The Tasting Kitchen

The Tasting Kitchen

LOCATION: 1633 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice [Abbot Kinney]

I’ve got a little food crush to confess…but first, lets set the stage…I am not a restaurant critic.  I’m just a girl who loves a good list of go-to eateries. There are all different types of spots for all different types of occasions…I like holes in the wall and haute cuisine alike.  But let me say THIS about THAT…if you’re looking for a noteworthy night out, I encourage your to try one of my favorites, THE TASTING KITCHEN. The experience is sophisticated but not fussy, sexy without trying too hard, creative and artful without pretense. For me, THAT is a place worth mentioning.

For our visit, my husband and I were celebrating with a large party.  A multi-b-day celebration with childhood friends…the best kind!  We chose the 5-course, prix fix menu [large group policy requires groups to choose from a 3-course, 5-course or a pasta menu] and buckled up for the ride. No, it’s not exactly on the, “New Year, New You” eating plan…sigh…but each course is more ridiculous [ie: better than] than the next, and includes multiple offerings from the daily, farm-to-table menu. And even still, many would tell you they’d come just for the bread and curiously delicious walnuts alone [how does one make a walnut so incredibly memorable…it’s perplexing!].

The service was great too…timing the meal perfectly, not stalking or ignoring but simply anticipating. However, I can’t wrap-up a “service statement” without mentioning the bar. Ok…flash back to the beginning of our evening. We started at the already crowded bar, standing about 2 rows back. We’re happily perusing the wall-mounted drink specials when next thing we know, one of the mixologists [he deserves the distinction] comes out from behind the bar to see how he might help us. No…really.  Ok, I’ll break it down one more time…. He walks around the bar, through the crowd and asks how he could help.  He suggests a bespoke, tequila cocktail for my husband [take a chance and let them mix you something special] and brings me a perfect version of my favorite, The Penicillin. Great start…Which brings me to my finish.

If you’re looking for a dining experience for a special occassion, put Tasting Kitchen on your list. And this just in, I hear that Chef, Casey Lane is planning to open a new downtown British Gastropub to be called, The Parish, in March and a Pasta Spot on Melrose after that…keep ya posted!  xx -e

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