quality, local food in Venice Beach
I'm a European visiting Venice, LA next week, and I'm looking for eating recommendations. I'll be staying near Abbott Kinney. I have a bike to get around, so ideally I don't have to take taxis and stuff to go eat out. I'd like to find some good recommendations for:
1. authentic, Mexican food (never tasted it before). Not necessarily fast food, but fresh, well prepared food, with quality ingrediënts. A Mexican gastropub, if you want.
2. great American pizza. Love it. I don't often get to eat it.
3. good breakfast places (I loved Stroh's but that's gone it seems)
4. maybe a decent French bistrot to see how Americans do the genre
5. totally unexpected places (like if there's a great Ethiopian restaurant, tell me about it).
Thanks in advance!
Some great suggestions here already. You're in a place that has a lot of good food offerings.
I would recommend 26 Beach for very adventurous hamburgers. I really like the California Roll Burger. Others like their breakfast offerings and salads.
We have a couple of great taco trucks nearby: La Isla Bonita is open for lunch at 4th St. and Rose. La Oaxaqena is at Lincoln and Rose for dinner.
Madame Chou Chou on Main Street is a Parisian bistro. We've only tried their baked goods, but have been wanting to come for lunch. Great place.
For pizza, Joe's has been mentioned. Don't know if Antica Pizzeria has closed yet, but has great Neapolitan pizzas. They're in the middle of a relocation. Abbot Pizza is another option. Fresh Brothers offers Chicago style pizza, both thin and thick crust.
A couple of places at the Santa Monica Place mall: Zengo is a really interesting Asian/Latin fusion restaurant that offers AYCE brunch including drinks. I also had a great lamb belly sandwich at the Curious Palate over the weekend.
For lunch, Mendocino Farms makes great sandwiches.
3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292
395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Madame Chou Chou
2518 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405
The Curious Palate
395 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
(All places below are on Abbott Kinney)
For my tastes in breakfast, Gjelina Take Away is by far the best choice in all of Los Angeles. Scones, salmon toasts, biscuits with jam, all sorts of wonderful things.
For light pizzas and many other delicious dishes, the restaurant Gjelina next door is a great option.
For heavier pizzas, try Abbott's Pizza.
Unexpected places...Try the pour over coffee at Intelligentsia. (I don't think most Europeans have tasted coffee prepared this way. It has nuanced flavors much like wine, without the intense concentration of espresso.) Also consider Lemonade, a great lunch option with a fabulous array of interesting salads and other healthy (but always tasty) items to choose from.
I would also say that Tasting Kitchen, along with Gjelina, is among my favorite restaurants in LA.
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
You can get a good breakfast in Venice at The Brickhouse.
Their potatoes, which come with the egg dishes (and the tofu scramble, too -- I actually like the tofu scramble with jalapenos added) are really good. They have lots of "healthy" items, too. Mostly a locals hangout with good coffee.
826 Hampton Dr
Venice, CA 90291
That actually looks like my kind of place, too. Thanks for the rec.
It's funny, but I also feel like recommending Sidewalk Cafe in Venice. I never recommend it because it seems so touristy -- but they actually have really good breakfasts and even some champagne brunch items.
We like to go to the SC early before the crowds hit (or go in the winter). There is a pretty good classic rock band that plays right across from there in the am, too. The Fig Tree is another spot I used to like, but we stopped liking it for some reason.
Another spot we like (but doesn't seem to get much play here) is Amelia's. Technically it's in Santa Monica, not Venice but it's really close by. Amelia's is a bakery breakfast spot run by an Italian family. Great coffee, eggs and baked goods. One of my closest friends eats there every day he's in town.
Haven't been to the Sidewalk Cafe in years and years. As you say, when I think of it I think "tourists" but I bet that along with breakfast the OP would have some of the best of the passing parade/Zoo that the V boardwalk has to offer.
I also forgot that the OP asked about French Bistro food and I wanted to say Lilly's on Abbott Kinney is more than passable and for some reason I didn't get the Joe's of Bleecker Street to show which I'll try to get to show now.
Joe's Pizza of Bleecker Street N.Y.C
111 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA
Lilly's French Cafe & Bar
1031 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291
Servorg has given you a great start.
For French bistro, I would suggest La Cachette Bistro on Ocean or Lilly's on Abbot Kinney in Venice. If you can get into the Tasting Kitchen or Gjelina, and their next door spot Gjelina Take Away, they both have wonderful seasonal food. I believe GTA has breakfast each day, and TK is at least open for breakfast /brunch on the weekends.
1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90291
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
Reasonably close by (easy bike ride) to Tacomiendo on Inglewood Blvd. in Mar Vista (directly off of the Ballona Creek Bike Path). Same general direction and area for Sinaloan/Nayarit seafood at Mariscos Chente on Centinela. While there has been a lot of chatter about the chef (Sergio) going off to a different Mariscos Chente I still find the food at this location to be very good.
Mariscos Chente consists of shrimp and fish dishes with rice (no beans are served with this type of Mexican seafood). Especially recommend the Pescado Zarandeado which is a unique and delicious traditional grilled fish dish served along Mexico’s Pacific Coast. The recipe uses a chile and garlic-based seasoning paste, and a final glazing of flavored mayonnaise before it goes on the grill.(this is going to be at least 2.2 lbs and probably more so try and get a couple of friends to go along if possible) and the camarones ala diablo (shrimp in a "devil" sauce - and while spicy it's not so hot you can't enjoy the flavors). Ask for corn tortillas to make your own soft tacos with shrimp and rice and sauce...yowza!
Also not far to Tacos Por Favor over on Olympic Blvd. and 14th Street. and a nice breakfast at 3 Square on Abbott Kinney or up on Ocean Ave. near the Santa Monica pier overlooking the Pacific ocean at Cora's Coffee Shoppe. Finally if you want to go to a bit of diner/dive that is off the Chowhound radar for the most part go to Joe's Main Street Diner and get Richie's Special for the Santa Fe Melt ...pizza at Joe's of Bleeker Street in Santa Monica. Rahel's for Ethiopian (that's probably a 12 mile ride but you can find a pretty decent biking street in Venice Blvd. going east to Fairfax. If you want to take the Ballona Creek Bike Path http://www.ballonacreek.org/maps/bike... (no cars) to its Eastern terminus at Syd Kronenthal Park in Culver City that would be a nice way to cover most of the distance, leaving you only another 3 miles or so on city streets.
4502 Inglewood Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230
3 Square Cafe
1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
Rahel Ethiopian Vegan Cuisine
1047 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90019
Cora's Coffee Shop
1802 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tacos Por Favor
1406 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404
4532 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066
Joe's Main Street Diner
2917 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405