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GO WEST | LINDSAY LUV & VENICE INSIDER GUIDE
Listen to Lindsay Luv’s Spotify playlist: http://open.spotify.com/user/1225215320/playlist/6WRVZOXoaA3HWD78LzwaOV
1. GJELINA: http://www.gjelina.com/
Gjelina is simply one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles, and definitely the hottest spot in Venice Beach on Abbot Kinney. The new age Italian eats by acclaimed chef Travis Lett include delicious thin crust pizzas, innovative farmers market fresh vegetable sides, a salted caramel butterscotch budino from heaven and an extensive wine menu which sits inside a rustic chic space complete with reclaimed wood, cobblestone, and wrought iron chandeliers and a breezy back patio. With reservations hard to come by, many locals opt to snag the perfect slice of pizza or a trio of sides at their adjoining Take-Away annex and plop down on a milk crate in the shady side-courtyard. No Venice day feels complete without a meal at Gjelina; as a former New Yorker it is the best slice in town and makes me feel right at home! Plus the people watching is so Juicy!
2. N’ICE CREAM: http://www.ilovenicecream.com/
N’ice Cream, a bustling gelato shop on Abbot Kinney, was voted one of Travel & Leisures ‘Best Desserts in the World” and boy they were not kidding! The heavenly gelato is revered by locals and visitors alike and flavors like Salted Caramel and Cheesecake reign supreme! I have traveled all over Italy and N’ice Cream’s authentic gelato still tops my list as one of the best! On a hot beach day I love to grab a waffle cone with rainbow sprinkles and hit the town!
3. INTELLIGENTSIA COFFEE: http://www.intelligentsiacoffee.com/location/venice-coffeebar
Intelligentsia Coffee is a spreading Los Angeles phenomenon and the Abbot Kinney location is one of its most popular outposts. The baristas behind Inteliigentsia take their coffee trés seriously as they fresh roast their beans daily in vintage German roasters and only offer a short list of the classics. (Don’t expect to find a Pumpkin Spice Latte here!) I always come for a simple and perfect latte; with a heart on top of course! The inside beckons a sunny brasserie feel while the outside front balcony style seating makes for nice lounging and people watching as you sip on your java, take a meeting, or work on your blog like me!
4. VENICE CANALS: http://www.yelp.com/biz/venice-canals-venice-2
The Venice Canals are somehow still one of the best-kept secrets of Venice Beach! Beckoning from their Venice name, the idyllic waterways covering certain hidden neighborhoods in town were originally built by Abbot Kinney himself to mimic those in Italy! Taking some slight detours off the main streets and you may find yourself staring into incredible houses and cottages, each one distinctly different, lined up along the charming canals. I love to get lost on meandering walks along the arched bridges of the canals, watch local painters capture the scene or sneak a peak at a local paddling by in their canoe! The canals have been featured on recent TV shows like Showtime’s Californication and are a must-see in Venice (if you can find them!)
5. VENICE BEACH & BOARDWALK: http://venicebeach.com/the-venice-beach-boardwalk/
You can’t go west without making a stop at the beach! All beaches in California are gorgeous in their own right, but Venice Beach really stands out because of its legendary surrounding boardwalk! The long stretching boardwalk is full of local artisans, tiny walk-ups shops, beachside bites, bike paths, outdoor gyms ie “Muscle Beach”, skateboard parks and of course the random wild street performers ‘that have made the boardwalk such a famous tourist destination. But walk just a few steps onto the beach and you find yourself away from the hustle and bustle and able to get a tan, enjoy a picnic or take in the sunset! My favorite thing to do is meander through the canals and make my way to the beach in time to plop in the soft sand, catch a quiet sunset and reflect on my day.