When I think of Venice, I think of Abbot Kinney, Lincoln Blvd, the Skatepark, and of course, the beach. One street I don’t think of is Washington Blvd, but I think it’s time I start thinking about it and visiting it a bit more. Located in South Venice close to Marina del Rey, this happening Blvd is filled with markets, restaurants, and shops, and totally embodies the Venice spirit. Leona, a new restaurant by Top Chef Alum Nyesha J. Arrington, opened on the boulevard this week, and is bringing some finer dining to the area!…
Leona calls itself Progressive Californian; the menu ranges from California’s fresh produce to the best of its coastal seafood, and incorporates several ethnic flavors, from Mexican to Asian and from Mediterranean to American. To start, I recommend ordering the restaurant’s most popular (and most photogenic) appetizer, the Coctel Mixto. Filled with shrimp, bay scallops, calamari, and tomato watermelon jus, this dish is incredibly flavorful, and a nice, light, way to start your meal. Other NOBREAD approved appetizers include the baby iceberg salad and the cheese and crackers (the crackers are gluten-free!). For main courses, the local black cod, chicken on a brick, and ocean trout are all gluten-free. I went with the local black cod; the fish was full of flavor and melts in your mouth! My friend went with the chicken on a brick, and I had major food-envy. The portion is filling and the chicken is done incredibly well. Whatever you do, you HAVE to order the fries. The fries are subject to cross contamination, but well worth the risk. Mixed with fried kale bites and salted to perfection, these fries are pretty amazing. Lastly, if you love cheese, the cauliflower aligot is calling your name!
Great location, cool vibe and delicious food. I’m excited for Leona’s future success. Go to the restaurant after a day at the beach, or stop by while on your evening stroll! The restaurant is great for all groups and occasions.