Huckleberry Cafe, from Chef Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb, the husband and wife team behind Rustic Canyon, has barely been open three weeks, but word has clearly spread. There was a line out the door today at lunch, despite the rain. Nathan is pretty famous for her pastries, and while Rustic Canyon only had Saturday morning breakfasts, you can buy her goodies for breakfast and lunch every day at Huckleberry Cafe. (Saturday breakfasts at Rustic Canyon are kaput now.)
The cafe occupies a bright, casual space, perfect for Santa Monica, while the menu focuses on “locally sourced, farm-driven” foods, such as salads, sandwiches, soups, rotisserie meats (free-range Jidori chicken, of course, and duck on Thursdays) as well as all kinds of breakfast treats. Also perfect for Santa Monica. There’s a communal table for those who want to mingle with neighbors, a growing trend in LA. I arrived just after 11 a.m. in the mood for a hearty breakfast, but I’d just missed the cutoff. Instead I ordered the one savory, breakfasty item on the lunch menu, a fried egg sandwich with Niman Ranch bacon, gruyere, arugula and aioli on two thick pieces of freshly baked country bread ($9.50). Delicious. The caffe latte hit the spot, too.
I also brought home some moist turkey meatballs in a tomato sauce and three prepared salads, one with farro (a type of wheat), english peas and feta; one with tangy broccoli and one with crunchy/sweet sugar snap peas ($12.75 for the trio). All fresh, healthy and tasty. Thumbs up for Huckleberry Cafe. Not that they need it. – Jenny