REVIEW: VENICE CUCINA

Sometimes restaurants slip through the cracks.  They open with little or no fanfare and it’s only later on that The Monster discovers them wondering how his near obsessive search for new haunts to hit has allowed him to miss an LA dining experience.

This just happened.  That it happened with a restaurant The Monster can see out his office window and passes by every day on his way home is the tremendous irony.  Enter Venice Cucina.

A sliver of as restaurant with six tables inside and a front patio outside, The Monster didn’t make it to Venice Cucina until last night despite the neon sign proclaiming it open blinking for the last month or two.

Upon walking in the space is freezing as LA is a winter tundra and the front door is kept open.  It soon becomes clear Venice Cucina makes its way as a take-out spot much more so than a sit-down restaurant.  It’s ultra-casual and even the sign inside says order at the counter.

The menu has a large selection of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pastas, pizzas and entrees to choose from.  In fact, the menu seems unbelievably long for such a tiny space.  And the reality is the menu may be too daunting for the one person behind the counter and the (one?) person working the kitchen.  Because the service proves to be…

…………s…………………………………………………………………………………………l………………………………………………………………o……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..w……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………!!!!

Minestrone soup to warm the insides takes about twenty minutes.  That is the fastest any food ends up coming out.  The soup is hearty if not in need of more taste.  Still, minestrone is never the most exciting soup so a few dashes of hot sauce and the soup is quite nice.    

For a space that should be quick, and on a night when they are reasonably empty, the meal takes almost two hours and it’s not until forty five minutes in they inform The Monster the eggplant parmigiano appetizer isn’t coming out because the eggplant didn’t look good.  While deciding not to serve the dish is admirable, did it take forty-five minutes from ordering it to ascertain the vegetables weren’t up to snuff?

A fettuccine with salmon in a cream parmesan cheese sauce with fresh diced garlic and Italian parsley is similarly lacking a bit in taste.  Anything with a cream parmesan cheese sauce shouldn’t need more cheese added but this does.  Again, just a little accompaniment and the dish is much better.

After nearly an hour and a half wait a California pizza with spicy chicken, avocado, red onion, fresh tomato is delivered to the table.  A trend is forming.  The pizza needs chili flakes and with their addition ends up being a decidedly better version of what was brought to the table.  It’s not going to win any awards or make people forget Ado or Picollo but it’s got its place in the community much like Bruno’s in Santa Monica.

The long wait aside, the server is friendly and the space, especially the outdoor patio once the weather heats up, will prove a fine addition to the neighborhood for reasonably priced food.   

Why go?  You are in no rush whatsoever.

Monster rating: 2/5 Monsters

209 Windward Avenue
Venice, CA 90291

(310) 392-6300

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Reviews, Venice Cucina

2 responses to “REVIEW: VENICE CUCINA

  1. Frazzled Citizen

    Shut the front door! That place is really a legit business?? Cool!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s