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Feb 11, 2010 04:50 PM

State of Play in Venice and Surroundings

I am moving from Redondo Beach to Venice, but I consider it moving 15 minutes closer to my cherished San Gabriel chinese haunts....

Anyways, what is the state of play in Venice and surroundings? Any favorite places?

I am partial to ethnic dives and tapas/drinks places....

Please help a hound out!

PS. the lamb and scallions at Mao's Kitchen isn't half bad

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  1. You are pretty much in the (left of) center of a hell of a lot of places that you'll like. From the Abbott Kinney Venice vibe to Santa Monica to authentic Sinaoloan and Nayarit Mexican seafood in Mar Vista to the Sawtelle Little Tokyo line up

    Amandine Patissiere
    12225 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

    Monte Alban
    11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

    Bay Cities Italian Deli
    1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

    Baby Blues BBQ
    444 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

    Raku Restaurant
    11678 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

    Ronnie's Diner
    12740 Culver Blvd Ste J, Los Angeles, CA 90066

    3 Square Cafe
    1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

    Pepy's Galley
    12125 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

    Rutt's Hawaiian Cafe
    12114 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

    1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

    17th St Cafe
    1610 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

    Gallegos Mexican Deli
    12470 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

    Port Royal Cafe
    1412 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90404

    Gilbert's El Indio
    2526 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

    Restaurant 2117
    2117 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

    Bar Pintxo
    109 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

    2002 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

    Place Yuu
    2101 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

    1025 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291

    Mariscos Chente
    4532 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

    Huckleberry Cafe
    1014 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

    1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, USA

    Santa Monica Farmers' Market (Arizona and 2nd)
    Arizona Ave Santa Monica CA, Arizona Ave Santa Monica, CA

    Hide Sushi Japanese Restaurant
    2040 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

    Sauce On Hampton
    259 Hampton Dr, Venice, CA 90291

    13 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      Guess you just about covered it, SO.

      For tapas & drinks, you forgot Salut, on Main St in SM. There's also lots of decent bars like Library Alehouse and Finn McCool's on Main St as well.

      1. re: Phurstluv

        Oh, there are places that I missed. I hope others chime in with places they think of that I didn't recall. For instance just remembered that I should have recommended La Cabaña in Venice. Then, of course, we didn't even talk about the taco trucks.

        La Cabana Restaurant
        738 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291

        1. re: Servorg

          Right. Hey is La Cabana any good? Go by it a lot and wondered....

          EPD, when you tire of some of the hole in the wall places, there's some nice decent options as well:

          Chinois on Main does an awesome lamb dish.
          Il Piccolo Paradiso is tiny, hard to get in but wonderful.
          Joe's in Venice is an institution - been there 20+ years and has a great prix fixe lunch for $18.
          Lemonade is another great lunch spot, don't let the cafeteria vibe scare you, their short rib & mac & cheese sandwich was awesome.
          And Chez Jay is a SM institution - don't know what's really good there but a decent dive bar, it's always been.
          That's all I can think of for now.......have fun exploring your new digs!

          1. re: Phurstluv

            I used to have a thing for the nachos at La Cabaña, but then I began going low carb and kind of stepped away from it. They are a great late, late night spot though because you can get a sit down meal until 2:45 AM (and that's a rare thing on the westside).

              1. re: Servorg

                La Cabana is great fror nachos and margaritas :-)

              2. re: Phurstluv

                chinois on main also does, what is in my opinion, the best fried catfish in town.
                keep in mind, though, that this restaurant has fine-dining prices.

                1. re: Phurstluv

                  La Cabana does make great handmade tortillas...

                2. re: Servorg

                  respectfully disagree with the la cabana recommendation as a source of good food.
                  drink and chips, though, are ok there, especially very late at night.

              3. re: Servorg

                A valentine to you Servorg. Bookmarked this.

                I would add Little Hong Kong Cafe on Sawtelle and Cache (bar menu is great). Chaya Venice, too (happy hour all night Sunday and Monday).

                1. re: yogachik

                  Always fun when Place Links are working like advertised. Really funny because we just got back from eating at Little Hong Kong. Not at all crowded, although Sawtelle was hopping generally. Hope your VD dinner was good.

                  1. re: yogachik

                    would recommend avoiding sushi at chaya venice on sundays.
                    all the other food though has been good.

                2. Honestly, I think the Venice food scene is disappointing. As far as ethnic restaurants go, I like some of the items at Mao's and China Beach for delivery--especially the latter. But for real Chinese, or real Vietnamese, or real Indian, or real Japanese, or real Middle Eastern, or real ethnic anything, Venice is not the place. Moreover, the upscale restaurants like Joes and Chaya are overrated in my opinion.

                  The coffee scene is good due to Intelligentsia. For pizza, Abbot's Pizza Company is notable for a unique bagel-y crust with gourmetish toppings.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: aventinus

                    abbot's pizza is good for bagel-y crust, antica pizzaria is good for neopolitan style (crust so thin you need to eat it with a fork and knife, wood-fired oven, fresh mozz, imported flour, imported tomatos)

                    1. re: aventinus

                      OK, now we're talking. Where are your closest ethnic restaurant go-tos?
                      Never tried China Beach.
                      La Cabana is extremely mediocre, but fun to meet up in.

                    2. Hal's
                      Falafel guy and Pupusa lady on Westminster/Ocean Front Walk
                      Gaby's Mediterranean
                      3 Square
                      James Beach

                      just to name a few, all within walking distance of anywhere in Venice - yum!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: kaitoz

                        Um, most of those were already listed.......

                        And what's falafel guy and pupusa lady, a food truck?

                        1. re: kaitoz

                          Just tried Beechwood -- the atmosphere was fantastic for a casual date. lovely california informal lounge

                          822 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292