Hal’s Bar and Grill…and jazz…and cocktails…


Hal's, Abbott Kinney Blvd. Venice Beach California

Back in the old days, before Abbot Kinney Blvd was the IT street, there was Hal’s Bar and Grill. Since 1987, Hal’s has been serving up food, drinks, and jazz in a setting that is always hopping. On Sunday and Monday nights, they feature live jazz.

My usual method of writing a restaurant review for YoVenice is to only think of taking a picture of the food after I have eaten most of it, and then spend the next day racking my brain and sending emails to remember who ordered what and what they thought. Last night, I made the whole table get involved by showing off their food for pictures and giving me little sound bites of their opinions. Here is the result:

Hal's truffle pizza

Pizza with wild mushrooms, garlic, truffle oil, mozzarella, swiss fontina. My mother says “This is more than enough for 2 people and it’s just the appetizer! It’s moist but crisp. Delicious!” You kind of can’t go wrong with truffle oil, in my opinion!

Hal's penne with sausage

Penne with spicy sausage and pecorino romano cheese. My husband said “The spicy sausage overwhelms the other flavors.” That’s all he would say. When I asked if he liked it, he shrugged his shoulders.

Hal's flat iron steak

Grilled prime flat iron steak, basted with herbs, truffle oil, summer beans, mascarpone potato puree. Chris said “Delicious! Superb!” John had one too and said “Cooked well, right temperature. Good, but not special.” He is admittedly a food snob.

Hal's grilled chicken

Grilled half chicken, green olives, house preserved lemon sauce. Normally served with fries. Marie described it as “delicious and moist.” She was happy to have been able to substitute the fries with a house salad.

Hal's Turkey Burger

Turkey Burger, whole wheat bun, chipotle chile tartar sauce, arugula, tomato, red onion, caesar salad. Dad said “It’s better than average. Hey…while you’re writing this, tell ’em to fix their dang acoustics. Everyone is shouting – I can’t hear a darn thing!”

Hal's burger

Hamburger with fries. Bret said it was as he expected. I hope he expected it to be good.

I had the squash blossoms (wonderful!), house salad (fine), and sauteed vegetables (very good!) The table shared a plate of calamari, which everyone agreed was excellent, pleasantly crisp, not overly cooked. My mother said it had a “deep flavor”.

The menu changes seasonally. The wine list is great. They have a list of featured wines that changes frequently. They are well-known for their cocktail menu.

I hate to admit this, but I’ve never made it over to Hal’s for the jazz Sunday and Monday nights, so I encourage anyone who has to submit a comment to this post!



  1. I agree with your Dad. the acoustics suck at Hal’s. When the place is full (and obviously it in general) you can’t hear a thing. The idea of going there for live jazz inspires in me the deepest sense of horrow.

    PS. Cool blog, just happened upon it.