Rose Café – Venice, CA
The Rose Café has been around since 1979 and underwent a nice little facelift three years ago to bring it up to speed. Chef Jason Neroni takes global influences from his travels and mixes them with the restaurant’s base of Southern California Cuisine. Not only is the food impressive but the decor and space is so inviting. With the help of local Venice artist Craig Stecyk, the walls reflect a lot of history from the neighborhood through photography as well as bright eye catching posters.
The standout of the night hands down was the Brentwood sweet corn agnolotti made Mexican street corn style with cotija, tajin and lime. Oh. My. Goodness. I can tell you for certain that every time I go back to this place I will be ordering this dish. It’s perfect! Everything was wonderful including the cocktails (try the Sea Cucumber – refreshing and not too sweet). Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner – try it all!
Black and Golden Figs – red walnut muhammara, sheep cheese, cucumbers, lime, Persian mint
Grilled Spanish Octopus – sesame eggplant hummus, black beans, hatch chili vinaigrette
Brentwood Sweet Corn Agnolotti – Mexican street corn style, cotija, tajin, lime
Gjelina – Venice, CA
I’ve had Gjelina’s cookbook on my kitchen bookshelf for a few years now and was so excited when I found out it’s just blocks from my girlfriend’s house who I was visiting in Venice. We went for brunch (great way to get in there if you can’t get a dinner reservation – just show up before 10am) and while the outside patio was already full, we got in no problem in the main dining room.
We ordered an absurd amount of food for the two of us but I couldn’t help myself and had to try a lot seeing as it was my first time. As generic as it sounds, the fruit plate is a must! You’re not going to find sorry looking honeydew and pineapple on it, rather nectarines, pink pearl apples, plums, etc. DE-lish! We narrowed their huge menu down to the soft scramble with squash blossoms, ricotta and mint, the king oyster mushroom omelette with gruyere, red onion, arugula and lemon and then had to share the lemon buckwheat ricotta pancakes topped with créme fraiche and blueberry compote. I wasn’t dubbed “The Good Eater” for no reason. No I’m just dying to go back for dinner!