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Venice, CA: Joe’s and Primitivo


I know I’m jumping all over the place and I apologize.  So much has been going on and I still have a few things to tell you about from my trip to Venice Beach!  I hope to finish them up a bit later this week.  Two of my favorite places to eat turned out to be right next door to each other in an funky little building on Abbot-Kinney just southeast of where it meets Main Street. 

At the first place Joe’s Restaurant, a friend and I enjoyed a really lovely lunch on the outdoor patio.  With a name like Joe’s Restaurant you might not be expecting too much but you’d be wrong.  They bill themselves as serving California-French cuisine, which really means California ingredients prepared and served in a classic French style. 
The food was beautiful as well as tasty, although I find that over the years my tastes are changing.  While I still enjoy classic French preparation with its buttery and rich sauces it’s not something I’d want everyday.  My friend and I both started with a lightly dressed and fresh green salad.  I opted for a Moroccan spiced tuna for my entree and he had Sand Dabs with baby shrimp. 
This is, a definite white tablecloth sort of place and is nice for a quiet and relaxing meal. 
Joe’s Restaurant
1023 Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Venice, CA
The second place, Primitivo Wine Bistro, was quite a contrast to Joe’s. While located directly next door, walking the few steps between them was like traveling a world away!  Raucous and loud and jammed to the gills it was like walking into a giant party. 
Primitivo has a large and varied wine list and I was happy that the bartender was great at helping us work our way through it to find some wines we enjoyed. But, even more than the wines and the friendly staff, what would keep me coming back (I do wish I lived about 1100 miles closer…) is the food.  Primitivo’s has wonderful cold and hot tapas.  We were only able to try out three – even though they are small plates they are pretty generous – and there was so much more I would have liked to check out.  I think my favorite dish was the Braised Short Ribs, although I really loved all of it. 
Unfortunately I have no photos to share.  It was very dark and crowded at the bar and taking photos just didn’t seem to be the thing to do that night.  And since I won’t be back anytime soon I can’t share the visual experience with you.  But I really recommend this place.  If I’d found it sooner in my visit I definitely would have been back at least once if not more often during my stay in Venice.   
Primitivo Wine Bistro
1025 Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Venice, CA

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