Behind the Scenes at MTN, Travis Lett’s Abbot Kinney Izakaya

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MTN, on its surface, also could fit comfortably into that oh-so-Venice genre. Pronounced “mountain,” it's the fourth restaurant from Travis Lett, the chef who brought us Gjelina, Gjelina To Go and Gjusta. Lett has had a hand in creating Venice's current culture, in all its laughable upscale boho glory. But there's more to MTN than meets the eye. It's a project that's been almost a decade in the making, and in the meantime Lett spent a lot of time traveling to Japan. More recently the food has become a collaborative project among Lett, chef de cuisine Pedro Aquino and sous chef Erika Aoki. Aquino is originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, but he spent years working in Japanese restaurants before joining the team at Gjelina, and Aoki was born and raised in Japan. And there's a level of ambition to what these three chefs and their team are doing that's somewhat astonishing. Read Besha Rodell's full review.

Photos by Anne Fishbein

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