Sunday, January 07, 2007

26 Beach Cafe @ Venice

Okay, yeah, so this might not seem like the best follow-up to a public vow toward healthier eating. But I at least deserve Brownie points for choosing salmon over beef, right?

26 Beach Cafe is one of those places I feel very much in my element. And if you're a fan of the movie "Moulin Rouge" you might feel the same. The main dining room is like an eccentric grandma's attic filled with an odd mix of dilapidated furniture, Greek sculptures, wall murals, Christmas lights, synthetic flowers, even a rusty bird cage if my short-term memory serves me right. The waitress sits you down at an old wooden table and bench chair set and there you find yourself surveying the room while clenching onto the big fluffy cushion set beside you.

The menu reads like a typical American diner with burgers, big salads and pasta dishes, but seeing that it's not far from the Abbott Kiney stretch things here are done with a little bit more pizzazz. Today, I had the salmon-patty club stacked higher than my mouth at locked-jaw capacity. It was a tasty little thing once I realized I probably should cut it in half first. The fries weren't bad either, though ketchup was a definite must.

The night before I had In 'N Out (Okay, yes, I'm eating junk) so I wasn't ready for another burger. But don't you hate it when you're at odds with yourself between the turkey burger and that extra saucy afterall-you-only-live-once burger? Well, fish definitely satisfied both mind and stomach. The desserts are definitely worth checking out, too. Portions are huge so I like to bring a friend to share one alongside a cup of tea.

I know others have been pretty harsh on this place -- and certainly it's got nothing on Father's Office -- but ambiance goes a long way for me. And if it's between decking out people for a seat in a loud room or sitting comfortably in grandma's attic, I think I'd choose the latter.

3100 Washington Blvd.
Venice, 90292
(310) 823-7526
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