Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

by Kristine Ambrose

Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, California is quickly becoming the hippest place to eat and shop. Ten minutes from the airport, you can find yourself experiencing the best of food and drink for a very happy hour or hours.

The place to begin is Primitivo Wine Bistro from 5:30pm – 7:00pm, Sunday – Thursdays. Walk into 1025 Abbot Kinney and ask for Mister Jimmy Bradley, the fabulous bartender, or his counterpart, Jason Hardy, the Manager. According to Mister Jimmy Bradley, you will want to take a seat at his bar, relax and order up some sangria while you take in the powerful taste adventures offered up. Jimmy worked on the Sangria recipe for months before he and his cohorts found the perfect combination.

This reporters’ personal favorite dish is the Bacon Wrapped Medjool Dates stuffed with Chorizo. The dish is a melting infusion of sweetness and bacon and will provide explosions in your mouth. Also included in this Happy Hour for $5.00 per plate is: Ahi Tuna Brochettes with olives, pimento, hard egg, and caper lemon oil, an Antipasto Platter of cured meats with olives and mesclun greens, and the fourth item on the Happy Hour Menu is Herb Roasted Baby Vegetables with balsamic vinaigrette and curry yogurt. The Sangria is $3.00 during happy hour along with red wine, white wine and beer.

Mister Jimmy Bradley was kind enough to offer up additional tips on what to see while in Venice:

TD: Besides Primitivo on Abbot Kinney, what is the best happy hour in town?

Mister Jimmy Bradley: First one is Chaya on Main Street. Great sushi apps that I usually hit at least once a week. The other one is On The Waterfront. Summertime happy hour where one gets to watch the sunset with an ice-cold pitcher of beer . . . and some wonderfully entertaining street entertainment.

TD: What is, in your opinion the best place to shop for clothing, hats or shoes in Venice?

MJB: OK, so I’m not the best shopper in the world, but I do try to look a little cool. I love Enda King on Abbot Kinney for Men and Women. Enda’s got some really fantastic hip cowboy hats (which bring out my redneck past) and some “Venice-Hip” sports jackets that stand out really well. There are also some sweet belt buckles that rock. My favorite being a skull and cross bones.

TD: Got some advice for a woman traveling alone to Los Angeles?

MJB: Los Angeles is a wonderful city made up of people from literally all over the world. It is the cultural capitol of the west coast and a fascinating place to vacation. Come, have fun, be silly, laugh and be as safe as you possibly can. Oh, and don’t forget to get some headshots taken too . . .
you never know who’s sitting in the booth beside ya. haha

TD: What is the name of a good place to hear live music in Venice or Santa Monica?

MJB: My favorite is Harvelle’s in Santa Monica. It’s a dark cave, lit by red candles and as seedy as the jammy blues that hail from the musicians. On Sundays they have a Burlesque show with fantastic music. Go there, get a drink and hide for a while in the shadows until you’ve found what you were looking for. Trust me, it’s there.

TD: In your opinion, what is the cool distinguishing asset that Los Angeles has to offer?

MJB: There are some kick-ass aspects to this city. I have surfed and skied in the same day, had a greasy cheeseburger in a trashy bar while sitting beside a huge movie star, and demonstrated in protests among thousands of people screaming for a belief we all shared. That being said, my favorite aspect is the community of Venice. I am from a small town, one where you can walk down the street and talk with people you know. That actually happens here and it impresses the hell out of me. This small, little artsy town has a great neighborhood feel to it. While one can get lost in the enormity of this city, one can also find great friends in this little “town” of Venice.

Keep these addresses in your “Hip and Hungry Pocket”:

Primitivo: 1025 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice (310) 396-5353

Chaya Venice: 110 Navy St, Venice (310) 396-1179

On the Waterfront: 205 Ocean Front Walk, Venice (310) 392-0322

Wabi-Sabi Sushi and Asian Noodle: 1637 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice (310) 314-2229

Beachwood: 822 Washington Blvd, Venice (310) 448-8884

Shima Sushi: 1432 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice (310) 314-0882

Enda King: 1419 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice (310) 396-1242

Harvelle’s Blues Club: 1432 4th Street, Santa Monica (310) 395-1676

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About the Author:

Kristine Ambrose is a photographer in Los Angeles. You can see more of her photos at www.KristineAmbrose.com.

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