The Monster has been to Vietnam. The South was incredibly hot. Like wearing shorts and a t-shirt and still dying hot. Apparently China Beach Restaurant in Venice wants not only to serve the food of Vietnam but also make it as authentic of an experience as possible. That’s really the only explanation for why The Monster was sweating throughout his lunch there.
This little cubbyhole of a space has 10 or so tables inside and out. Not much in the way of atmosphere save the tourists shuffling over to Venice Beach.
The staff is friendly enough as they refill The Monster’s water glass for the seven thousandth time. Luckily, it’s warm water. Ah, refreshing.
The menu features the standard Vietnamese fare along with a nice selection of vegetarian dishes. During lunch quite a few patrons stop in for carry-out which The Monster thinks is a great idea given the fact that little pools of water are now accumulating at his feet.
The Monster has over the years sampled a large portion of the menu. This is mostly due to the convenience of working within walking distance because parking for this restaurant is next to impossible. The pho, fried rice, kebobs and the like are all fairly pedestrian but come in large portions and Sriracha can make most anything palatable enough.
On this occasion the vegetarian spring rolls and a chicken bahn mi sandwich are the order. The best thing The Monster can say about the spring rolls is they were crunchy. So, if you are in the mood for crunchy but care not for taste, order away sailor.
The bahn mi sandwich is a large affair, large enough The Monster wishes they would have cut it in half. The Monster would do it himself except any amount of exertion will produce more sweat and The Monster is sure it is 197 degrees in this restaurant. The sandwich proves to be decidedly fine when washed down with warm water.
After paying the bill The Monster is most excited to get outside where the eighty-five degree temperature feels quite balmy.
Why go? You need a good schvitz.
Monster rating: 2/5 Monsters
2024 Pacific Ave
Venice, CA 90291