Little Ruby debuts its first west coast location in Santa Monica today, bringing its beachy brand of all-day comfort fare to the shores of Los Angeles. The beloved Aussie café first landed in New York in 2003, with tastes of home in tow like avocado toast, flat whites, hearty salads, and surfer’s breakfasts. Partners Nick Mathers (Eveleigh; Goldie’s; Dudley’s NYC; Duke Bistro Sydney), Tim Sykes (Ruby’s Café), and Thomas Lim (Goldie’s LA; Dudley’s NYC; Duke Bistro Sydney) bring Little Ruby’s hallmarks to Santa Monica: cool, modern environs; charming and cheerful hospitality; and the soulful, vegetable-laced flavors of an endless summer.
Healthful and whole yet hearty and satisfying, the dishes at Little Ruby Santa Monica are comprised of signatures from the original menu and fresh creations inspired by its new beachside home. Chef/partner Lim cooks up favorites like the Crispy Rice Bowl, a confetti of cucumber, radish, tomato, red onion, herbs, haloumi, fried egg and lime; the Rag Bol with grandma Ruby’s pepper-zucchini bolognese; and the Bronte Burger with its secret sweet chili sauce. An easy half-dozen varieties of salads, pastas and burgers evolve with the seasons and pull from the bounty of the neighborhood farmer’s market, just steps from the café.
Lim’s new additions range from market-driven salads like a Cauli Rice Bowl with heirloom cauliflower, kohlrabi, pear, arugula, fennel, puffed rice, comte, and spicy buttermilk dressing to Crispy Chicken with soft-boiled egg and a sweet chili-mustard dressing. Desserts are decadent, including a Sticky Date Pudding and by the Aussie favorite Banoffee Pot, a happy marriage of bananas, dulce de leche, cream and a cookie crumble.
Breakfast plays a starring role, bringing comfort in the form of Ricotta Hotcakes with honeycomb butter; soft-scrambledGreen Eggs with braised greens, avocado, peas, and kale; and the classic Big Breakfast with bacon, eggs, mushrooms, roast tomatoes, baked beans, hash browns and toast. The infamous Avocado Toast is readily available – as are quick snacks like Coffee Granola or Homemade Banana Bread with passionfruit butter – and, of course, the coffee bar turns out drip and espresso-style drinks using coffee from La Colombe. A variety of smoothies, fresh-pressed juices and sparkling concoctions, like the Himalayan with hazelnuts, dates, toffee stevia, coconut cream, cinnamon, and himalayan sea salt; and Green Machine with spinach, kale, almond milk. coconut nectar and green protein powder.
Settled next to Santa Monica beach, Little Ruby is the perfect place to grab Australian and domestic beer and wine as well as spritz-style cocktails. Drinks will combine Regal Rouge, a distinguished vermouth blend of native Australian aromatics, with bright, refreshing ingredients such as The Lively which mixes Regal Rouge Lively White with watermelon, lime, fresh mint and fresh apple slices and The Bold that balances Regal Rouge Bold Red, ginger beer, fresh orange juice, ginger root, and topped with a fresh orange wheel.
Spilling out of the oversized glass garage door are patio tables framed by a sunny white stucco exterior, punctuated with the brand’s neon calling card. For the interiors, partner/designer Mathers evokes a modern beach house with a minimalist yet warm aesthetic, recalling the Aussie roots of the Little Ruby partners who grew up on the beaches of Sydney. Crisp white panels line the ceilings and walls meet natural teak shelving and tables. Oversized concrete tiles are trimmed with luxe brass. A teak and creamy marble-topped back bar peeks into the heather-tiled open kitchen. Mod pastel prints and brass-topped hanging lightbulbs add to the contemporary details of this downtown Santa Monica gem, just steps away from the ocean.
Little Ruby Santa Monica is open seven days a week, from 8am to 11pm, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The restaurant is located at 109 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401. For additional information, visit www.littleruby.com.