It’s easy enough to find a snack near Venice Pier, but a fine-dining option? That’s a different story. This is especially true along Washington Boulevard, the dividing line between Marina del Rey and Venice that’s chock-full of crowded but underwhelming eateries. Chef Nyesha Arrington and husband-wife owners Kristian and Breegan Vallas are out to change that with Leona. The seasonal menu, ranging from buttery black cod and lamb-belly wontons at dinner to soft-shell crab Benedict and hemp vanilla porridge at brunch, is anything but expected. The elegant space is decorated with archival photographs from the Venice Historical Society, and the restaurant’s name is a nod to when Washington Boulevard was known as Leona Street. “Venice is a place I call home,” says Arrington, a Top Chef alum. “We wanted to offer the neighborhood a vibe that is multi-textured and unpretentious.”
123 Washington Blvd.