Venturing into Venice

Venice, California has never looked better

It's all good in Venice

For more information or a map of the area, contact the Venice Chamber of Commerce (310/822-5425). Parking in Venice is notoriously challenging. Your best bet is to park in one of the all-day lots along Venice Blvd. and plunk in your dollars or coins.

Historic Venice

Venice Boardwalk and vicinity. The boardwalk blends the carnival chaos of Venice's resort heyday with its counterculture soul. The best surviving historic architecture is on the north side of Windward Ave. between Pacific Ave. and Speedway. The boardwalk spans the oceanfront between Rose Ave. and Washington Blvd. For more information and a map, call the Venice Boardwalk Association at (310) 392-4687 ext. 6.

Venice Canals. These remnants of the original waterway system make for great strolling. Parking in the neighborhood is almost non-existent; look for spaces on S. Venice Blvd. near Dell Ave., then walk south.

Art scene

Griffin Contemporary. International roster of both emerging artists and contemporary masters. Closed Sun-Mon. 55 N. Venice Blvd.; (310) 578-2280.

L.A. Louver Gallery. Venice's most famous exhibit space. From May 21 to July 5, a major solo exhibition of the celebrated R. B. Kitaj focuses on the artist's works since his 1997 return to L.A. from England. Closed Sun-Mon. 45 N. Venice; (310) 822-4955.

The Sandbox. A good gallery for catching the works of Southern California artists. Open by appointment and 1-5 Sat-Sun. 1327 1/2 Abbot Kinney Blvd.; (310) 399-4164.

Sandroni Rey. Contemporary gallery features international artists. Closed Sun-Mon. 1224 Abbot Kinney; (310) 392-3404.

Venice Art Walk. This fund-raiser is a great introduction to local artists' work. Self-guided tours on May 18 ($50), with special events through mid-May, plus guided art and home tours May 17 ($175). (310) 392-9255.

William Turner Gallery. A leading contemporary gallery. Closed Sun. 77 Market St.; (310) 392-8399.


Bountiful. Sprawling store filled with furniture and antiques. 1335 Abbot Kinney; (310) 450-3620.

Double Vision. Modernist specialists with art and furniture. Closed Mon-Tue. 1225 Abbot Kinney; (310) 314-2679.

French 50's-60's. Top-quality 20th-century design from France. Closed Mon-Tue. 1427 Abbot Kinney; (310) 392-9905.

Pearce. Elegant woodworking and sculpted objects. Closed Mon-Tue. 1225 Abbot Kinney; (310) 399-0040.

Scentiments. Beautiful florist and tableware shop. Closed Sun. 1331 Abbot Kinney; (310) 399-4110.

Small World Books. A welcome respite from the tourist-oriented stalls on the boardwalk. 1407 Ocean Front Walk; (310) 399-2360.

Surfing Cowboys. Yeehaw meets cowabunga at this shop that defines eclectic. Vintage skateboard? Hula lamp? You've come to the right place. Closed Mon. 1624 Abbot Kinney; (310) 450-4891.

Tugend Tile. Handcrafted pieces and Malibu Tile reproductions. Closed Sun. 1638 Abbot Kinney; (310) 399-0130.


Abbot's Habit. Neighborhood cafe and hangout serving salads and sandwiches. 1401 Abbot Kinney; (310) 399-1171.

Chaya Venice. Asian fusion, notable for its modern decor. 110 Navy St.; (310) 396-1179.

5 Dudley. Quality comes in a small package at this California-style cafe, where the wait staff recites menus. Closed Mon. 5 Dudley Ave.; (310) 399-6678.

Hal's Bar and Grill. Filled with art; serves good California cuisine. 1349 Abbot Kinney; (310) 396-3105.

James' Beach. Updated American favorites plus outstanding brunches and lots of local art. 60 N. Venice; (310) 823-5396.

Joe's Restaurant. This laid-back French-Californian establishment is consistently one of SoCal's top restaurants, thanks to chef-owner Joe Miller. Closed Mon. 1023 Abbot Kinney; (310) 399-5811.

Rose Café. A definitive Venice spot for a quick bite and local color. 220 Rose Ave.; (310) 399-0711.

Sidewalk Cafe. Good stop for a sandwich or coffee along the boardwalk. 1401 Ocean Front Walk; (310) 399-5547.