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Gamberi at Felix Trattoria.
Gamberi at Felix Trattoria in Venice.
Felix Trattoria

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10 Delicious Things to Eat in Venice

Eater editors’ favorite dishes in Los Angeles’ bohemian beachside town

Welcome to our series about the best dishes to eat in various neighborhoods across Los Angeles. We’re heading to Venice, a neighborhood that has undergone dramatic changes over the past few decades. What was once an artist community has transformed into one of the hippest and techiest enclaves in LA. From a pitch-perfect tostada to scratch-made pastas, here now are Eater editors’ favorites in the neighborhood.


Rendang mamak at Wallflower

Rendang mamak at Wallfower.
Rendang mamak at Wallfower.
Wallfower

Wallflower’s location at the top of Rose Avenue — slightly farther away from the din and clang of the more restaurant-dense stretch near Main Street — gives it the effect of its namesake: a restaurant that could be easily overlooked for the places closer to the beach were it not so thoroughly good. On its dusky front patio, you’ll find comfort in chile-spiked Indonesian dishes, earthy curries, and a hoppy beer-marinated drunken fried-chicken-for-two only served on Sundays. One of the best dishes on its menu is the rendang mamak: a deeply braised beef stew brightened with lemongrass, Thai lime leaves, and chilies. You’ll find the beef rendang Easter egg in other places on the menu: that same rendang spice features in the blue crab rendang dip — a refreshing blend of coconut sauce and blue crab designed to be scooped with puffy, salty shrimp chips. 609 Rose Avenue, Venice. —Nicole Adlman

Breakfast burrito at Great White

Breakfast burrito at Great White
Breakfast burrito at Great White
Great White

California’s sunny surf and hearty food culture collide at Great White, situated just underneath the iconic Venice sign that leads to the boardwalk. Inside the small Australian-tinged cafe, one can find what may be a top-five Los Angeles breakfast burrito, served simply with scrambled eggs, smokey bacon, tater tots, and plenty of Oaxacan cheese. It’s a seemingly simple affair, but with the pull of the ocean nearby and the rest of greater Los Angeles hovering not far away, it really takes something special to hold one’s morning attention here. There are other satisfying breakfast burritos in Venice — anything at corner stalwart Tacos Por Favor, for one — but Great White’s iteration proves to be special, again and again. 1604 Pacific Avenue, Venice. —Farley Elliott

Butcher’s Board at the Rose Venice

Charcuterie board with meats and various sauces.
Butcher’s board at Rose Venice.
Matthew Kang

The Rose has endured as one of the neighborhood’s most popular overall restaurants, with a strong brunch menu and often packed evenings in the sprawling space. One of chef Jason Neroni’s additions over the years has been a fully in-house charcuterie board, something of a rarity in LA given its difficulty. The board includes a smooth chicken liver mousse topped with strawberry marmalade, candied braised bacon with sherry agro dolce, crispy pork croquette, duck liver pate, and sometimes a classic French terrine. Served with crusty house-made bread, this flavor and salt bomb, balanced by the spicy hits of mustard and the sweet, tangy fruit spreads, is a festive way to start a meal at the Rose. 220 Rose Avenue, Venice. —Matthew Kang

Ceviche tostada at La Isla Bonita

La Isla Bonita Taco Truck
La Isla Bonita Taco Truck
[Official Photo]

In a popular neighborhood like Venice, it’s incredible that La Isla Bonita still keeps lines down the block. Open since 1987, the family-owned business was recently visited by former first-daughters Sasha and Malia Obama. And while there’s plenty to choose from, with Baja-style fish tacos, seafood skewers, and a touch of beans on meat tacos, the local taco truck’s tostadas are a labor of love. It involves a dizzying amount of chopped onions, tomatoes, cilantro, imitation crab, octopus, and shrimp. The shell always remains crispy, a firm layer of the seafood mixture remains steady on the tortilla while topped with avocado and lime. Unfortunately, it’s fairly common for La Isla to sell out of this gem. The truck keeps daytime hours on the corner of Rose and Fourth Street, and gives the Westside some hope in keeping up with LA’s mariscos game. 400 Rose Avenue, Venice. —Mona Holmes

Pizza at Gjelina

For a memory of an LA moment: Gjelina.
Pizza at Gjelina
Farley Elliott

Los Angeles — despite some nagging national reputation — is filled with fantastic pizza from west to east. Among the most stalwart names in that genre, though, is Gjelina, the perpetually packed, cool as can be Abbot Kinney restaurant that has been serving diners and turning tables since 2008. Available at both lunch and dinner, each pie pulled from the kitchen is a blistery, crusty, slightly charred masterpiece that’s rounded out with everything that makes Gjelina so special: great ingredients and finishing touches like fine olive oils and fresno chiles. The house-cured chorizo and red onion is a staple on the menu, as is the cheesy blanco or hearty four onion option, either. Honestly, the menu at Gjelina is as easy as a day at the beach; it’s getting a table that’s hard. 1427 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice. —Farley Elliott

Any crudo at Dudley Market

For late afternoon or twilight crudo: Dudley Market.
Any crudo at Dudley Market
Nicole Adlman

Tucked in an alley off of the Venice Beach Boardwalk, Dudley Market remains a mainstay for locals and visitors who want fresh seafood within walking distance of the ocean. It’s hard to go wrong with any crudo on Dudley’s menu — from the “muerto-lo” crudo with striped bass and crispy garlic floating in a chile oil pool to the Peruvian scallop and hiramasa crudo with olive oil, ponzu, and that same chile-spiked muerto-lo sauce — and even ordering the market crudo of the day, maybe a lemony whitefish tostada, is sure to delight, if not surprise. Backed by a strong but tightly curated natural wines list and within view of the most arresting westside sunsets, Dudley Market is a can’t-miss for fish devotees in Venice. 9 Dudley Avenue, Venice. —Nicole Adlman

Burger at Hinano Cafe

Burger at Hinano Cafe
Burger at Hinano Cafe
Farley Elliott

Years before Venice was cool (and even more years before it was a hub for tech millionaires), there was Hinano Cafe. The surf-side dive bar still keeps sand and sawdust on the floor and serves cold brews, but over time locals and outsiders alike have come to rely on the steady presence of the burger as well. Cooked simply, the California-style burger offers thin patties, a nice sear, and just about as many toppings as anyone could want, though in most cases, it’s best to opt for cheese, tomato, onion, and shredded lettuce as a baseline. 15 Washington Boulevard, Venice. —Farley Elliott

Gamberi at Felix Trattoria

Gamberi at Felix Trattoria.
Gamberi at Felix Trattoria.
Felix Trattoria

The pan-Italian menu of Felix continues to be one of the best places for pizza and pasta in the city, but the other dishes tend to draw more of my attention these days. Case in point, the blue prawns gamberi with bagnetto verde, a mesmerizing shade of dark green displaying flavors of garlic, fresh herbs, anchovy, and olive oil. The plump shrimp still retain their heads, perfect for sucking out the umami-rich juices. Felix chef Evan Funke also serves the gamberi at his new restaurant Mother Wolf, but for some reason, the cozier confines in Venice make this middle course just a little bit more charming and flavorful. 1023 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice. —Matthew Kang

Japanese eggplant at Ospi

A full plate of Italian food including wine and pasta, shown from above.
Japanese eggplant at Ospi
Wonho Frank Lee

In a neon-lit, beechwood-swathed Italian American restaurant like Ospi in Venice, you would think the menu’s star categories would be its pizzas and pastas. Indeed, there are star dishes within those two buckets — the spicy pork and sparerib sugo swirled with a pecorino cream; the crispy copione pizza dressed with soppressata, honey, and chiles — but some of the menu’s heavy-hitters live in the antipasti realm, where you can order things like a brick-length hunk of melty fried provolone cheese that begs to be dunked in its accompanying vodka sauce. The sleeper hit of the entire menu might be the Japanese eggplant starter: a stunningly simple plate of sliced eggplant brushed with sugo tomato oil and drizzled with parmigiano fonduta. Fresh basil and crispy breadcrumbs add aromatics and texture, making the dish one of Ospi’s most memorable even after you’ve had your pizza and pasta. For daytime revelers, Ospi also has a stellar brunch that includes the aptly named “giant buttery hashbrown,” topped with citrus-cured ora king salmon, dill labneh, tendrils of pickled red onion, cucumber, and capers. 2025 Pacific Avenue, Venice. —Nicole Adlman

Chilaquiles at Superba

Superba on Lincoln has become something of a neighborhood baseline for the greater Venice community. What one orders there (and when) in some ways says a lot about a person, be it the brisket and bacon keto plate, the sprouted lentil meatless ‘burger’ or the dinnertime cocktails, pastas, and roasted seafood. The best bet — the way to really live that carefree Westside life — is to go for brunch and home in on the chilaquiles with salsa verde, charred poblano chiles, and lots of cheese and crema. The finished sunny side egg douses the whole tortilla plate once it’s cut and mixed, leaving diners with a big, unfussy meal in front of them. This is Venice as it’s meant to be eaten, colorful and bright and flavorful and fun, and with the innate sense that this may be all there is to conquer for today. 1900 Lincoln Boulevard, Venice. —Farley Elliott

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