HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Discussion

One Day Venice Beach & One Day LA

  • 20
  • Share

We arrive Saturday AM (from Houston) and will have a car. We are staying at The Venice Beach House B&B. Not sure what to expect. Based on Chow posts I have made 9:00 pm reservations Saturday at Gjelina for dinner.

What's the one spot to go to for lunch?

What can we expect for nightlife in the area? Is there a good place to go after dinner to linger over a few pints or a bottle of wine?

On Sunday we will drive into LA for the Hollywood walk and 1:00 Cirque IRIS Matinee. Is there a spot near Kodak Theater that you can recommend for a pre-show bite. We will have had breakfast at the B&B. I have made 6:30 pm reservations at Vodvil, but dependent on the atmosphere may need a Plan B. Any thoughts in the $$ range? What's your opinion of Father's Office? Probably want to get back to Venice Beach to see the sunset before we leave on Monday.

What should I see? What can't be missed?

These are our only days in LA, and its my first trip. We are open to food trucks, cheap eats, small plates. We enjoy good beer and wine. And coming from Texas we get Mexican all the time so I can skip that.

Thanks in advance.

-----
Father's Office
1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

Beach House
619 Sleepy Hollow Ln, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Plan B
11637 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

Gjelina
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Gjelina is a great way to end your Saturday meal plan - just keep in mind that it's crowded and quite tight in there, so you might want to grab a drink or three elsewhere. The Tasting Kitchen (nice bar, a little upscale), The Brig (casual, classic bar), Hal's (locals - 40-60-year olds), and The Other Room (definitely younger crowd, great beer) are places to think about your Saturday. Elvino is a wine shop across the street from The Other Room - Bart is a really nice kick-back guy with some nice wine and beer choices. You might want to pick up a few bottles there.

    Lunch? If you want a taste of what you'll be having for dinner, try GTA (Gjelina Take Away), on Abbot Kinney which is right next to Gjelina. I don't think a better take out option exists in LA. Camp out on a milk crate in the small courtyard right next to GTA, or find a place to sit elsewhere - there's a miserably underused bench next to The Brig (the next block south). Enjoy the mural and maybe ask another visitor to take a snapshot of the two of you under the mural. Oh heck - just remembered you'll be there on Saturday - that area will most likely be occupied food trucks - maybe another option?

    Also consider 3 Square Bakery and Cafe on Abbot Kinney for lunch. Very popular, always good, and grab some pastries/cakes/cookies/bacon cheese pretzel twists to take back with you.

    I don't know how you folks are about doing tea, but Jin Patisserie (also on Abbot Kinney) is quite good. But if you have Texas-sized appetites, it may not work.

    Joe's is further up Abbot Kinney and is another solid choice. The cuisine is kinda California/French/Asia and what ever else Chef Joe Miller feels will work based on what is looking good at the markets. Very nice dining room and a decent patio in back.

    Father's Office? You have a choice of the original Santa Monica location, and the Culver City/Palms location - the later is larger, more comfortable and more relaxed. Great places to try out an excellent choice of beers, wines and some drinks as well. The food is amazing for being "a bar," but I don't consider it a place to linger. It's crowded and some of "the rules" can be sort of a drag especially for first-timers.

    For views, The Varanda at Casa Del Mar is hard to beat for a front seat to the sun setting.

    -----
    Father's Office
    1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

    Jin Patisserie
    1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

    Casa Del Mar
    1910 Ocean Way, Santa Monica, CA 90405

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

    Father's Office
    3229 Helms Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90034

    Hal's Bar & Grill
    1349 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

    Joe's
    1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90291

    Tasting Kitchen
    1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90291

    Gjelina
    1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

    6 Replies
    1. re: bulavinaka

      Your Venice Recs sound on par. We maybe from Texas but we don't enjoy Texas size food, nor do we 'chain restaurants/fast food' .
      After reading your recs I am hoping to fit in: 3 Square, Jin Patisserie, and a little food truck stop. Maybe a late night bar hopping from The Brig to The Other Room.

      I looked up Casa Del Mar and it looks like it may have closed.

      -----
      Jin Patisserie
      1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

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

      Casa Del Mar
      4552 Riverside Dr, Chino, CA 91710

      1. re: selletson

        Re: Casa Del Mar, which is the name of the hotel, you might be refering to "Catch" . Veranda is what Bulavinaka was refering to.

        I just thought of One Pico at Shutters, another grand hotel along the beach to catch the sunset.

        -----
        One Pico
        1 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

      2. re: bulavinaka

        Or you can make a reservation at Gjelina to avoid the wait since you already know you'll be going there. Course, if you're in the area you should walk around Abbott Kinney and check out all the kitch shops and do some hipster watching.

        -----
        Gjelina
        1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

        1. re: mstinawu

          Thank you, I did make Gjelina reservations for Saturday night 9pm. How late do the kitch shops stay open and what time do the hipsters show up? I like to think of myself as a kitchey hipster. Maybe someone will be watching me (sheepish grin).

          -----
          Gjelina
          1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

          1. re: selletson

            Hehe~ The hipsters are there all day long on a Saturday. I'm not sure when all the shops close.. Probably before 9?

            1. re: selletson

              It is pretty hip all the time...with an age-appropriate skewing - older hipsters eat earlier; younger hipsters hang later. but everyone in Venice looks so darn young.

              The Kitchen, unlike most in LA, is pumping out great food until lat,e beyond 11 most nights - especially Sat nite...you won't be lonely.

        2. After your matinee performance, if you want to try something that will leave your taste buds remembering a "taste performance" that they won't soon forget then head over to Sapp Coffee Shop for Thai boat noodles. This is the thing to order. Don't go "off the reservation" and then complain that you didn't like your Thai BBQ chicken dish! ;-D> I get it without the tripe or the liver. Just all beef parts for me. But whatever floats your boat (noodles) is okay by me.

          Just a "skosh" over 2 miles due east of the Kodak theater also on Hollywood Blvd. (It ought to take you all of 10 minutes or less to get there - so NO traffic excuses accepted!).

          -----
          Sapp Coffee Shop
          5183 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

          1. Re: Father's Office, many here do consider its hamburger among the best in LA, if not the best. Detractors either don't like bleu cheese on their hamburgers or object to the "no substitution" rule strictly enforced. I am in the middle, as I don't let the rules bother me and I've gotten to appreciate the bleu cheese. I do have my preferences, as in 26 Beach in Venice, which I like better for the California Roll Burger.

            Casa Del Mar, per Bula, would be a great setting for a Sunday sunset dinner. A drive to Geoffrey's in Malibu is another possibility, although summer beach traffic could be really tough. i like the Lobster because the view is very panoramic, but the food is just okay, except for the lobster, which you might find overpriced.

            -----
            Father's Office
            1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

            26 Beach
            3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

            11 Replies
            1. re: Ogawak

              If you've never been to California before, then you must eat a burger. I vote for Umami--it just tastes better to me (granted I always only get the hatch burger) than Father's Office in terms of meat quality since they're really two pretty different burgers so I can't compare any of the other stuff. I like the Umami in the Fred Segal area--plus there's a parking lot which is convenient.

              -----
              Father's Office
              1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

              Fred Segal
              500 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401

              1. re: mstinawu

                So, if you are going to have a lunch you would do an Umami burger over 3 Square or one of the better food trucks? Would it be better than Jin Patisserie? Hmmm, we do have some good burgers here in Houston so I wonder if its really ALL THAT (in my most humble voice).

                -----
                Jin Patisserie
                1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

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

                1. re: selletson

                  There is a very unique burger(s) very close to the Abbot Kinney area - 26 Beach on Washington Blvd (the south end of Abbot Kinney terminates at Washington - 26 Beach is about two blocks east of there) has a list of burgers that I think at least a few of them have no place in Texas:

                  http://www.26beach.com/burgers.htm

                  At the top of the burger menu is Chef Katsu's Original California Roll Burger. It's outrageous, almost impossible to pick up and eat, and loaded with flavor - particularly umami. Maybe you and your dining partner can start out there around brunch time, split one, then head over to another venue for more eating and drinking. I don't know if the place you're staying offers bikes, but that's the best way to cover ground around the beach and the rest of Venice/Santa Monica. If your phone is GPS-enabled, bonus points.

                  -----
                  26 Beach
                  3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

                  1. re: selletson

                    I've never been to 3 square and I'm against food trucks on principal. So.. Can't really give you a completely unbiased answer here. =)

                    1. re: selletson

                      Umami is good, but not worth passing up 3 Square or Jin Patisserie for. They are among the "best in town" but not so amazing I would skip more unique places. I agree that 26 Beach is every bit as good.

                      -----
                      26 Beach
                      3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

                      Jin Patisserie
                      1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

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

                    2. re: mstinawu

                      Just curious, but why would a Texan need to eat a burger in California?

                      (I've lived on the West Coast my whole adult life--nothing special about most burgers here. Although that's provoked plenty of disagreement on the SF board.)

                      1. re: Windy

                        @Windy,

                        Yeah I get that, In Texas we bicker over BBQ, Steak, Burgers, CFS, Chicken, Hell we don't even need a reason to bicker sometimes. I did, however, check out the unami burger menu and the boys I'll be with may be into that, so I've added it to the possible list. Tasting Room would be more my speed.

                        1. re: Windy

                          If I went to Texas, I'd eat BBQ, not a burger. I guess a burger is a pretty easy thing to do well so it's all over the country, but there's a non fast food burger place on almost every corner here.. Gotta reap the rewards of competition!

                          1. re: mstinawu

                            I don't know if a burger is 'easy' to do well, there's a lot of bad burgers out there. But that said, the Unami burgers appear to be a big hit and may be one of our meals. I'm game!

                            1. re: selletson

                              I really like Umami too. There are 5 locations in LA, from Santa Monica to the Valley and in-between. I like their Manly Burger with beer-cheddar cheese, smoked-salt onion strings and bacon lardons. Small burger with really big taste. Enjoy LA.
                              http://umamiburger.com/

                              -----
                              Umami Burger
                              4655 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                              1. re: wienermobile

                                I second the umami manly burger love...I too am from Texas (Beaumont close to Houston), and IMHO that particular burger is one of the best in town though the father's office is damn fine too