Great White in Venice seems to have figured out the exact kind of menu and aesthetic that typifies a current California restaurant. Keep the food simple, the ingredients pure, and the vibe laid back, and the people will come, ready to eat and drink. With much of the same high ceiling, sweeping dining room and sidewalk seating appeal as its Venice original, the team’s newest location in the upscale Larchmont neighborhood should prove to be just as much a sunny success as the original. The new Great White in Larchmont opens this week on September 17 for Australian-influenced all-day LA dining, with a heavy sprinkling of Mediterranean and a lessor dash of Asian flavors thrown in for good measure.
At the top of the morning breakfast burritos, ricotta hotcakes with whipped chai coconut cream, and smoked salmon mezze give way to charred zucchini with chermoula, tuna conserva salad, a crispy chicken sandwich, and penne con mezcal for lunch. Pizza, a more recent addition to the Venice original, plays a big role at the new Larchmont outlet as well, with pepperoni, spicy sausauge, truffle fungi, and wild prosciutto among the highlights.
The success of Great White is its mastery of simplicity, with enough pizzazz and seasoning to separate it from the more procedural chain-ish restaurants vying for the same look and clientele. The service will be there to meet needs and the ambiance will set the right background and sepia tone for the Instagram types, but everything actually tastes really great. And the drinks follow suit, from smoothies, teas, coffee, and juices to easy, drinkable wines like a pair of Australian pet nats and Glou-Glou-esque French red.
That’s all good news for Larchmont, a middle-of-the-city bedroom community that hasn’t really had a notable restaurant opening for a few years now. But given the walkable neighborhood’s charm and central location, it’s not hard to imagine how successful Great White will be here. (One could count Chad Colby’s Antico as a more recent debut, but that restaurant is situated in “Larchmont East”.)
The colorful mural inside the dining room comes from Spanish-born Rafael Uriegas, who uses “abstract landscapes, warm colors, and shapes” to suggest the paintings are a “container of life.” Pots come from Venice ceramicist Sara Karkenny, with dried floral arrangements by the Unlikely Florist, another Venice-based operator. There are about 40 seats inside with another 50 on the outside, with reservations accepted on Resy beginning tomorrow evening starting at 4 p.m. daily. Until that time, tables are for walk-in only. Hours for Great White Larchmont run 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.