Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Venice Ale House - Venice Beach

The wind was blowing harshly from the ocean in Venice Beach. I sat at the table across from a chiseled older gentleman smoking a hand-rolled cigarette. He leaned over in a very relaxed manner. “I eat healthy, and I want my customers to eat healthy. Everyone should ask where his or her food is coming from,” Tom says after taking a sip of his local beer. The Venice Ale House is a place a lot like Cheer’s; everyone truly does know your name. In a place in Venice Beach known as the boardwalk, the alehouse on the corner of Rose is an oasis in a desert, starting a much-needed gentrification process of local restaurant chains. You see, most restaurants on the boardwalk have been there for years and have long ago stopped catering to the local community. The influx of tourists that make their way to the Venice Boardwalk every year has kept them in business, regardless of the fact that they have generic and greasy food, with even worse service. In that respect, The Venice Ale House is nothing like its counterparts.

The food at the Venice Ale House is all organic. The beef is grass fed, as opposed to the generic corn fed variety, and all food is cooked in coconut oil. That's not all - to top it off, the alehouse has an extensive beer and wine list that’s all local and not imported from overseas. “Do we have Budweiser? No, but we do have the best Colorado beer you’ve ever tasted,” Tom says. Needless to say, the food is at the alehouse is incredible. I started off with an appetizer of freshly cooked green beans with garlic and sea salt. I then proceeded to the next course, which was a grass fed beef burger with feta and arugula, and delightful side of sweet potato un-fries. Although I ate a large burger, the food feels surprisingly light on the stomach. In addition to serving burgers, they serve fish, tacos, salads, and a bevy of appetizers. All designed by Tom and Spoon, the founders.

Many locals hang out at the alehouse. You can see a variety of people, from the business woman getting off a long day of work, to a street performer coming in for a nice cold one. Even the waitresses are all local to Venice; it ties in with Tom’s whole philosophy of “Organic” in every sense of the word. “You know every person who works here has walked in through this door," Tom said. "We have to be a part of the community, we’ve said that from the very start.” With great food, great drink, and charming service, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience on a cold night. With only seven months in business, the alehouse has done what most restaurants strive to do in over a year.

The Venice Ale House is located at 2 Rose Avenue, Venice Beach, CA 90291

Gentleman A of The Traveling Gentlemen

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