Los Angeles? In May? Yes, please! Venice beach? Even better! Restaurant off the boardwalk? Why not?! I do love the typical tourist attractions as well as the path well-traveled. But I also love finding gems off the main street, thanks to a little help from my friends. This weeks “What in the World is on Their Menu” Wednesday (WIMM Wednesday), I’m featuring Rose Cafe in Venice. Just a few blocks from the beach on Rose Ave and Main Street (yes, previous pun intended), this is definitely a must try!
Rose Cafe has an amazing ability to be beachy yet still LA. Posh yet down to earth. An inviting rose mural greets you at the front door. Inside, artwork from local artist Craig Stecyk pay homage to the neighborhood. The large backyard patio is exactly how you would want your own back yard to be!… Fresh flowers, cute chairs, wood table tops, covered seating with unique lights. I loved it!
And what’s better than getting comfortable on a backyard patio? Having a glass of rosé in a comfy backyard patio! Rose Cafe’s wine specialist was extremely helpful in selecting a Rosé. We opted for the Nebbiolo – Giordano Barbaresco Piemonte, IT ’16. Partially because we were told it goes well with seafood. And partially because the nebbiolo grape variety is difficult to find outside its homeland in north-west Italy (according to Jancis Robinson). Just kidding, we didn’t know that at the time but it is fun after the fact.
CHICKEN LIVER MOUSSE – KOHLRAHI STRAWBERRY RELISH
On suggestion from the server, we decided to try the chicken liver mousse. Honestly, I’ve never tried chicken liver mouse, and I was AMAZED. I think my words were “holy wow!” The strawberry relish pairs well with the wine. Which reminded us we needed to order seafood.
BAJA SHRIMP COCKTAIL – POBLANO SALSA VERDE, TOMATO, LIME, AVOCADO
We opted for the Baja shrimp cocktail, because we all know I love anything resembling a ceviche. (Check out our Sol Cochina review of the Tropical Ceviche, if you don’t believe me). The less acidic and sweeter yellow heirloom tomatoes were perfectly seasoned with the lime in the dish. And the shrimp were cooked to perfection.
PAELLA FRIED RICE – SEARED BAY SCALLOPS, ROASTED ALMOND ROMESCO, AIOLI
Since the Baja shrimp wasn’t enough, we also had the paella fried rice. I know what you’re thinking… isn’t paella known for its golden color? What’s that black stuff? Yes, paella has a golden reddish color from the saffron that it’s seasoned with. Yes, this dish has black fried rice, which is dyed with squid ink. Topped with scallops, and a romesco sauce, a nut and red pepper sauce which also heralds from Spain. This one was almond based, and was really a unique take on an already unique seafood rice dish. (Great meal choice for a variety of food allergies)
If you’re salivating and want to try the dish yourself, go to Rose Cafe. However, If you can’t make it to Venice, well, this dish was featured in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The WSJ has an adapted recipe from Chef Jason Neroni available within the article too.
SMOKED RADIATORE CARBONARA – POACHED EGG, BRAISED BACON, PARMESAN, CRUSHED BLACK PEPPER
Speaking of Chef Neroni, we were sold when the adjectives “award-winning pasta” were mentioned. And the Carbornara did not disappoint! Although, I’m not sure what is better, the bacon, the fried egg, or the SMOKED pasta. Who am I kidding? The only thing better was all of it put together, and seasoned with some cracked pepper. And yes, you read that correct, SMOKED pasta, Chef Neroni cold smokes fresh pasta over smoldering cherry wood chips. This infuses an amazing taste to the pasta.
Venice definitely has a distinctive take on food: Chicken Liver Mousse. With Strawberry relish. Yellow tomatoes. Squid ink fried rice. Croatian wine. Smoked pasta. And this spin on food works! It also makes Rose Cafe a great WIMM Wednesday choice. We can’t wait to go back. And when we do we will be sure to go for brunch (which is walk-in only). Until then, we continue to drool over their Instagram photos at @TheRoseVenise.