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Five Ways to Spend a Lazy Weekend in Venice

Fun in the sun in Southern California.

 

Venice might just be the best place in the world for people watching. Body builders, fortune tellers, stoners, movie stars, new age hippies, and hipsters crowd the same sidewalks in one giant beachy spectacle. From the beach babes to the sumo wrestlers (yes, really) there’s always a crazy vibe to take in. Here are five ways to embrace the forever young culture of LA’s quirkiest neighborhood.

Brunching
Some of Venice’s most coveted recovery brunch seats are at Gjelina, an exposed-wood eatery with plates big enough to share with the people you partied with last night. Expect health-conscious dishes like lemon buckwheat ricotta pancakes topped with crème fraiche, brussel sprout leaves with soffritto and a poached egg, and heirloom lettuces with hemp seeds. 

Snacking
Just around the corner from the Google office, the Gjelina team has opened Venice’s new warehouse-style bakery, Gjusta (pronounced JOO-STA). The space’s long counter is stocked with piles of highly-coveted baked goods—baklava-style croissants, chocolate and avocado pudding, and gluten-free sprouted rye. So highly coveted, in fact, you should plan to wait in a line akin to Tartine’s. 

After years of roaming Venice’s sand-strewn streets, the people behind Komodo, a famous fusion taco food truck , opened a brick and mortar space where it dishes out its clever twists on the taco. Prep your palate for unorthodox combinations, like the Burgerrito (a deconstructed cheeseburger in the form of a taco) and the Java, which folds Indonesian-style pork and fried shallots in a tortilla. Bonus: a new beer pairing menu lets you wash it down with California craft brews and West Coast IPAs from Inglewood-based brewery, Three Weavers. 

Day drinking
If you can manage to snag a table, the bright and lively Tasting Kitchen is the ideal place to slowly drink the day away. A “brunch drink” menu justifies pre-noon cocktails like the Night Shift—cold brew coffee, bourbon, and milk. Imbibing here doesn’t slow down as the day progresses, so if you find yourself feeling hungry and too lazy to move locations, weasel your way into a spot in the breezy courtyard.

Shopping
If Venice’s eccentric urban style has you feeling inspired to brighten up your wardrobe or beachify your apartment, there’s a veritable kingdom of shops to choose from on the main drag, Abbott Kinney Boulevard. But among the many overpriced shops, Burro stands apart. Eclectic California home wares and folk-ish items like loom textiles, handmade stationery, and baby toys occupy the shelves in this sunny shop. 

Beaching
Venice has a motley beach scene—home of the OG Muscle Beach, head shops, and nearly-naked leathery beach bums—it’s just one of those things you simply must see. Just like in Dolores Park, different parts of the beach are home to different cliques (skaters on one end, sorority chicks on the other), so pick a herd and soak up some sun. Just remember: the 26-mile long beachside Santa Monica Bike Path offers an easy escape route.

 

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