Rustic Canyon Attitude
I always find it entertaining how new restaurants hire front of the house people with attitudes that would drive away the most laid back hound. This is the new "hot spot" in Santa Monica and in my personal opinion it will go the way of Yu, Wilshire (which you can get into anytime these days), and a host of other "attitude" places.
When a hostess barks at me that my reservation was canceled because I was 20 minutes late for a 5:30pm reservation(even though we called from the car to announce the fact that traffic was a nightmare, and spoke to another host), and when we arrive gives me a "well we will have to find you a spot and this is a severe inconvenience", in a near empty restaurant, I know they are in trouble. As an aside we finished around 7pm and there were still open two tops.
The food is not bad, but is not special either. The prices are high, probably due to their lack of a liquor license, and $14 or $12 for a dessert is inexcusable at a "wine bar" (we shared an apple crumble-whose crumble was not even cooked through). We tried five different "small plates" and each was well presented, tasty, but lackluster.
This being a "wine bar", without a great and assorted list, I asked what the corkage would be and was told it is $25 per bottle. Now, Melisse gets $30 and waves the second bottle, and I think the desserts are $14, so you make the choice. Back to the old favorites, Josie, Jiraffe, Drago, and if you want wine bar small plates Beechwood, Primativo.