WSLA: Esters - Wine & Spirits Magazine

WSLA: Esters

A retail space by day, Esters morphs into a bustling wine bar at night. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

The Rustic Canyon Group has some of the West Side’s most lauded eateries, including Cassia, Birdie G.’s, Milo & OliveTallula’s, and the flagship establishment on Wilshire from which the group takes its name. Kathryn Coker oversees the wine program at most of the properties, but with her husband, Tug, she has a stake in Esters, established in 2015 and now one of the cornerstones of Santa Monica’s wine scene.

A retail space by day, it morphs into a bustling wine bar at night; when the pandemic forced patrons outside, the bar spilled onto Seventh Street with a phalanx of sidewalk tables beneath stringed lights, becoming as Parisian as Santa Monica gets most days. Coker’s tastes are restless, and her list is vast, bolstered by its doubling as a retail place, devoting special attention to women winemakers, with offerings like Agnès Paquet’s Bourgogne Blanc Les Lurets, and the growing number of producers making wine from within the county, like the chilled red Lost is Found made by local talent Centralas, from Antelope Valley vineyards.

Esters is part of our Top 30 LA List of 2023. Read the whole story here.

1314 7th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401


Patrick J. Comiskey covers US wines for Wine & Spirits magazine, focusing on the Pacific Northwest, California’s Central Coast and New York’s Finger Lakes.

This story appears in the print issue of Spring 2023.
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