Plant Food + Wine, Felix, MTN and Gjelina earn prestigious recommendations
By Kerry Slater
The inaugural Michelin Guide California is officially out, blessing California residents with the first ever statewide ranking from the prestigious guide and while no Venice Beach restaurants earned a star, several garnered prestigious Michelin recommendations, all on Abbot Kinney Boulevard.
Starting from the north, the first Abbot Kinney restaurant to receive recognition from the guide, published by the French tire company Michelin, is Plant Food + Wine.
“Unsurprisingly, his Venice restaurant offers a taste of all that deliciously wholesome and gorgeous vegan goodness with vibrant, complex and beautifully plated dishes,” says the guide on Matthew Kenney and his restaurant.
Noted in the review is the heirloom tomato- and zucchini-lasagna and the locally sourced ingredients overall at Plant Food + Wine.
Just a few blocks south, Felix the trattoria run by Chef Evan Funke also garnered high praise from the French reviewers. While the guide credited the entire menu for being “delicious,” it is the homemade pasta that is the centerpiece of Felix.
“There may be other delicious and well-prepared menu items, but diners come here for the pastas, listed regionally and made in-house behind a glass-walled laboratorio. The proof lies in the rigatoni all’ Amatriciana, a “del Centro” specialty of large, finely ridged tubes in a tomato sauce enriched by delicious guanciale and finished with Pecorino Romano,” reads the review.
A quick walk down from Felix is another Abbot Kinney eatery that made the cut: MTN. This restaurant run by Chef Travis Lett of Gjelina (which also earned a recommendation) and Gjusta specializes in Japanese izakaya pub fare, with the Michelin reviews highlighting their charred sweet potatoes with miso butter, ramen and pork handrolls.
Wrapping up the string of Abbot Kinney restaurants earning Micheline recommendations is rustic, Mediterranean staple Gjelina.
“Brick floors and creeping vines fashion a picturesque, garden-like setting that is an idyllic match for their simply prepared Mediterranean menu of pizzas, vegetables and shared plates,” reads the review, which highlighted Gjelina’s roasted artichoke hearts and the nettle rigate tossed in a white wine sauce with morels, chicken hearts.