Where to Eat Now 

Wednesday, Apr 24 2002

Page 8 of 12

Michael’s. California nouvelle cuisine may have been born in this art-infested restaurant where the Diebenkorns are real, the patio swarms with Robert Grahams, and media barons sup on pretty little salads of quail with pansy blossoms and sherry vinegar. Beyond the sautéed shad roe, the bacon-and-egg salad, and the piles of arugula that reach halfway to the moon, the steak is the real thing, a prime New York strip dry-aged halfway to infinity, with an alarming mineral pungency bred out of most steak-house meat around 1952. But make sure somebody else is paying. 1147 Third St., Santa Monica, (310) 451-0843. Lunch Mon.–Fri. 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.; dinner Mon.–Sat. 6–10:30 p.m. Full bar. Valet parking. AE, CB, DC, MC, V. Entrées $28–$36. California. JG $$$ ¦

Restaurant Josie. Never mind, if you can, that Josie has one of the chilliest doors in town — the hostesses act like bouncers for the DAR. Once you’re seated, life improves; the waiters are real pros, and the dining room manages to be sedate yet hip, and quite cozy in a WASP-y, old-money kind of way. Chef-owner Josie LeBalch, formerly of the Saddle Peak Lodge, Remi and the Beach House, cooks her own mix of Cal-Med dishes with an emphasis on game. Try the wood-roasted quail, pappardelle with rabbit or the wild boar. 2424 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 581-9888. Dinner Mon.–Sat. Full bar. Valet parking. AE, CB, DC, MC, V. Entrées $18–$32. California. MH $$$


Location Info

Culver City/Venice and vicinity

Axe. At Axe (pronounced “ah-shay”), simple and gleaming as a Zendo, the clear ocean air is practically a design element. Some find the austere aesthetic “refreshing”; others find the seats uncomfortable, the overall effect harsh. The wait staff does tend to be more physically attractive than efficient, but this restaurant marches to its own beat, or rather, to that of the chef-owner Joanna Moore, whose breakfast, lunch and dinner menus are seductively eclectic. Try her meal-sized whole-grain pancake, a composed salad, her masterly spaghetti aglio olio and any dessert. 1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 664-9787. Lunch Tues.–Fri., dinner Tues.–Sun., brunch Sat.–Sun. Beer and wine. Valet parking. AE, D, MC, V. Entrées $11–$28. California. MH ¦

Cafe Brasil. Mostly, you’ll find grilled animals at Cafe Brasil: pork chops, lamb chops, steak, shrimp and fish, all profoundly salty and resonant with garlic, charred at the edges, fragrant with citrus and a little overcooked. With all this protein come truckloads of rice glistening with oil, sweet fried plantains and spicy black beans. Cafe Brasil also serves wonderful feijoada on weekends, less offal-intensive than some versions but meat-fragrant in the best possible way. 10831 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 837-8957. Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m. No alcohol. BYOB. Lot parking. MC, V. Entrées $7–$16. Brazilian. JG ¢ *

El Sazon Oaxaqueño. Where many of the other Oaxacan places on the Westside interpret mole as a mandate to serve fairly incidental segments of reheated chicken, the chicken at El Sazon Oaxaqueño is fresh, full of juice, tending toward old-bird chewiness rather than dissolving into mush under your fork. The mole negro is impeccable, but it is the extravagantly hot coloradito de pollo that is El Sazon’s greatest dish, a red sauce that almost sings with roasted chiles, with sautéed spices, with ground, charred bread. 12131 Washington Place, Mar Vista, (310) 391-4721. Open daily 7:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m. No alcohol. Lot parking. Cash only. Entrées $6–$15. Mexican. JG ¢ *

5 Dudley. In a tiny storefront restaurant just yards off the Venice boardwalk, two young chefs named Michael (Wilson and Brown) cook their own style of robust, Cal-French seasonal comfort food. The menu changes weekly; all the bread and pasta are made at the restaurant. That friendly, loquacious old cuss at the door is the owner, Burt. 5 Dudley Ave., Venice, (310) 399-6678. Tues.–Sun. 6–10 p.m. Beer and wine. Street parking. AE, DC, MC, V. Entrées $20–$32. California French. MH $

Globe Venice. Globe Venice has replaced 72 Market Street, and it’s perhaps a promising sign of the times that the formerly hard-edged haute-cool celebrity magnet has morphed into a homier place. Chef-owner Joseph Manzare is a veteran of Spago and Granita, and the first restaurant he opened, the Globe in San Francisco, is noted as an off-hours hangout for other chefs. This new Globe has outsize art and smart, cheerful waitresses — and one of the best roasted chickens in town. 72 Market St., Venice, (310) 392-8720. Dinner Tues.–Sat. 6 p.m.–mid., Sun.–Mon. 6–10 p.m. Full bar. Valet parking. AE, CB, DC, MC, V. Entrées $16–$24. California. MH

Related Content

Related Locations

Now Trending


  • Daw Yee: Mission of Burma
    L.A. has a very small pool of Burmese restaurants; among them, Daw Yee does not boast the most extensive menu. Nonetheless, Daw Yee, in Monterey Park, is fascinating for one big reason — namely, that it gives L.A. something unusual: a Burmese restaurant that caters to younger diners.
  • The Year in L.A. Food (So Far)
    We've got so many restaurants, you could eat at a different joint every day of the year -- and probably the rest of your life -- and never go to the same place twice. It would be impossible (both physically and financially) to try them all, but luckily, you have us. Check out The Year in L.A. Food (So Far).
  • Ladies Gunboat Society at Flores
    At Ladies Gunboat Society, the new operation out of the restaurant that used to be Flores on Sawtelle Boulevard, the Hoppin’ John is served as an appetizer or a small plate rather than a side, and the price is the stuff of comedy.