Larry’s opens today on Windward Ave. in Venice, hugging the closest, most central corner to the boardwalk and adding another drinking destination to this seaside city’s nightlife. A beer-focused ode to artist Larry Bell from Mark and Erwin Sokol, owners of the Hotel Erwin, Larry’s was languishing behind a construction barrier for many months, until the recent insertion of restaurant professionals Carolos Tamazos and chef Brendan Collins of Waterloo and City, who recently partnered with the Sokols to see the project to completion.
For the project, Collins is designing menus filled with things Venice doesn’t typically see this far off of Abbot-Kinney, with cuisine along the lines of barbecue eel and foie gras terrine with muscat gelee, brussel sprout pizza with Benton’s bacon, beef cheek BLTs, a four pork pizza, green mussel curry, and green gazpacho, along with 26 draft beers and focused wine and soju components. Will Collin’s ceviche or well-praised handmade charcuterie get the beach bums to drop their sliders at Danny’s and bolt for Larry’s?
Erecting a beer bar here is a bit of a no brainer, seeing as there’s a heavy local crowd that always enjoys a good quaff, not to mention the descending hordes of tourists needing an oasis to take a break from the insanity and seeking better eating options than Sidewalk Cafe to accompany their beach-side freak-spotting. One look at Venice Alehouse and it’s clear that Venice is thirsting for solid beer bars. Larry’s promises even more draft brews, a better food value (no dish is over $15 it’s promised), and a more spacious patio. Basically, it’d be hard for Larry’s not to attract a steady crowd, even without the talents of Collins or head chef Joe Cook.
It’s clear from the get-go that anything this crew cooks will be likely an improvement on the typical Venice Beach happy hour restaurant like Nikki’s or Canal Club. And even if the food goes over the skate set’s heads, the place could easily become a bridge between the loutish dive bars that line the stretch, the youthful party scenes of Cabo Cantina and The Whaler, and the slicker side of nightlife found nearby at James Beach on location alone.
Larry’s will start with lunch and dinner service from 11:30 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. daily, with plans to add brunch and a late-night menu in the coming weeks. Take a look at the opening dinner menu below (at this point, the lunch menu is similar, with just a few less dishes).
Larry’s, 24 Winward Ave. Venice. 310-399-2700.
Opening Dinner Menu
Brussel Sprout, bacon, parmesan, chili vinaigrette $12
Green chorizo, egg, chipotle, tomato sauce $14
Wild mushroom, wild arugula, burrata cheese $13
Porkalicious, sausage, bacon, prosciutto, chorizo $15
Chicken Caesar Salad $14
Heirloom Tomato Margherita, imported mozzarella $14
Pie of the Day $12
Potted chicken liver and foie gras parfait $12
w/ sweet potato jam, housemade pickles, toasted brioche
BBQ Eel and foie gras terrine $14
muscat gelee, soy reduction, petite salad, toast
Duck and Pistachio Pate $10
seasonal marmalade, house made pickles, toast
Housemade and Imported Cured Cheese and Meats $15
housemade pickles, jams, marmalades, marcona almonds, toast
Organic Baby Butter Lettuce and Vegetable Salad $8
green goddess dressing and croutons
Heirloom Potato Salad, Cabra Verde goat cheese $8
cherry tomatoes, fried quail eggs, soft herbs
Wild Arugula and Fig Salad $7
coppa, parmesan, aged balsamic vinaigrette
Green Gazpacho $10
char grilled squid salad, smoked almonds, green grapes
Ahi Tuna Tartare $12
white soy ponzu, rice crackers, pickled vegetables
Oyster au Naturalle
red wine vinegar, shallots, lemon
Zucchini Blossom and Shrimp Morachas $12
seasoned black vinegar
Green Curry Mussels $10
ginger, Fresno chili, charred bread for dipping
6 Oz. Lamb or Dry Aged Beef Burger $12
ciabatta bun, french fries, housemade pickles
Local Halibut and Scallop Ceviche $12
nanjim dressing, cucumber, cilantro, red onion
Shrimp and Maine Lobster Ragu $14
capellini pasta, lobster tomato sauce, basil, chopped truffle
Larry’s Pork Cheek BLT $12
rye, beef steak tomatoes, romaine lettuce, mayo