The Tasting Kitchen

1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA

As the name suggests, the best way to experience this Abbot Kinney stalwart is to order the three- or five-course family-style tasting menu—never written and unique for each table. While James Beard finalist chef Casey Lane’s innovative, Mediterranean-influenced food is ever changing, certain recurring favorites include tagliarini with shrimp and serrano and or roasted branzino (with always-changing toppings). A pair of olive trees and candlelight soften the glass-walled main dining room, while in the humming bar, hip-hop or house music plays while patrons order cocktails off the chalkboard menu (ask for the Braveheart, featuring whiskey, ginger, and honey, or a spicy tequila Crazy Horse). Weekend brunch is a locals’ affair that can’t be missed, especially for the decadent waffles (sweet or savory) with “fried clucks” (chicken). Pro tip: Ask for mezzanine table 64 for the best sunset view, or in the summer, request one of the two outdoor tables for a date night.

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