26 Beach Restaurant | Venice Beach, CA
It was a Tuesday morning in Venice, California and our pop girl group decided that brunch was in order. We ended up at 26 Beach Restaurant right on Washington Blvd., and to our pleasant surprise they accommodated our party of 10 with no wait. The atmosphere and decor were charming, with chandeliers sparkling everywhere and light, jazzy music playing. 26 Beach has an indoor dining room with a short bar, as well as a heated outdoor garden area with a retractable roof. The garden area was slightly reminiscent of an Alice in Wonderland tea party, which I loved. We were seated indoors where there was plenty of natural light and bright, white walls with dainty art all around. While it was really cute for a girls brunch, it would be perfect for date night as well and they stay open until 9:30 on most nights.
Even though it’s a smaller restaurant, the menu is seriously extensive and is always changing. 26 Beach is home of the first “sushi burger,” and they’re voted one of the top burger places in Los Angeles. Its not everyday that I face indecisiveness of Cheesecake Factory proportions, but everything looked good and I had the hardest time ordering. Although we faced no wait, if you go for Sunday Brunch I recommend making reservations. I have a feeling that we just got lucky.
Lamp Chop & Peach Salad: 4 lamb chops, goat cheese, grilled peaches, walnuts, tomatoes, and baby greens all topped with a raspberry vinaigrette. We were all too hungover to organize family-style dining for brunch, so this was my pick off the menu. The lamb was perfectly medium and not at all gamey. Grilled peaches with goat cheese created the perfect sweet & creamy addition to the otherwise oily dish. I would order this again.
Chicken Katsu-don from the Specials Menu: A rice bowl topped with omelet and deep fried chicken cutlet, garnished with fukujinzuke (type of pickles) and bean sprouts. With so many fusion items on the menu there must be some Asian influence in the kitchen. It was an alright dish, but they could benefit from doing a little research at okazuyas and plate lunch places in Hawaii. You can pass on this one.
A highly customized, deconstructed Eggs Florentine from the Special Menu: Fried eggs instead of classically poached, over a bed of sautéed spinach and warm brown rice. We had leftover Mastros for a pre-brunch snack, so I was too full to try this dish and therefore can’t tell you what this mystery meat was. Bacon, maybe? It must have been good because the table was silent once the food arrived.
Aki’s Brown Rice Salad: grilled chicken, snap peas, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, bean sprouts, green onions, black sesame seeds and soy ginger dressing. I’m always nervous ordering brown rice since it’s naturally chewier than white rice, and often comes undercooked and hard. I was glad to taste that neither the grilled chicken nor the rice were over cooked, and the dressing offered a sweetness that kept it from feeling obnoxiously healthy.
A couple of our girls ordered burgers, which looked amazing, and there was some margarita pizza action at our table as well. Ten girls dining together and only four dishes poorly described, with blurry photos to accompany them. Can you feel our hangovers? Is it obvious? Usually what I love about large parties is the opportunity to taste the whole menu, but it just wasn’t happening for us that particular morning.
I wish that someone would’ve ordered off of their 19-option french toast section (truthfully, we were in such a state that I wouldn’t have noticed if someone actually had). Things I would like to try upon my return include the Polar Bear Croissant French Toast, Lemon Ricotta French Toast, S’Mores French Toast, and Peach Melba French Toast. For their burgers, the Spicy Ahi Burger, Chicken Katsu Burger, and California Roll Burgers are supposed to be the top sellers. The ABC Burger, including applewood bacon, triple creme brie, grilled onions and fuji apples looked promising. The ABC, or maybe the Mori Eel which features grilled unagi over the kobe burger and is topped with eel sauce, sushi ginger, sprouts, and avocado.
The cocktail list is extensive as well. They have a Mango Madness concoction served in a mason jar with a sugar rim, highly recommended. Fresh Watermelon Juice is available plain, with champagne, or with vodka. Naturally, I chose to sip my watermelon juice with champagne (I’ve been drinkin’…). The 12hr drip Iced Coffee is your standard variety. The Beermosa was very spicy so be prepared for that. Mimosas were scattered across our table as well, also standard variety.
The kitchen had a harder time with us than the host did and it took a while for the food to trickle out, but thats just expected with a smaller kitchen and such a large party. The computers happened to be down when we finished, so settling our check also took longer than it should have but again not a huge issue. Overall, we really enjoyed our experience and I think would all return to 26 Beach Restaurant again.26 Beach Restaurant 3100 Washington Blvd. Venice, CA 90291 Menu, hours, and contact information here at 26 Beach