Foodies of the Westside, brace yourselves: The annual Taste of Venice is this Sunday. The food festival brings together the historic neighborhood’s best restaurants, breweries, coffee shops, and more to benefit local nonprofit P.S. ARTS, which provides award-winning arts education to public schools.
Lincoln Place Apartment Homes is playing host, providing individual units for chefs to serve up a signature food and cocktail pairing. VIP ticket holders get special access to ‘VIP Chefs,’ including Joe Miller (of Joe’s Restaurant) and the four-person team behind Venice faves Superba Food and Bread and Superba Snack Bar: Vicki Fan, James Trees, Carlos Enriquez, and Brian Weaver.
Other activities include a photo booth, raffle drawing, and DJ sets. But let’s be honest—it’s all about the food. This year has nearly 40 participating vendors and even the most reluctant eaters will struggle to make it to the end without bursting at the seams. If you have to choose, here are the five can’t miss bites:
The poké fad has reached maximum fervor and Poké-Poké is sure to be a hit. Its brick and mortar location is a tiny ocean-side outpost, so we doubt their Taste of Venice digs will require a big adjustment in terms of serving space. Translation: You should still get your poké without waiting forever.
Lagunitas Brewing Company, the nationally recognized craft brewery, is a recent L.A. transplant. Their West-Coast style IPAs would be reason enough to visit, but we’re betting their new Angeleno status is going to incentivise extra special offerings.
Chef Erwin Tjahyadi, the man behind Komodo, brings his Southeast Asian heritage, classical French training, L.A. upbringing, and passion for Mexican cooking together into one outrageous menu. His fusion food is L.A. epitomized, and their Loko Modo taco—chock-full of rice, ground beef, fried eggs, and pineapple teriyaki sauce—is sure to draw hordes of hungry beach bums this weekend.
Plant Food and Wine may be a neighborhood newcomer, but its upscale vegan fare seamlessly blends into Venice. Created by raw food chef and James Beard Award nominee Matthew Kenney, the kitchen helmed by Scott Winegard, who staged at Copenhagen’s world-renowned Noma before a much-praised stint at NYC’s Pure Food and Wine. Whatever they serve is sure to be delicious and healthy—a necessary stop on a gluttonous tour.
When the acai bowls and raw food gets overwhelming, beeline to Baby Blues BBQ. It may not be a neighborhood-specific restaurant (the Venice outpost is one of four national restaurants), but damn if it doesn’t serve up Memphis-style ribs and pulled pork like the best of them.