The latest restaurants offer a microcosm of cutting-edge Cali cuisine and even take diners beyond Abbot Kinney.
Just a few years ago, the sole Venice restaurant with a serious reputation as a drive-across-town destination was California cuisine stalwart Joe's (1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd.). These days, the neighborhood is at the forefront of L.A.'s culinary scene. Gjelina (1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd.) has developed such a cult following for its nouveau-peasant fare -- just try getting a table -- that it can afford to be militant about its no-substitutions policy. Even if you're Robert Downey Jr. or Gordon Ramsay (both have had run-ins with management over it). Kogi king Roy Choi is cooking up Caribbean cuisine at celebrated joint Sunny Spot (822 Washington Blvd.). And gastropub Larry's (24 Windward Ave.), where steak and eggs is elevated as filet mignon and quail, has done the near impossible: made it cool to step foot near the touristy Venice boardwalk again.
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