Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Apr 20, 2001 12:00 PM

Dining in Venice: Fabio

  • r

Wondering what folks know about Fabio in Venice? Also looking for a good contemporary Californian or Cal/Italian/Mediterranean restaurant in the Venice area.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Three of our favorite restaurants are in Venice; Joe's and Hals, both on Abbot Kinney and 5 Dudley on Dudley one block east of Rose.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Joan Winston

      Haven't been to the others mentioned but was just at Hal's a couple nights ago -- because it was open later than the other restaurants on AK. With all due respect, I didn't love the place. Loud. Crowded. Mediocre artwork. Not great salmon. At least, that's my opinion on the basis of a one-time-only visit.

      However, right down the street is a place I very much like: Axe. It's small. Chic. Tasty. Especially worth ordering there is the lamb chop appetizer. Also, I've heard good things about Lily's. Has anyone been?

      1. re: Rafi

        I have eaten at Lilly's twice. The food was quite good on both occasions, the waiters very French, the desserts excellent. I had coq au vin on one occasion and who-knows-what on the other occasion.

        1. re: Samo

          I'm really in a "two cents" mood today so here's mine on this subject: Lilly's fries are the best! Oh, frites, sorry! MMM! Joe's is the best restaurant on the street. Hal's food is HORRIBLE - yecccck! And Axe has a nice, clean, zen-like simplicity about it.

          1. re: julia

            I must put in a word of dissent about Lilly's. My wife and I went there one night when we couldn't get into Joe's (they lost our reservation and then implied that we were trying to scam our way in, which was quite insulting). In a nutshell, I think Lilly's was just about the worst dining experience I've had in LA.
            The food was awful, from the from the obviously not house made "house smoked salmon" to the horribly overcooked main courses to the pretentious uncooperative wannabe server. My wife half heartedly suggested we walk on the bill-a joke, but if you knew my wife, this is simply not something that she would usually even joke about. The place seemed so nice from the outside looking in, and the owner/manager people we talked to were quite affable, until they sat down next to us on the patio and proceeded to smoke half a dozen cigarettes while we were trying to have dessert. It may have been an off night, but it would have to be a really, really disasterously off night for the place to be even mediocre in my book. I won't be going back-there are just too many better options.

          2. re: Samo

            Only been to Lilly's once but it was great - I had the mussels with frites (mmmmm) as well as a decadent chocolate dessert (something with ice cream, perhaps?).

      2. a
        Andy Yamamoto

        My wife and I went to Fabio while it was still in Manhattan Beach, and it was a terrible experience. We ordered a pizza that was delivered lukewarm--no joke. When we brought this to the attention of the waiter, he took it back to the oven and brought it back only slightly warmer. Then, to make matters worse, while I was eating the pizza I bit into a lemon seed that had somehow made its way onto the pizza and almost cracked a tooth. Needless to say, we never went back. That is my experience with Fabio--hope that helps.

        1. Fabio is OK, but not the comfortable, romantic type of Italian restaurant, and I haven't found their wine list to be great. For a great Italian dinner at relatively modest prices, I prefer Il Nido down on Main Street, a few blocks away.
          If you're looking for that Abbot Kinney atmosphere, try Axe or Joe's. While neither is Italian, both have truly tasty menus, but by the time you get seated at Joe's sometimes you wonder if it was worth the effort.
          It always is in the long run, but Joe's is not as innovative as Axe. Axe's Sunday prix fix is great.