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Jul 29, 2007 12:04 PM

Venice Beach dinner tonight???

So i'm really unfamiliar with the area, but I will be there tonight. wheres a good place to have dinner? thanks

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  1. Any particular cuisine? Budget?

    My faves in the area are Beechwood (New American, great bar menu too), Joe's (Cal-French, slightly more upscale than the rest), Lilly's (French-ish, mid-range), Primitivo (tapas). I love either Piccolo or Via Veneto for Italian.

    You can't go wrong with a stroll down Abbot Kinney, so many great places to eat in close proximity.

    I'm not sure if all of these are open on Sundays so call ahead to check.

    1. Lots of threads relating to Venice on this board, but do you specifically mean Venice Beach, as in right off the boardwalk? Or do you mean the various eateries in Venice in general? You're also just south of some good food around Main St in Santa Monica. Any particular cuisines, prices, etc.?

      A handful in Venice come to mind off the top of my head:

      Chaya (Asian/Cal, nice dining room)
      Axe (Venice-style Alice Waters, a little cramped)
      Joe's (French/Cal/Asian, usually great service)
      Primativo (Spanish, lots of wines)
      Lilly's (French)
      3Square (Hans Rockenwagner's new place - supper only)
      Hal's (Old school/classic/Venice journeyman businessowners' fav known for great bar drinks)
      Shima (brown rice sushi, housemade tofu, focus on quality)
      Wabi Sabi (hip younger sushi, Japan fusion dishes, loud)
      Beechwood (reminds me of what Hal's would be if it just opened for the new Venice)
      26 Beach (casual, great all-around menu that's not $$$ - ask Burger Boy)

      This is probably a good start. I usually don't go to places on the water because alot are tourist traps, many close early once the crowds are gone, and parking/crowds are horrid this time of year.

      7 Replies
      1. re: bulavinaka

        Hey B, great list as always! Minor correction - 3 Square is only open for breakfast/lunch on Sundays but is a great option for another night.

        I tried Shima recently and was pleasantly surprised! Very good sushi and small plates.

        1. re: hrhboo

          Thanks, Boo. 3Square didn't even close for the past couple of holidays so I just assumed they were open for supper every night - thanks for the edit.

          Glad you enjoyed Shima... Yoshi is your classic Itamae in alot of ways - a perfectionist, takes his profession very seriously, but is soft-spoken, approachable, and unassuming. Nice dining room - kinda relaxed Cal mid-century modern. And his only signage is that 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper on the wall...! Whatta guy...

          1. re: bulavinaka

            You know, you're probably right! I was going by the info on the website but they might stay open when Venice is as crowded as it has been the past few weeks.

            I noticed that Vert is opening in the same building as the bakery. I know the Hollywood branch has declined recently, but I'm still hoping it's good!

            1. re: hrhboo

              I was surprised to see the Vert signs go up as well. I guess they know what they're doing, but do you think the combined spaces will be big enough to do what they want? The 'hood is changing so fast that its namesake carries a new meaning... Soon folks on Montana and Rodeo will be calling their places 'hoods as well...

              1. re: hrhboo

                This is their season, at the beach, and as far as holidays, those are prime restaurant days, usually.

          2. re: bulavinaka

            Hey, my ears are burning! Yes I do like 26 Beach, Burgers are great on a homemade bun, they just brought back their cheese buns. The have a couple of pasta dishes I like, the Chipotle Pasta and The Curry Pasta, get the curry with brown rice instead of pasta. For the carnevoirs the pork chops or the full rack of lamb can not be beat. I might have to go tonight, ate a late breakfast and not hungry right now. Save room for some good homey desserts.

            1. re: Burger Boy

              if you go to 26 beach, ya gotta have the tuscan salad.

          3. when i go to venice - i like to be near the water - so 26 beach is not exactly on my list. beechwood is good - but only the bar. the restaurant is so small and uninviting - i'd rather not eat in it. and b/c it's also on the edge of AK - i'd more call it marina del rey than venice.

            in venice - my favorites hama sushi which is v. lively and really good and james beach - also lively and usually solid.

            5 Replies
            1. re: bu dat

              What TF is up with that dinning area, I have NEVER seen anyone eat in their, just the bar & patio! It raises the hair on the back of my neck!

              1. re: bu dat

                Beechwood is technically in 90292, but I think most would agree that its vibe is new Venice, so we cut them some slack on that point... As I mentioned in my first response, I was enquiring if the OP meant on the beach or just Venice in general. Most folks who aren't familiar with 90291 usually refer to it as Venice Beach, where as those who familiar think Venice Beach as, well, the beach-portion in Venice along the boardwalk.

                Unless Hama has really stepped up their game recently, I would beg to differ. I personally feel they've been on a downhill slide for more than the past decade, and probably hit rock bottom at least a few years ago... had some horrid experiences there so I haven't been back since. I always felt that this place was for the "casually familiar with the word sushi but loved to get drunk and not care about what's in the sushi" crowd. Maybe I'm showing my age or frame of mind, but when I see the term, "lively," I cover my ears and run! And I used to thrive on concert music at the Forum... geez I'm getting old...

                1. re: bulavinaka

                  I'm with you on your assessment, and since I'm in my 20s it has nothing to do with age! The food at Hama really is atrocious, but I do love sitting on their patio drinking Asahi and nibbling on edamame while watching surf videos projected on the wall. After a couple of beers, the $4 happy hour spicy tuna rolls start to seem like a good idea!

                  1. re: hrhboo

                    But you're far beyond your years when it comes to food... you're one of the best on this site...

                    1. re: bulavinaka

                      Awww thank you! I always appreciate your posts too.