I’ve lived on the Westside of LA for almost three years now and there are restaurants and bars that I’m just beginning to discover for the first time. So when Avital Tours invited me for a progressive four-course culinary dining experience in Venice Beach – I couldn’t type YES into my reply email fast enough!
As a local, I pride myself on knowing where are the good spots are – beyond the tourist traps of life by the beach. However, it was super exciting to be introduced to a few new places and get a behind-the-scenes look with Avital and her company, Avital Tours.
Avital has been running successful food tours in San Francisco for five years and is bringing her cool food tour concept to Los Angeles starting this month! Here’s what we ate:
First stop! A welcome drink at Venice Ale House on the Venice Boardwalk. We tasted a Lagunitas beer crafted especially for this bar. Our little beer tasters came on a skateboard with a little nod to Venice skate culture.
After our drink, we were treated to a little 10-minute intro and history of Venice while taking in the views of the Pacific from our spot on the boardwalk.
Our second stop was to this hidden gem, that I have never heard of or been to before! Dudley Market opened up about 6-8 months ago with a stunning bohemian space full of warm rustic furniture and shiny bright marble. We were treated to a glass of Cava and some delicious olives to start.
Our appetizer! This divine Gnoccho Fritto from Dudley Market with a scallop, sea urchin and Calabrian chili was just a perfect start to our a culinary dining experience with Avital Tours.
Pantry essentials, grab & go and a take-out coffee bar at Dudley Market in Venice
Our Second Appetizer – was at Plant Food + Wine – a restaurant I’ve driven by many times on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, but have never ventured in. I’m so glad that Avital Tours introduced me to this place – because I’m dying to go back.
We were given a backstage tour of the culinary school upstairs, a walk through their herb and vegetable garden – before we sat down for a delicious and rich Carrot Soup appetizer. I was so impressed by all the care that they put into their food that I can’t wait to return.
Our Main Course – We headed over to my all-time favourite spot in Venice – Gjelina for their amazing blistered pizzas fired in a wood oven. We grabbed a couple milk crates outside of Gjelina’s take-out spot GTA and devoured their Mixed Mushroom, Bottarga and Sausage pizzas.
The tour at this point went quiet as we savoured each and every bite of our pizzas. You can’t miss this if you ever find yourself in Venice.
Our last stop! Dessert across the street at Blue Star Donuts – for artisanal donuts out of Portland, now in Venice. We had the chance to go behind the counter, ask questions, learn how donuts are made and sample their signature Mimosa Donut – an LA exclusive.
Overall, I was stuffed and happy to have been able to try so many different things from so many interesting restaurants. I would definitely recommend this tour to friends and family visiting LA and it’s totally worthwhile to tag along if you’re a local too.
To learn more, visit Avital Tours online.