Today brings two recommendations: one near and one far (to me).
Near: K A N A MANGLAPUS (1346 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, CA.)
Nestled amidst the shops and fabulous restaurants in Venice is an art gallery that you might miss if you aren’t paying close attention. The place is small and unassuming, but it boasts a selection of photographs at the moment that you don’t want to miss—particularly if you are a fan of 1970s/1980s music. Photographer Brad Elterman has an exhibit up showcasing rock star photos (literally) from locales around Los Angeles.
The prints are for sale, and, as these things go, not outrageously priced. Of course, I’m a broke girl wandering the city, so my checkbook wouldn’t do much good in this situation. Still, there is a candid of Duran Duran that one of my friends would die for (or at least she would have at 16)! Joan Jett’s photo made me laugh and the photo of the Grease after-party made me feel like I was watching fame happen (the awkward crush of people surrounding the leads is uncomfortable, yet compelling).
The exhibition is open until mid-September, so the next time you are strolling through the streets of Venice, be sure to stop.
Far: Il Vecchio (110 Central Ave, Pacific Grove, CA)
All the paintings in Il Vecchio were pained in Queens, NY in 1941. The chairs were collected from all across the country (the restaurant has a message up above the door that mentions that some were built as far back as 1840). You have to love the ambiance.
I’ll admit that this is a place I never would have found on my own. I had gone to the tasting room for Carmel Ridge Winery (700 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA) and got into conversation with the men running the tasting room (highly unusual for me, I know). Pablo asked me where I was headed for dinner, and when I told him I had no plans, he recommended Il Vecchio (http://ilvecchiorestaurant.com/). Because I didn’t know the area, I was initially reluctant to make dinner plans in Pacific Grove, thinking that it was too far away, etc. Not so!
I went pretty traditional with my choices. I had tagliolini alla carbonara which I quite liked and a tiramisu that put a smile on my face (Pablo also highly recommended the pollo con marsala). The wine was excellent and plentiful (“sad” girl dining alone bonus pour!), and I was sat in a section that had windows overlooking the water. To top it all off, the service was terrific—friendly and helpful without being intrusive.
As a tip: do make reservations for the restaurant because even if the tourists don’t know it exists, the locals definitely do.