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23 Windward Ave. (Pacific Ave.) Send to Phone


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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Drake's Venice Restaurant Review

: WE REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT DRAKE'S VENICE HAS TEMPORARILY CLOSED. Hidden behind red metal doors, with the neon moniker of the historic St. Mark's hotel as the only sign that you've arrived, Drake's resembles more of a nightclub than a restaurant. Located a few feet from the Boardwalk in the heart of Venice, the dining room and two bars draw upon that beachside community's penchant for eclectic décor: turquoise floors, brick walls and cream-colored shell-shaped booths provide the backdrop for fittings like east African masks, a painting of an Indian medicine man in a Prada suit, an inverted octopus chandelier and a huge sectioned mirror where the restaurant 's happening scene is reflected for patrons' amusement. A prominently featured 22-foot Venetian gondola is said to have once belonged to Abbot Kinney himself---just a reminder that Venice Beach was developed in the early 1990s by Kinney, who attempted to create an eclectic replica of Venice, Italy. From the open kitchen, chef Christian Shaffer, previously of Cicada and Patina, prepares a menu as eclectic as the décor, using local ingredients. Your best bet is to find something from the short menu; for appetizers, try the Maine lobster or the steak tartare with quail eggs, or choose a selection of Thincrusters---Boston-style pizzas fresh from a brick oven. For entrées, the specialty is steak, five different versions are listed on the menu. The chef also has a penchant for fish, and offers a pan-seared halibut or a sweet garlic crusted salmon. The selection of desserts is very American: try the warm pecan bread pudding or strawberry shortcake. The wine list is primarily composed of California wines. Before or after dinner, enjoy one of Drake's specialty cocktails in the relaxing and comfortable lounge upstairs.
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