Our Critics' Picks


Osteria Venice West

5 Dudley Ave.
Venice, CA 90291
Osteria Venice West +

Michele Stueven Langoustines


  • Mon.-Thu., 5-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 5-11 p.m.; Sun., 4-10 p.m.
  • Dinner
  • Full bar
  • Prix Fixe

We all know the Venice Boardwalk is riddled with hot dog and pizza stands. But if you make a quick turn off the beaten path onto Dudley Avenue, you'll discover Osteria Venice West in a landmark 1922 brick building and think you've landed in Venice, Italy. The open kitchen encourages interaction and is designed for social gathering. The walls are a warm orange and dotted with playful art by versatile Japanese artist Moe Notsu, known for her murals, portraits and chalk art. Michelin star chef Luigi Fineo combines his Puglian roots with American ingredients in his smooth tomato gazpacho with king crab and basil oil, pappa pomodoro ravioli with Maine lobster and burrata, grilled marinated langoustines and profiteroles for dessert. All the wines are Italian. The big sister to Fineo's upscale Luigi al Teatro, Osteria Venice West's dishes are more rustic and the vibe more casual. A good deal at $49 per person is a monthly four-course tasting menu. Depending on seasonal items, starters can be a choice of burrata with blood orange and pistachios or tuna tartare; pasta choices include pumpkin ravioli, traditional Bolognese or truffle. Main course is pan-seared Ora king salmon with broccolini or New York steak with sautéed spinach. Dessert is chocolate mousse or tiramisu. My favorite is the chef's specialty, grilled Spanish octopus salad with potato, olives and arugula. Shaped in a perfect circle, it's a well-rounded combination of crisp, tender, peppery, briny and light. And yes, there's pizza. The Vegetariana pizza, with a paper-thin crust, is infused with matcha, topped with robiola cheese, mushrooms and squash blossoms. —Michele Stueven

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