Restaurant Review: The Tasting Kitchen
Now that I have lived in Los Angeles for four months I can say that I have a few restaurants that are “must eats” if I have a visitor in town. The Tasting Kitchen has now become one of those places after two visits. It is in the very hip area of Venice on Abbot Kinney Blvd. The decor is centered around wood, with some trees even growing in the front room. The whole place almost has a 70’s vibe to it that has been modernized. If you’re lucky you might even spot someone famous. It can be hard to get a reservation but if you’re willing to sit at one of their community tables you can usually get a seat as a walk-in.
Let us get to the part that you all want to hear about, the food! Unfortunately I really don’t have any good pictures of food from here because it is a bit dark and any photos I’ve taken haven’t looked that great. But I will tell you what I’ve ordered and enjoyed.
First of all, I wouldn’t have ever ordered the bread and butter if it wasn’t for my picky eater friend Monica, but I in no way regret this decision. The bread is thick with a soft texture while the butter is so creamy with salt sprinkled on top. It is a must, just do it.
For the “entrée” part of their menu (which really aren’t entrées but dishes to be shared) I have tasted: the octopus, clams, fries, wings, and lentils. While all of these were amazing, if I had to pick 2, I highly recommend the clams and wings. First of all, they both get you the most bang for your buck. The clams are a huge bowl that comes with crusty bread. The wings is a huge portion to the point that you might not beable to finish it. And don’t worry about getting messy with the wings, the staff will promptly bring you warm moist towels to wash your hands with.
If you have room for pasta, you have to get at least one dish. And make room for it, please, they do not mess around with their pasta dishes. On my last visit we got the spaghetti pomodoro and the creste di gallo. The spaghetti pomodoro is simple but it is one of the most amazing pastas I’ve ever had (take into account that I’ve never been to Italy). I learned that creste di gallo is macaroni with a mohawk. I also learned that they’re really good at pairing it with sausage and breadcrumbs. I honestly don’t really order pasta at restaurants for a few reasons 1. I burnt out on it in college; 2. Usually when people say it is homemade, I don’t really see much of a difference. The Tasting Kitchen showed me otherwise and because of them, I will enjoy pasta once again.
I really can’t say enough nice things about this restaurant. The staff is wonderful. They are all very knowledgable and on top of the timing of when your food should arrive at the table without rushing you or boring you. Their wine list is extensive and the servers will give you a taste of something if you’re unsure. For drinks, the garden party is my favorite think on their menu.
Please make time to visit this wonderful restaurant if you’re in the Los Angeles area.
Three Meals a Day contributors Heather Lee and Kelly at The Tasting Kitchen in October 2013