Something Happened At Rustic Canyon

On Thursday night, we were supposed to go to dinner with Craig’s former boss and the boss’s wife. A work dinner, so to speak. “7:30 at Pizzeria Mozza,” said Craig, earlier in the day.

Then, as 7:30 rolled around, Craig pulled me aside. “I told a white lie,” he said. “We’re not going out with (name redacted) and (name redacted). I’m taking you to Rustic Canyon.”

Rustic Canyon is the restaurant I’ve been most eager to try since returning to L.A. from New York back in February. The chef, Jeremy Fox, is our new neighbor here in Atwater Village. His reputation, as a chef, is stellar; back in 2008, Frank Bruni named his former restaurant, Ubuntu, “the 2nd best restaurant in the United States outside of New York.” Rustic Canyon was #1 on my “to try” list.


Of course, all of this was a little suspicious and I had questions.

“What’s this for?” I asked.

“To say thank you for taking care of the move while I was working on my movie,” said Craig.

“Ah,” I said.

“I don’t have a ring in my pocket, so don’t get your hopes up,” he joked. (We joke about getting engaged often.)

Rustic Canyon is a sunny, friendly spot (though the woman in the foreground of this picture clearly didn’t want to have her picture taken. Sorry!)


We started with the cocktails you see at the top of the post: mine, Corazon de Fresas, had Scorpion Mezcal Silver, Gaviota strawberry, fresh lime and fresh basil. Craig’s–Rosemary’s Baby–had Old Tom’s Gin, Cocchi Americano, Prosecco, and a Rosemary sprig.

The drinks hit the spot and then the food was just oh so good. The Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese Puffs with Sauce Mornay were so full of flavorful, liquified cheese, I almost wore it out as a souvenir. But I would’ve been glad to have had a souvenir of something that tasted so good.


The halibut tonnato (with pickled vegetables, capers and tarragon) and fat uncle farm’s almonds with lavender sugar & sea salt–gifts from the chef (very neighborly!)–were also wonderful. (Those almonds are addictive. They give lavender a good name.)


The pork belly terrine with violet mustard, cornichon, shallot & parsley was expertly made.


The beets and berries with creamy horseradish, fresh dill pollen and pistachio were delightful and surprising.


The Coleman green beans & stonefruit with cana de cabra goat cheese, grilled peach jam and macadamia were a highlight.


But my favorite dish of all was this deconstructed French onion soup with grilled bread, bone marrow and a really intense broth. Amazing.


The California prawns with Calabrian chili butter were excellent too (with bread to sop up the sauce, thank God).


And the ricotta gnocchi with short rib, strawberry soffrito (yes you heard that right), pine nut, and wild fennel was a far out dish.


At this point in the meal, we were a bit tipsy with cocktails, wine and food and we jokingly brought up the engagement conversation again.

“Do you want to get married?” asked Craig.

“I do,” I said.

“Ok, we’ll get married,” he said.

We’d had this conversation before. It went just like that. Then: nothing happened.

I went to the bathroom and when I came out I said, “You know, if we leave here and say to ourselves ‘we’re getting married’ but we don’t do anything about it, then we won’t get married.”

“So what are you saying?”

“I’m saying, the only way we’ll really get married is if we call our parents tomorrow and say ‘we’re getting married.'”

Dessert arrived (suggested by the chef). Pudwill Farms Blueberry tart had a sweet corn pastry cream that made it positively scream of summer.


And the frozen mint chocolate torte really tasted like a York Peppermint Patty, only better.


“Ok,” said Craig, “we can tell our parents tomorrow.”

“We can?”


“So we’re engaged? For real?”

“We’re engaged.”

The next morning, I called my mom and Craig called his. Turns out dinner-with-the-boss was really our engagement dinner. Now we just have to plan a wedding.

144 thoughts on “Something Happened At Rustic Canyon”

  1. So incredibly thrilled for y’all. And the story is great. Congrats! And wedding planning is the best !

  2. SHUT UP! Oh Mylanta! Congratulations to you and Craig! Oh wow! I am smiling from ear to ear and my eyes are teared up. I am so incredibly happy for you both. How did the parents take it?

  3. Congratulations guys!! I’m looking forward to see what kind of beautiful food madness is at your wedding.

  4. Mazel tov!! I am so happy for you guys. May you love each other and eat wonderfully for as long as you both shall live!

  5. Yay!! Congratulations!!!!! I can’t wait to read all about the the plans and the wedding and of course the food. :-)

  6. I just skimmed through all the pictures and then started crying when I finally got to the juice. I’m so excited for you & Craig! CONGRATS!!!

  7. Fantastic! I’m writing as a fan from Paris and I cordially invite you to get married here in Paris! I will host a brunch for both of you!

  8. Congratulations!!! I love this story and you know it still will make a great story years from now (say at your 25th wedding anniversary party). I know your years together will include lots of great food, dinner parties with friends, and, most importantly, love. Best wishes to both of you.

  9. Hurray! Marriage is awesome. I’m happy for you and looking forward to reading about wedding plans! You may already know this, but most bakeries will let you taste a ridiculous amount of cake if you tell them you’re planning a wedding.

  10. I’ve been reading your blog for years and years and have never commented, but I couldn’t resist this time. Your post made me so happy! Congratulations and best wishes!

  11. I’m so happy for you both. After following your stories for all these years, I feel like a family member is telling me this. Congratulations!

  12. Your blog made me so happy today. After reading some truly bad stuff in the paper this morning, and hearing some truly bad stuff on CNN, I settled down to your blog. I am so happy for you and wish I could bake you cake.

  13. Huge Congratulations! I saw your post on facebook and immediately jumped to your blog, I literally ran through the entire entire post so that I could read the part to who proposed and how you got engaged! That’s awesome and thank you so much for sharing it with your readers, we are excited for you guys and look forward to sharing your journey up to your marriage if you are willing to.

  14. Congratulations, Adam and Craig!!! So happy for you. I know you have a wonderful marriage in store: full of art and food and friends and family and love. Can’t wait to hear all about your wedding plans as they unfold!

  15. Congratulations, Adam and Craig!!! So happy for you. I know you have a wonderful marriage in store: full of art and food and friends and f

  16. Congratulations to you and Craig!!! I’m so happy for you both and got all teared up reading this. I totally skipped to the end of your post hoping that was what I would read!

  17. Congratulations!!!! You know you have to let us know every detail of your wedding planning, right?? :) So happy for you and Craig!

  18. Oh my gosh!!!! Congratulations. So many of my friends are getting engaged, and I have to say, I’m absolutely thrilled. What a dinner. :)

  19. Mazal tov! So exciting for you guys. What a lovely, understated way to share some big big news. (Dinner looks amazing, btw.) Congrats!

  20. Henry Doering

    Yay! Congratulations, guys. And I’d for sure marry any guy who took me out to that fabulous dinner.

  21. omg omg omg! Congratulations! I feel as if I know you both. I couldn’t be happier for you. Can’t wait to hear about the plans!

  22. I have been reading (and enjoying) your blog for years but I’ve never left a comment. This time, with tears in my eyes, I want to say “Congratulations!!!” I am so very happy for both of you.

  23. Yay! Congrats! I’m so happy for you and Craig. Can I come to the wedding? Oh…sorry…too forward? :)

  24. Congratulations to you both – I’m so happy for you!!! (And how did you manage to eat all that wonderful looking food???)

  25. Melinda Montana

    this is so awesome! congrats and I know that we all will be looking forward to tons of photos of the big day!

  26. Congratulations! You’re blog has made me laugh and smile since I first started reading it in 2006. Love to you both.

  27. Congratulations! My fiance and I got engaged in a very similar way (with lots of champagne consumed before we called the parents).

  28. I love how muted the story is compared to the significance of the decision. Congratulations to you and Craig! Wish you love and luck with the wedding planning, wedding, and marriage.

  29. Congratulations! I’ve so enjoyed reading your blog over the years and trying your recipes, but this made me smile more than anything else. Wishing you and Craig much love and happiness.

  30. Wonderful news. I’ve been reading from the beginning and thought it so nice that you both wanted to tell your parents…for real. How sweet. Having been a caterer for what seems like 1 million weddings, I’d advise an elopement…just kidding. Have a ball.

  31. Suzanne in Austin

    So very happy and thrilled for you both! I have loved your relationship since the first disguised mention of Craig. Wishing you all the joy that you so richly deserve!

  32. That is wonderful news! So exciting :) and welcome to my world, I’m in the wedding industry. Since I’ve learned that each blog universe is a world unto it’s own, may I suggest 2 really wonderful wedding blogs? (practical sane advice on weddings) (don’t let the name fool you, very much for grooms too. Ariel also runs ‘Offbeat Empire# where she blogs about running her highly niche but successful blog empire: )

    Except for being an advertiser I have no other affiliation with the sites. I’ve just been immersed in this stuff for 4 years now and if I was going to do it over again these are the only two websites I’d bother with!

    Mazel Tov!

  33. Congratulations – been reading you since you “trolled” for readers back on eGullet – and I am very happy for you and for Craig.

  34. Congratulations Adam! I love reading your blog! I’m so glad you are getting married! All the best to you and Craig!

    Karolina from Poland

  35. Ah, so emotional. I’ve been reading your blog for what feels like ages and feel just as moved by this as when my cousin told me two days ago that she was pregnant with her first child. Shows just how much you’ve become part of ‘the family’. Congrats Adam and Craig!

  36. I’m normally more of a lurker Adam but I had to comment – have been reading your blog for years and I’m so thrilled for you both! Congrats!

  37. frenchandparfait

    Just discovered your blog. And this great story too! Rustic Canyon is the best place, and you guys found the best way to decide to get married. Over a great dinner, “juste comme ça”. Félicitations!

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