Archive for the 'Venice' Category

Weekend Brunch at Sunny Spot – Los Angeles (Venice)

Weekend Brunch at Sunny Spot - Venice

If you’re anything like me, then you’re probably emailing or texting your friends at this very moment to firm up weekend brunching plans.  If you haven’t yet figured out the “where” variable in your dining equation, allow me to make the case for Venice’s Sunny Spot.

Weekend Brunch at Sunny Spot - Venice

After a winter-long hiatus, Chef Roy Choi is reintroducing brunch in brilliant fashion. He’s jammed the new menu with big, bold flavors, as well as portions large enough to share—hallmarks of his style of cooking and feeding.

Weekend Brunch at Sunny Spot - Venice

Natural light pours into Sunny Spot’s main dining room and patio, while rap music, particularly of the West Coast variety, blares from the speakers. This space was made for hosting laid back  daytime fetes.

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The Tasting Kitchen – Los Angeles (Venice)

The Tasting Kitchen - Venice

The first ten days of 2013 have been absolutely glorious. The Astronomer and I spent New Year’s with my lovely grandparents, which included a parade of roses followed by a feast of roasted meats. Next, I was spoiled rotten by my friend Sarah with sensational sweets and even more sensational girl talk at The Hart & The Hunter. During the first weekend of 2013, The Astronomer and I had a blast showing our college friends some of our favorite spots in the city—Persian delights at Raffi’s, strolling in Griffith Park, dinner at Ruen Pair, cocktails at 1886, and a dance party in our apartment.

The fun kept on coming this week. The Astronomer and I attended a quirky event called Nerd Nite at a Venice bar on Tuesday night and followed it up with a stupendous late night dinner at The Tasting Kitchen. We were joined by Lien, our favorite Venetian—it’s her favorite restaurant after all.

The Tasting Kitchen - Venice

Chef Casey Lane from Clarklewis in Portland was called in to transform A.K. Restaurant Bar + Grill  into The Tasting Kitchen in the summer of 2009. Along with his former Clarklewis crew, he morphed the Scandinavian eatery into an ingredient-driven powerhouse featuring a daily changing “Bill of Fare” that includes cheeses, charcuterie, small plates, larger proteins, and hand-made pastas.

The Tasting Kitchen - Venice

The space, the epitome of California cool, coupled with the kitchen’s incredible cooking, has made this restaurant one of the toughest reservations in town. Our party of three was seated in the front dining room among the trees.

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Sunny Spot – Los Angeles (Venice)

Sunny Spot - Venice

The Roy Choi Express pulled up to its third and final stop at Sunny Spot just as soon I returned home from my extended break back east. The food at this “roadside cookshop” is Caribbean-inspired, while the mood is rum-soaked and laid back. Every day’s a holiday when you’re kickin’ it at Sunny Spot.

Sunny Spot - Venice

Diep and I grabbed a table on the patio on this warm spring evening. The fancy plates and silverware had my date downright giddy. She thought it was the perfect accent for the unfussy food coming our way.

Sunny Spot - Venice

To start, Diep sipped a rummy cocktail recommended by our waiter, while I selected the fizzy and spicy house made ginger beer ($4).

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Superba Snack Bar – Los Angeles (Venice)

Superba Snack Bar - Los Angeles (Venice)

Restaurateur Paul Hibler and Chef Jason Neroni hosted a sneak peek of their forthcoming collaboration Superba Snack Bar at Pitfire Pizza in West Hollywood last week. The restaurant, which is expected to debut this summer in Venice, offers their “post modern” take on an Italian pastaria serving handmade pastas, charcuterie, and plenty of local produce.

Previously, Hibler was the owner and creator of the popular chainlet Pitfire Pizza, while Chef Neroni was the executive chef at Osteria La Buca. This is their first joint venture together.

Superba Snack Bar - Los Angeles (Venice)

The Astronomer and I attended the pop up event as guests of Superba. As soon as we grabbed a table, chilled glasses of “beer/sangria” were brought to the table. Made from a mixture of Belgian white beer, prosecco, chardonnay, and apricot juice, the beverage was wonderfully refreshing and went down dangerously easily. I had to limit myself to two glasses to keep from getting too rowdy this evening.

Superba Snack Bar - Los Angeles (Venice)

Our first bite of the night was the chicken liver mousse and lardo served with toasted Langers rye, pickled celery, and balsamic cherries. The bread had too much personality for the simple lardo, but paired just right with the velvety liver spread. The cherries made our lips pucker, cutting the spreads’ richness with its tanginess.

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