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Hal's Bar and Grill - Venice

k
Kathy Nov 18, 2005 05:21 PM

Has anyone been and what's the food like? Going tonight for a birthday dinner....

  1. d
    DanaB Nov 18, 2005 05:38 PM

    I've always liked Hal's -- it's sort of an upscale yet casual neighborhood gathering place. Nothing earth-shattering, but decent "California cuisine" with a bit of a "bar and grill" twist. They have an excellent burger and fries, and nice ahi tuna and calimari appetizers. Although it sounds like you are going to be there for dinner, if you are ever in the neighborhood, it's a good place for brunch on the weekends -- excellent eggs benedict among other things.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DanaB
      d
      Dorothy Nov 18, 2005 08:57 PM

      I, too, have always had good food and good service at Hal's, but I've only ever been there for brunch on the weekend. Perhaps they aren't so busy then, hence quieter. I've never noticed a noise problem (and I dislike noisy restaurants) so it's probably more crowded at night.

      As DanaB says, do try the brunch. They present a nice basket of breads: a couple kinds of muffins, biscuit, etc.

    2. g
      glutton Nov 18, 2005 05:51 PM

      My experience has been mixed. The service is so-so and it's really noisy. The food is mixed -- the burger is good, the steak is not very good, the fish is just OK. There are better options on Abbot Kinney, but Hal's is decent. Just steer clear of the toupees at the bar hitting on the young ladies in Seven jeans...

      1 Reply
      1. re: glutton
        s
        sing me a bar Nov 20, 2005 10:10 AM

        Bland and boring, though the servers are nice enough.

      2. c
        carter Nov 18, 2005 06:19 PM

        Here is the menu for your preview:

        Link: http://www.halsbarandgrill.com/pages/...

        1. l
          Lars Nov 18, 2005 06:36 PM

          My experience there has been bad. Also be advised that they add 18% gratuity for parties of 5 or more - despite giving bad service. It's very noisy, the food is mediocre and uninspired, and it's probably a better place to use as a pick-up bar than for a party. Joe's is much, much better, down the street - and they have a patio now. I went there once for my birthday and loved it. Nicer atmosphere (you can actually have conversations as Joe's, but not at Hal's), and the food is always impressive.

          1. c
            compucook Oct 12, 2006 12:51 AM

            Any new reviews? A friend is suggesting this for a girl's lunch on Saturday.

            2 Replies
            1. re: compucook
              s
              sel Oct 12, 2006 04:31 AM

              I've only had their burger and I think a Caesar salad, they were very tasty if I remember correctly. Fairly quiet when I went for a late lunch but quite a scene at the bar at night.

              1. re: compucook
                j
                Jonah Oct 12, 2006 05:28 PM

                I just went here the other night:

                http://la.foodblogging.com/2006/10/04...

                It is very noisy downstairs, but there is a quiet upstairs room. I really liked the options on their menu and I am looking forward to going back. They offer mostly American type dishes, steak, fish, some pasta, but have good sauces and seasoning.

                The dishes at dinner were pretty big and could easily be shared. The appetizer menu was good too.

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