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Apr 11, 2011 04:12 PM

Rustic Canyon or Westside Pavillion

I work on the westside every day and in the stock market so I am usually out early ... like 1 pm.

But on Thursday, I am picking up my new Chihuahua puppy from a late night flight at LAX from the breeder. I've decided to stay in WLA / Santa Monica to dine before my trek to LAX.

Which is better: Rustic Canyon, Westside Tavern or someplace else?


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  1. Rustic Canyon is great. We were just there this past Sat and I was very impressed. We had a crispy polenta/mushroom/sunny side egg dish that was just incredible. Roast chicken with marsala/mushrooms was also amazing. Squash blossoms needed salt and were'nt in the same league as Pizzeria Mozzas, but that was the only missed oppty in our whole meal. Also great wine list and great service. Leagues better than Westside Tavern to me.

    Westside Tavern
    10850 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

    Pizzeria Mozza
    641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

    1 Reply
    1. re: CulverJack

      Thank you. I was leaning towards Westside Tavern due to its more extensive menu but will adjust accordingly.

      I'm also adding Tavern on San Vicente to the mix,

      Westside Tavern
      10850 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

    2. Both are very good, just depends on what you're looking for. If you're dining solo, WST has a large bar you can sit at if you don't want to take a booth.

      R-C, IIRC, doesn't have a bar to sit at, but a communal table, and some small (2-top) booths that they might let you take. I also recall reading that they were opening up a patio there as well.

      And Tavern has a really nice bar, plus tables in the atrium that would suit. Also similar type food, but with a great patio is Wilshire.

      Wilshire Restaurant
      2454 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90404

      2 Replies
      1. I like both restaurants for different reasons. IMHO Rustic Canyon has much better food. It's more imaginative, it's made with better ingredients, and it's executed better. It feels like a chef driven restaurant. On the downside, it is hectic when it's busy, some of the the tables are very close to one another, and it's not cheap. On paper it might not look much more expensive, but I could pretty easily eat three apps, an entree, and dessert there. My checks at Rustic Canyon tend to be pretty big. Do not even consider going without a reservation. The "bar" consists of about five seats and four two tops, and if you're lucky enough to get one of them there will be someone standing there waiting for your space for the entire time you're there. The noise level can get high at times. No hard liquor.

        Westside Tavern is really spacious, has huge comfy booths, and they have a full bar that makes pretty good cocktails. You can walk into the bar area and get a seat without nearly the trouble at Rustic Canyon. The food is solid but I wouldn't say anything there has blown my mind - for me it's like a (much) better version of something like Houston's. It just has a little more of that corporate feel. No reservations though.

        1. since i've never been to rustic canyon, i can only comment on Westside Tavern.
          periodically i'm dragged there for reasons that have nothing to do with the food.
          it should be said that many on this board like this place a lot.
          i am not one of them.
          to me, it is the quintessential emodiment of MEH all the way around.
          not cheap either.
          i was there about two weeks ago and had three courses (split the starter and a split a dessert).

          here i am two weeks later with no memory of what i ate, just remembering that, at the time, i thought that the prices were high for MEH.

          Westside Tavern
          10850 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

          1. I thought your choices where between Rustic Canyon or Hot Dog on a Stick. I'd choose Rustic Canyon