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Miles Thompson Returns to LA With New Tasting Menu Setup in Venice

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Makani on Rose scores a big culinary talent

Makani Venice
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Venice restaurant Makani is getting a big infusion of culinary talent this week, with Miles Thompson taking the reins of the stylish year-old restaurant. Thompson previously spent over two years helming the good ship Michael’s in Santa Monica, but left just shy of that restaurant’s 40th anniversary.

Eater spoke with Thompson by phone over the weekend, and he confirmed that he’ll be starting up lunch and dinner service to the public there next week. After staging at several restaurants around Europe over the past few months, Thompson returned to the States with a new plan to offer a dinnertime four-course, hyper-seasonal tasting menu.

That means a rotating weekly menu with four different possible tracks: One for vegans, one for omnivores, one for vegetarians, and one for pescatarians. Meat and fish cost $70 per person, and vegan/vegetarian runs $60 a head. Where animals are involved, Thompson says he’ll be butchering whole pigs and large beef primals, using the prime cuts for dinner service in the dining room and repurposing the rest for a la carte dishes available evenings at the bar and during lunch service.

The update marks the third change for Makani in just over 12 months, as the restaurant started with a more modern Korean focus before flipping to approachable everyday LA fare back in February. The restaurant had actually garnered quite a bit of positive press in its first year, but faced plenty of competition in Venice.

Makani is closed this week for service, but will reopen next Wednesday, June 5, for lunch (noon to 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Tuesday through Thursday) and dinner hours (5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday).

Makani Venice. 512 Rose Ave., Venice, CA.