Sunday, February 1, 2015

Born in a Barn

Comfort food just off the Venice boardwalk


Abbot Kinney has Gjelina and Tasting Kitchen. Rose Avenue has Superba and just-opened Hostaria del Piccolo. 
Google, renew your lease: Pacific Avenue is getting Barnyard.
Slated to officially open two weeks from today, the former Benice space is now a hodgepodge of 1960’s diner, bohemian grandma’s house, and the converted garage where you and your college bandmates might practice.
Oh, and it's got pedigree too. Chef Jesse Barber was the Chef de Cuisine at Tasting Kitchen, and trained with Thomas Keller at French Laundry.

Like a barnyard should be, the front area is casual and tapas-friendly, with padded bench seating, lime green throw pillows, and local art. Warm up with the Monk’s Café Flemish Sour: it’s like a sour cherry warhead exploded in your mouth, in a good way.

Then order the clams -- marinated in white beans and fennel, the sauce and bread alone constitute a whole other dish. And the chanterelles with peas has a spicy guest star in chimichurri.

The back room, with its low ceilings, sofas, and patio lights slung with the occasional Christmas ornament, feels like the right place to order pork with caramelized apples, polenta, and grilled onions.

At which point we're hoping Barnyard has some hay bales on which to nap.

1715 Pacific Ave. (at 18th), Venice
(310) 581-1015

Nearby: Larry's; Townhouse; Hotel Erwin

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