Cassia's Sibling, Esters Wine, Now Open in Santa Monica
The opening of Cassia in Santa Monica was part one of a two-part story. The second chapter unfolds this week as Esters, a wine bar, is now open across the hall in the same historic Art Deco building. Like at Cassia, Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb are behind this new spot, with former Rustic Canyon sommelier, Kathryn Coker, and husband Tug overseeing operations and the wine list, and chef Jeremy Fox curating the small snackable menu for dining in or taking out.
It's just as gorgeous as Cassia with super-high ceilings, shelves stocked high with wines, a few communal tables inside and a nice patio outside for sipping crisp whites, roses or bold reds. The menu features cheese boards and charcuterie, including some made by Fox. There's smoked fish in a jar with pickled ramps, cucumber panzanella with dill and house-cultured yogurt, and plates like baked ricotta with mushroom conserva and rosemary, Benton's ham with beet molasses, and baked Raclette with cornichons and mustard. The idea is to sit and nosh with a glass of bubbly, or take it to go, including Milo & Olive bread, lavender olives, jarred schmaltz and even the wine: this is a full-serve retail shop. Esters is a good counterpart to the Southeast Asian bistro fare Bryant Ng is cooking up at Cassia next door; if anything, it's just the place to wait for a table to open.
Esters is open Tuesday through Sunday, 4-11 PM and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
1314 7th St.; 310-899-6900