Last week was my spring break (Woo-hoo-hoo! if I may quote the great Chandler Bing) and I headed down to LA for a week of perfect weather and even better food. One of my stops had to be an old favorite of mine, 26 Beach, a hidden gem tucked away on Washington in Venice. The other was a recent find located just off of the Venice Boardwalk, Poké-Poké. I’d like to thank Instagram for always making me drool and sending me to amazing places like this. If you’re looking for more tasty pics on your feed, check out @hungrybetches, @cookingwithcocktailrings (if you’re more of a chef), @dineLA, and @hungryinLA.
My roomie Isabel drove to LA to visit her sister and I naturally invited myself to their reunion because I had nothing better to do. So Monday morning a group of us headed into Venice for some brunch at 26 Beach. But before we talk about the food, LOOK HOW CUTE. Sisterly love right der. Also adorable is the decor of the restaurant. Once you enter you can easily see the two very distinct sections: on your left is the covered patio decked out with eclectic furniture and bright colors, while on your right is a conservatively hued set up complete with classy mirrors and tables. I personally always ask for a seat on the patio because it reminds me of being at the mad hatter’s tea party, only with mimosas instead of tea and hopefully no mice in the sugar dish.
Peanut buttah fo dayzzz. Anyone who knows me well can tell you that I easily go through a jar of PB in an unhealthily short amount of time. So although I go cray for the famous California roll burger (think an already delicious burger topped with crab, avocado, ginger, and lots of wasabi), I was craving something on the sweet side and opted for The Elvis, thick french toast stuffed with gooey peanut butter, blueberry jam, and bananas. It could have used some bacon because bacon goes with everything, but otherwise it was absolutely delicious and HUGE so I literally had to force myself to finish it so as not to waste the sweet and salty tastiness. Two girls at our table ordered The #19, another giant dish of french toast stuffed with classic breakfast foods like eggs, sausage, and cheese. I didn’t get to try it but it is definitely next on my list, for obvious reasons.
On a hot and cloudless Thursday I braved the parking, tourists, and guys trying to make me listen to their mix tapes when I drove out to Venice Boardwalk for a day in the sun and a bowl of fresh ahi poké. Raw fish is probably one of my top three favorite foods, so when I saw Poké-Poké on Instagram and their mouth-watering array of ahi bowls I knew I had to try it.
I expected a long line because all the Yelp reviews said the place attracted hoards, especially on a nice day. Yelp also suggests getting your bowl “for here” so you get more tuna! Luckily hardly anyone seemed to be enjoying some poké, but don’t let that serve as a reflection of the food. Just a small window with a few tables off to the side, Poké-Poké definitely gets Venice’s beachy, colorful, and chill vibes. I ordered the spicy tuna bowl, aloha style (which means no rice) and my lovely mama got the wasabi bowl. They offer some free add-ons, such as seaweed, masago, carrots, and chili oil, so I opted for the chili oil and some seaweed, since it’s kind of a vegetable (?) and I gotta get that summer bod (jk). The tuna comes slightly chilled and mixed with raw onions, green onion, and sesame seeds.
I thought the smallest size (the “lil poké”) wouldn’t really be enough to fill me up, but they sure showed me. For $9, this may seem pricey, but less than 10 bucks for super fresh ahi that actually satisfies? Worth it. I didn’t find the spicy tuna all that spicy, but the wasabi bowl had some heat and was definitely the better of the two. The seaweed is a must! It is sweet and not slimy at all and pairs so well with the fish. Whether you’re a tourist to LA or a native, check out this hot spot. Bonus points for the amazing view while you eat!