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Lemonade and then some

c
cvc Aug 15, 2009 03:20 PM

It could be argued that our first experience dining out is the school cafeteria and I certainly remember a couple of wonderful Thanksgiving dinners with the family at the old Clifton’s Cafeteria in Century City. Such are the joys to be found at the newly opened Lemonade in Venice at the corner of Venice Blvd. and Abbott Kinney. From the pristine open food hall look, to the welcoming staff eager to sample you on everything from Turkey pot roast with dried cranberries to watermelon rosemary lemonade this is one of the happiest happening dining experiences in recent memory.

We tried Lemonade out earlier today only on their second day. They’re open from 11:30am to 8:30pm seven days a week. By the time we left there wasn’t an empty table to be had and why not. An attractive and creative salad line leads to a smaller sandwich and protein section to a pot roast area, then dessert, then lemonade where you pay, find a table and enjoy your meal. The pricing couldn’t be friendlier with salads at $4, pieces of buttermilk fried chicken or seared ahi for $5, pot roasts for $9 and desserts for a buck to $5. You can save a buck or two by combining certain items. Six different flavored lemonades are priced at $2.75 each. I loved the cantaloupe and finished with the traditional lemonade also satisfying.

For $27 we shared the traditional beef pot roast with great flavor of onion, carrots, etc. served with rice; roasted Brussels sprouts , parmesan cheese and Balsamic; avocado, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts in a lime vinaigrette; green corn, corn, pepitas in an ancho chili vinaigrette. Portions are generous and we left full especially after the excellent lemon meringue pie for $4. As we left we spied chef Alan Jackson on the line and realized that this must be, in part, his creation. Junior high never had it so good.

Lemonade
1661 Abbot Kinney
Venice, CA 90291
310/452-6200
www.lemonadela.com

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  1. b
    bulavinaka Aug 15, 2009 03:29 PM

    I saw that they finally opened yesterday. The welcome Lemonade received from eaters around the area was quite grand - I tried a few times hoping that I'd be able to catch a bite there in between rushes of customers - I had no luck - it was a constant stream. I did scan the counters and the food did look very good. Glad to hear you enjoyed the food and drink.

    1. s
      schrutefarms Aug 15, 2009 04:08 PM

      I've been a HUGE fan of the Beverly location since it opened-I find the price reasonable, the food delicious, and the service very friendly. The brussel sprouts are a favorite, as are the avacado and cherry tomato salad. I love their breadsticks. I usually do to go, for lunch I grab a breadstick and a combonation of salads (FYI, they let you split salads at no extra charge, meaning instead of one helping of brussel sprouts, you can do 1/2 brussel sprouts, 1/2 cauliflower, etc). I've yet to try their paninis, but for dinner I LOVE the Chicken Basque (chicken stew with artichokes and olives, in a light tomato broth over rice). I like to take it home, cover it with crumbled feta, nuke it for a minute or two, and enjoy! No, I don't work there, just really like the place :) Oh, and the cream cheese brownies are really yummy.

      1. Phurstluv Aug 15, 2009 09:11 PM

        How big are the portions??

        3 Replies
        1. re: Phurstluv
          s
          schrutefarms Aug 15, 2009 10:19 PM

          Some say not that big...Personally, I find the portions to be fine...The salads, maybe a cup, and the stews are really large...I've never been able to finish one, even on my couch in my sweatpants..

          1. re: schrutefarms
            wienermobile Aug 16, 2009 12:00 AM

            I went tonight and had the Red-Miso Short Rib Sandwich and a red velvet cup cake ( the cup cake was only a dollar) It was great. That's one large sandwich. My only problem is please get real silverware instead of plastic. Have you ever tried cutting a large and thick sandwich with a plastic knife?

            1. re: wienermobile
              s
              schrutefarms Aug 16, 2009 05:14 PM

              Hmmm. I always get it to go, so I've never run into that problem. That's annoying, though. Maybe they can cut it for you next time? How was their cream cheese frosting?

        2. o
          ozhead Aug 17, 2009 01:43 PM

          Is the Venice store related to the place of the same name under the Arco Towers at 5th and Flower, downtown?

          2 Replies
          1. re: ozhead
            Phurstluv Aug 17, 2009 02:06 PM

            I think I read that it was on eater la.

            1. re: ozhead
              c
              carter Aug 17, 2009 06:56 PM

              Yes, it definitely is under the City National Bank towers at 5th & Flower, downtown. Alan also has the taco truck in that area as well.
              www.lemonadela.com for more info.

            2. cookie monster Aug 17, 2009 02:36 PM

              Does anyone know how late it's open? I don't see that piece of information on the website.

              2 Replies
              1. re: cookie monster
                Phurstluv Aug 17, 2009 02:43 PM

                Again, going on my recollection, I think I read something like 8:30 pm, I remember it being an odd time.

                1. re: Phurstluv
                  Dommy Aug 17, 2009 04:42 PM

                  Just called (I wanted to know myself because I have an evening meeting in the area on Thursday). A sweet person on the other said

                  "We are open everyday to 8:30p"

                  I don't think that'll work for my meeting, but that is later that Curious Palate and other such places...

                  --Dommy!

              2. Dommy Aug 21, 2009 01:37 PM

                Went last night and really loved it... it was everything and then some what I had hoped Curious Paleate would be and I like the flavor profiles better than M de Chaya... It's going to be our TO go place for the Bowl for sure...

                I found the pricing to be good, but you gotta be a bit careful because they do add up especially if you go for a scoop of this and that...

                So after studying the selection CAREFULLY... I went with a scoop of the Edamame and Snap Pea Salad along with the Ahi... For $9 it felt like a total steal...

                http://www.flickr.com/photos/dommichu/3841207065/

                The Ahi was really good and cooked very well. I liked it better than the one they HAD at Tender Greens.... The Salad was pretty darn near the perfect accompaniment. The dressing was well flavored, but it was not drowning it in. But I LOVED that they didn't hold back on the black sesame seeds which lent a wonderful flavor antd texture component.

                P. had a mix of salads and the stand out was the Curried Cauliflower... I love curry, I love cauliflower... I order the curried cauliflower pretty much whenever I see it on the menu and by FAR this was our favorite version hot or cold... even better than AOC's... it had a tang to it that was deeper than AOC's which really highlighted the curry...

                http://www.flickr.com/photos/dommichu...

                We also ordered the Beef Stroganoff, which had a unique tomato base... the meat was cooked well and was flavorful and the sauce velvety... we were upset though to find that their accompaniment seemed to be rice in stead of egg noodles.... BUT, the stews are the reason I really wanted to check out this place... I go crazy for stews/guidados/curries/chilis and SO few restuarants serve unique ones... we will for sure be back when the weather dips down... often...

                Finally, I just had to try the Mac N Cheese... for a very nice serving, the $4.50 price was a STEAL... this version was an uber creamy style ala Koo Koo Roo/El Pollo Loco... But the flavors of the cheese and spices really come through... I liked it a LOT...

                After a rather long windy bike ride to get there, we both thought it was totally worth the effort... and the exercise is not a bad idea if we ever plan to order tha Mac N Cheese again... LOL!

                --Dommy!

                2 Replies
                1. re: Dommy
                  Dommy Sep 14, 2009 12:38 PM

                  I was absolutely right... great for the bowl! Awesome compact and neat containers... even for the stew!! :)

                  The stand out last night was the Short Rib Red Miso Stew... great chunks of meat and the stew was rather spicy.... in fact, it totally reminded me of a Mole... it was so nuanced... so glad I brought a baguette to scrape up every last bit of that wonderful sauce... NUM!

                  --Dommy!

                  1. re: Dommy
                    b
                    bulavinaka Sep 14, 2009 07:25 PM

                    This place has me hooked - I keep hitting them up for a quick meal and they always deliver. I've been working my way through the salads and stewed entrees. Don't know if you like chicken, but their Basque chicken entree was really good on Saturday...

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