Elliot Rubin and Mark Cannon, owners of The Curious Palate at Santa Monica Place.
Mark Cannon, co-owner and executive chef of The Curious Palate, said he’s not too great at labeling food. So he created a Szechuan-spiced baby back pork rib that speaks for itself.
“We just try and make good tasting food with flavors from different parts of the world,” he said.
Cannon and co-founder Elliot Rubin are kind of an odd couple when it comes to business partners, but it’s part of the reason they’re successful at running The Curious Palate at The Market in Santa Monica Place.
The two met as neighbors in Santa Monica. Mark, the son of a US diplomat who lived in Korea and Bangkok as a child, was a television producer at the time. Elliot was an engineer who invented batteries and audio devices and had traveled all his life. After Elliot’s last job took him to Algeria for two months, he decided to find another line of work.
“We both had an entrepreneurial spirit and openness with the kind of foods we like to play with and also in terms of being able to communicate with people from all walks of life,” Elliot said.
The pair first opened The Curious Palate in Mar Vista in 2009. At The Market the restaurant joins The Curious Baker and The Curious Cheese Shop, all open settings that speak to the products they sell. International flavors with organic ingredients are principles that pervade each location.
We caught up to the partners as Elliot returned from picking up 400 pounds of fresh produce from the Wednesday Santa Monica farmers market. It was just in time for a “big ketchup run,” he said.
Along with ketchup, the restaurant makes its own mayonnaise, peanut butter, jam, pickles and breads. And for anyone curious how to do it at home, there are no secrets.
“We are always willing to share where we got something and how we made it,” Elliot said. “Everything we put into our dishes down to the base items and the sauces we are very thoughtful about.”