Category Archives: Abbot Kinney Blvd

Veg Out in Venice at Plant Food + Wine


October is Vegetarian Awareness Month and to kick it off has revealed the 52 Top Vegetarian & Vegan Friendly Restaurants in the US.

Seven of the restaurants are in the Los Angeles area and one, Plant Food + Wine is right here in Venice at 1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd., in the old Axe space.

Plant Food + Wine School
The Matthew Kenney Culinary School in Venice located above Plant Food + Wine

Matthew Kenney is the founder of Plant Food + Wine. He also runs one of his 5 culinary schools in the upstairs space above the restaurant. With other schools in Thailand, online, and another set to open in Miami.

“We’re honored to be part of it but I’m even more excited to see Open Table put an emphasis on vegetarianism to begin with. The fact they took the time out to celebrate World Vegetarian Day. It was a great list. I saved it,” says Kenney.

Plant Food + Wine Founder Matthew Kenney
R-L Plant Food + Wine Founder Kenney with Manager Repicé in the restaurant’s ‘Garden of Vegan’

Joey Recipé is the beverage director and manager at the restaurant. He says, “it’s so awesome to be part of a movement. I think more and more people are becoming aware of what they put in their bodies as a correlation to how they are feeling.”

According to the list was decided “based on our restaurant experts’ recommendations and diner reviews,” and that all the restaurants “feature vegetables front and center, creatively presented with expert technique and serious attention to flavor.”

Plant Food + Wine Cricket Fox
Vegetarian food that even carnivores can sink their teeth into

Diner Alice Fox, who is not a vegetarian, said while dipping a roasted fingerling potato into carrot ketchup  “Oh my gosh, these potatoes are delicious. They taste like they’re cooked in chicken fat!”

Kenney explains that you can use different, non-animal, ingredients “like smoke and spice and salt in ways that satisfy those desires for comfort food.”

Plant Food + Wine may be local but  Kenny has a vision that reaches further afield.

Plant Food + Wine
Plant Food + Wine on Abbot Kinney

“We want to change the way people eat and change the way the world eats and show that plant based food is actually the most exciting and most beautiful food and the only way to do that is for there really to be a lot of amazing options around the world. That’s why we train students so they can go out there and do this, and share it,” says Kenney.


300 Vendors Lined Up For Abbot Kinney Festival This Sunday

Venice, get ready to party! It’s on again – the Abbot Kinney Festival is taking over the street. Abbot Kinney Blvd. shuts down traffic and opens up to those ready to join all the fun of a mile-long street party Sunday, Sept. 27 from 10 am-6 pm.

The festival is a free event that gives back to the community.

“Yes it’s a big party, but it’s more than that,” said Donna Humphrey, chair of the Abbot Kinney Festival Association, the non-profit group that produces the festival each year. “Any money spent at the festival goes directly back to the community to support Venice-based, non-profit organizations. Primarily those that support the youth community and the arts,” Humphrey said.

Ticket sales for any of the three beer gardens help raise money “that goes directly back into the Venice community in the form of grants,” Humphrey said. As does money raised at the always-popular Kid’s Quad, a family friendly zone featuring rides, games, and activities at Westminster Elementary.

Some of this year’s grant recipients include Venice High School’s STEMM Magnet, Venice Arts, and the Children’s Lifesaving Foundation.

Now in it’s 31st year, the Abbot Kinney Festival has always attracted a large mix of vendors. This year there will be over 300 vendors joining the food trucks and booths that will line the street.

The Boulevard’s eclectic boutiques, artisan eateries, and influential art galleries infuse the festival with a local flavor capturing the artistic Venice vibe.

This year Beyond Baroque will host the spoken word stage. Plus, there will be three music stages: the Andalusia “Locals” stage presented by Matt Ellis, the Broadway Stage presented by Beacon Street Studios, and at the Brig’s Palms Stage with DJ’s spinning all day.

At 2pm on the Andalusia Stage Councilmember Mike Bonin will present Spirit of Venice Awards.

“At this year’s awards, we will honor Sue Kaplan, Edizen Stowell, Cecilia Castillo, and Challis MacPherson. They are all people who have all made a positive impact on the Venice community,” Humphrey said.

Also, Street Art Projects will join the Abbot Kinney Festival for a second year to produce a chalk art festival – the Venice Street Art Festival – on Abbot Kinney Blvd. at Westminster Ave..

Street Art Projects is a grassroots Venice-based initiative for art in public places. The Street Art Festival is a contemporary version of the historic Italian tradition of the “Madonnari” where traveling artists would redraw the great works of the renaissance masters on city streets. At this year’s Abbot Kinney Festival a number of contemporary artists will be creating original chalk drawings.

While there will be valet parking available at points along Electric Ave. and one on Venice Blvd., arguable the most Venice-like way to enjoy the day is to ride a bike. There will be two bike valet locations, one at Venice and Abbot Kinney Blvds., the other at Abbot Kinney and Main St.

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Venice favorite Hal’s Bar & Grill may have moved off Abbot Kinney, for now, but the institution is far from forgotten.  Hal’s will be hosting one of their long-standing bands, Quentin Dennard’s group, “By Request”, the band will be playing tomorrow night, September 24th, at the Best of the Westside Celebration from 6-8 pm at the Museum of Flying at the Santa Monica airport.

Dennard, a Detroit native and percussionist, who has played with Motown greats Diana Ross and the Supremes, Dionne Warwick and the Temptations leads the group, which had delighted guests at Hal’s for more than 10 years. The band also includes Fernando Harkless on sax, David Marcus on guitar, Rick Olsen on keyboards, and Ricky Taylor on bass.

Named “one of the top ten neighborhood restaurants in America” by Bon Appetit, Hal’s Bar & Grill closed its original location on Abbot Kinney at the end of April, after nearly 30 years.

A new Hal’s location will be opening this Fall on Abbot Kinney, in Venice. Additionally, Hal’s is building a brand new venue at Runway Playa Vista, 3 miles and only a 10 minute drive from Abbot Kinney, due to open early in 2016.

Hal’s has always been dedicated to the artistic culture that is an integral part of the Venice community.

“We’re planning to preserve all the elements of Hal’s that people valued most,” said co-owners Don and Linda Novack and Hal Frederick, “Chef Manuel Mares’ beautifully prepared food, fine art, and live music, and create vibrant new spaces and experiences that still feel familiar and authentically Hal’s.”

“As part of our commitment to supporting live jazz on the Westside, we’re pleased to sponsor “By Request” to play at this great annual event, celebrating the Best of the Westside,”  says a spokesperson from the restaurant group.

Parachute Lands On Abbot Kinney With First-Ever Pop Up Shop

By Mariella Rudi

Run don’t walk to Venice staple Milkmade on Abbot Kinney where Parachute has opened their first-ever pop up shop featuring the online retailer’s core collection of bedding essentials, their recently launched linen collection, cashmere throws, and more.

Rejoice: Parachute is now offering customers the opportunity to discover its bedding basics in person for the first time.

Whitney Leigh Morris, creative director and lifestyle consultant specializing in simple style for small spaces and gatherings, designed the pop up shop to mirror Parachute’s own color palette and tactile sensibilities.

Designed in L.A. and manufactured in Italy, Parachute delivers premium quality, non-toxic bedding at an accessible price. Launched in January 2014, the direct-to-consumer retailer prides itself on the softest, comfiest, longest-lasting and most affordable bedding around – and you can now experience that feeling firsthand at their Pop Up Shop through Sept. 7.

The brand’s origins began in Italy, where Ariel Kaye’s sleeping experience was forever changed one night on a set of supremely soft hotel sheets. When she came back home to the States, however, she was left chasing that same feeling she couldn’t find elsewhere. So at 29 years old, Kaye started her own bedding brand, Parachute.

Her e-commerce company began to debunk the myth of the all-mighty thread count as purveyor of quality and luxury. Thread count is not synonymous with quality – or even comfort or softness – as only about 400 pieces of thread can fit into a specific space. Manufacturers began to market 1,000-plus numbers in the early 2000s in attempt to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Parachute, however, focuses on the caliber of the thread and the manufacturing process. They use Egyptian long-staple fibers and the highest quality cotton. Those fibers translate to a stronger thread and lower thread count, but ultimately bedding that is softer and will last much longer than sheets made from a lower-quality fiber with a higher thread count.

Their manufacturing partners are artisans who employ an Italian tradition and heritage 60 years in the making. They treat every step in the process – from selecting the fabric, removing impurities, dyeing fabrics naturally – with great care, resulting in sumptuous sheets with a craftsman’s touch.

Bedding sizes range from Twin to California King and fabrics include Percale, Sateen, and Linen. Parachute’s selection of bedding colors reflects the natural beauty of their Venice headquarters: white, ash, powder blue, slate, and navy. The brand’s signature bedding set, The Venice, bundles one fitted sheet, one duvet cover, and pillowcases in all of the above options from just $199. Added bonus: for every Venice set sold, Parachute donates a life-saving malaria bed net to The United Nations Foundation Nothing But Nets campaign, a grassroots initiative that distributes and teaches proper use of mosquito bed nets in Africa.

Parachute’s entire collection of duvet covers, pillowcases, decorative shams, top sheets, and fitted sheets can also be purchased individually as separates for customization and convenience.

Ever-expanding in their search to bring comfort into the home, Parachute has a home decor category with ultra cozy cashmere throws in earthy tones. They even produce their own custom collection of natural scented candles, available in glass vessels or travel tins.

Discover the Parachute difference firsthand at their Pop Up Shop today.

The Parachute pop up shop is located at 1413 Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice. They are open Monday through Saturday 11 am to 7 pm and Sunday 12 pm to 7 pm.

For more information visit, follow them on Instagram @parachutehome or keep up with their Pop Up hashtag #californiadreaming.