, tomahawk chop and the long short rib — are all prepared on the open wood fire and enough for two. They’re crispy-charred with a slight salt finish and tender rare doneness — they beg to be gnawed to the bone. Nobody judges here.

And yes, chicken is on the menu — a Tecumseh boneless half chicken and a sous vide breast. À la carte sides include asparagus “on fire,” beets al forno with dill, yams and pepitas, and plenty of potato options.

Almond wood for the ovenEXPAND
Almond wood for the oven
Michele Stueven

Cords of almond wood are stacked up at the entrance and the smoky aroma from the custom-designed copper wood oven drifts through the neighborhood, beckoning passersby to try a Rooster pizza or flatbread. Options include farmers market vegetable pizza, cotechino sausage, meatball mozzarella and the John Paul Belmondo — heirloom tomatoes, Calabrian olives and chili.  For the approaching winter months, there are wood-fired casseroles such as monkfish with heirloom tomatoes or maple leaf duck with polenta.

For dessert, the wood-fire blackberry crumble is delightful, but we strongly suggest the spongy hazelnut Tuscan cake with chocolate and whipped cream, which summons fantasies of a mild Italian summer.

Rooster baked goodsEXPAND
Rooster baked goods
Michele Stueven

Marder has moved his Red Rooster Bakery over from the Pico Boulevard location and incorporated it into the new space, so all the bread and breakfast pastries — including bagels, cookies, muffins, croissants and biscotti — are baked on site and available for takeout. Other artisanal specialties include rye, sourdough, olive, baguettes, croissant crackers and breadsticks. Gluten-free options will be added soon.

The sunny warm space for breakfast offers a full range of coffees and baked goods, quiche Lorraine and egg white frittata Florentine. Marder has factored in the limited 45-minute lunch hours for nearby nurses and hospital staff and will be offering online ordering for pickup.

Quiche LorraineEXPAND
Quiche Lorraine
Michele Stueven

Located in a slightly awkward section of a rare Santa Monica food desert, where ambulances whiz by every eight minutes, the Rooster is currently the only dining option for staff or visitors of St. John’s (which is a city in itself) other than walking three blocks to the Whole Foods or taking your chances at the hospital’s cafeteria. Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken’s Socalo in the Gateway Hotel will flank the other side of the medical center, which may encourage more destination dining in the area.

Service is excellent while under the eagle eye of Marder, whom you’ll often find seated at the end of the elegant and well-curated bar, which includes rare Japanese whiskeys, greeting guests and surveying the relaxed atmosphere of his latest hatchling.

The Rooster, 2301 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 264-0999, theroostersantamonica.com.

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send: