Tag Archives: venice

Sunny Spot’s Caribbean State of Mind


In that fleeting moment when the ocean air still hangs thick over Venice before dissolving into a golden haze, the city slows to still life. Cars shudder to a stop, gulls flap fruitlessly against the wind and waves fall silently upon the shore. At Sunny Spot, the six-month-old restaurant from Kogi mastermind Roy Choi and Westside impresario David Reiss, that moment is meant to last forever, a picture both of California cool and Caribbean fantasy. This is where you come to imagine those wasted days on a white-sand beach, a slug of rum and a plate of jerk chicken your only itinerary.

Sunny Spot is Choi’s first restaurant that doesn’t directly deal with his cosmopolitan vision of the Angeleno appetite. Back in 2008 when Kogi’s bulgogi tacos and kimchi quesadillas sent legions groaning hungrily into the night, Choi created a cuisine that perhaps more accurately reflected Los Angeles than a census ever could. Choi didn’t simply capture the city’s zeitgeist; he became it.

It wouldn’t be wrong to attribute that success to a providential sense of good timing. But there’s also something to Choi’s fanciful cooking. His dishes at Kogi as well as Chego and A-Frame often feel as if they’re composed with a kind of surrealist automatism, flavors extracted from the culinary subconscious and assembled on the plate without any measure of restraint. What results is sometimes sloppy and not always successful, but it often is exactly what Angelenos want to eat.

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Going local at the Food Rendezvous

Checking in on the newest platform for L.A.’s emerging food artisans for the L.A. Times:


Outside the old Venice jail, toddlers in tie-dyed shirts lick avocado-vanilla popsicles and graying couples aim their Leica cameras at a small-scale organic garden. Inside, wines are dispensed from behind the mahogany reception desk while curious cooks page through dog-eared recipes at a cookbook swap.

The inaugural Food Rendezvous brimmed with comestible energy, an assemblage of L.A.’s food artisans, gardeners, chefs and nonprofit organizations. The event sprang from the minds of Laurie Dill and Dominique Leveuf, two former San Franciscans who were inspired by the underground markets there. The pair had spent more than six months planning last month’s first Food Rendezvous, a populist platform designed to unite L.A.’s vast, sometimes fractured food community.

“The idea is not just to bring in new food producers and artisans that are making things from scratch, but it’s also to reconnect with the centrality of doing things from scratch,” Leveuf says. “It’s about sparking a conversation.”

Visit the Food Rendezvous tomorrow at the Abbot Kinney Festival. Read the rest of the story here.

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