Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Chanin Victor
Observer Calendar Editor 

The All-New, Fresh Food Fare of Nueva in Venice: Welcome To The Hood!

It's Chic and Inviting, But Most Importantly Flavorful and Delicious!

 

October 14, 2020

Chanin Victor

Patio of Nueva Venice

Vibrant colors, intricate patterns, and cocteles that will make your tongue roll with a passion. On a weekend, we think Mexican food is always a good idea! I recently got a chance to have a date-night with my husband, our first since Covid-19 disrupted our lives. We wanted something casual and were interested in trying out a "new" restaurant, one we hadn't been to before. Those who speak Spanish understand why we went to Nueva! Cuando quieras algo nuevo, dirígete a Nueva!

NUEVA, the new Westside contemporary canteen at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and the ever-popular Abbot Kinney Boulevard, brings you next-level Mexican dishes. You'll be experiencing the beach life at Nueva no matter what time of day because it has that fresh, relaxed style and vibe that makes you want to spend quality time with friends or family. Whether you're there for Brunch or dinner, the tastes, sourced locally from ranchers, farmers and fisherman, will excite you.

It's a multi-room space with natural lighting that leads to the convertible indoor/outdoor dining area. The main bar area boasts the innovative iWave air filtration system, added to enhance guest safety as it filters out contaminated air particles. A dramatic glass wall opens to an additional fifty-seat outdoor patio which accommodates the socially-distancing dining requirements and works seamlessly as an extension to the dining room. Built with a floor of decomposed granite and enclosed by lush shrubs, the space is accented with teak tables, colorful metal chairs, and beachy striped umbrellas. We went at 5PM and by 5:15 every 6-ft separated table in the restaurant was full. Being outdoors, we felt safe and comfortable the entire time.

We both went very hungry and thirsty! I would say it is a MUST to try one of the Frozen Margaritas they offer: I say this because I first ordered the Clarified Paloma Coctele, made from Blanco Tequila, Mezcal, Clarified Grapefruit, Agave, Mineral Water, Ice Spear, with a Salt Rim. My husband ordered the Pineapple Infused Aperol Frozen Margarita. Both were delicious, but upon tasting his chilly sweet drink, I told him if he loved me, he had to switch... works every time. He didn't really mind though because he loves Mezcal. There are ample opportunities to try some of the curated Tequila and Agave options they have crafted and included on their Cocteles List and Flights. You'll see the thought that goes into making every drink. And you can taste it too! Deliciosa!

We ordered some starters to enjoy as we watched the sun set, which included a Hamachi and Uni Ceviche made with Local Citrus, Charred Peanuts and Fresno Chili. We also ordered the Elote: Grilled Sweet Corn, Chipotle Butter, Parmesan Cheese, Chili Lime Crunch, Crispy Cauliflour: Lime and Jalapeno, Parmesan Cheese with Cilantro Yogurt, and some chips and guacamole. All were delicious and all come with a vegan option, but the real flavor winner was the Ceviche...amazing tastes!

We ordered a couple more drinks, this time a Mango Frozen Margarita and a Tequila Sunrise. Since National Taco Day was coming up, we decided to try every taco on the menu, as we couldn't decide on just one or two. The Roasted Squash Vegan Taco:Pipian, Pepita, Salsa, Olive Tapenade, Corn Nut, was nutty and satisfying to the taste buds. The Falafel Taco: Black Bean Falafel, Cilantro, Lebne, Guacamole, Sumac, Red Onion (Vegan option available) was also quite tasty with yummy flavors. The Tempura Sea Bass Taco: Jicama Aleppo Slaw, Cilantro Aioli was my favorite, super crunchy on the outside and full flavor on the inside. My husband absolutely LOVED the Mediterranean Octopus: Cilantro Salsa, Pickled Red Onion, Plum, Mint and the Pork Belly Chicharron: Chili Lime Salt, Serrano Pineapple Salsa and we had planned to order more of those for the next course, but these weren't tiny tacos. We were able to share each taco with at least 2 or 3 bites each, so very good-sized portions on everything. Finally, We both loved the Chicken Tinga Taco: Fresno Chili, Pico de Gallo and the Carne Asada Taco: Charred Avocado, Roasted Scallion and Jalapeño Salsa, Cilantro. As full as we were by this point, these were a great way to finish up the taco party. SO much flavor in both!

Full bellies and a bit too much tequila meant it was time to end the meal, but don't you know we are definitely going again and this time I've got my eye on one of their many salades, the Yellow Corn Mole: Roast Squash, Squash Puree, Summer Succotash topped with Hazelnuts and Sunflower Seeds, and the Branzino: Wood Grilled Branzino, Mole Rojo, Castelvetrano Tapenade. My husband heard from a friend the Rib Eye: Grilled 16oz Bone-In Prime Rib Eye with Salsa Nueva and Roasted Vegetables, is excellent and he's already planning our next couples date-night outing, so who wants to join us?

Of course, no dinner is complete without dessert and we had to try the Churro: Cinnamon Sugar, Dark Chocolate Ice Cream, super simple, incredibly delicious, and a great way to end a such a palatable, flavoursome meal. By this time, the sun had set, so we enjoyed the glow of the candlelight as we savored every sugary-sweet bite of the divine churro placed in front of us... and it was consumed way too quickly. Had we had room for more food, we would have tried the Flan, Tres Leches, and Coconut Panna Cotta for you, but I guess you'll have to go and experience those for yourself.

If you decide you want to bring the kids, no problem! Nueva has created a tantalizing kids dinner and brunch menu which includes Cheese Quesadilla, Falafel Tacos, Tempura Sea Bass tacos, Bean and Cheese Burrito, Rice and Beans, Scrambled Eggs, or a Breakfast Burrito.

We definitely recommend Nueva for a date night, family brunch, friends get-together, or just if you're looking for a change of scene at a "new" place in the Venice/MDR area. Be sure to make a RESY though as that is the only way right now to get a reservation. You'll be so happy you did. Enjoy!

*Nueva treated my husband and I to this delicious date-night meal in exchange for a review of the restaurant; however, all opinions are my own and it was honestly delicious! Thank you Nueva for a wonderful evening and some of the most scrumptious mexican food. Fue una excelente comida abundante! Gracias! Nos veremos de nuevo pronto!

Nueva Venice

Relaxed Outdoor Eating Area at Nueva Venice

Nueva is brought to you by the partnership between Chef Vartan Abgaryan (Your's Truly Venice), renowned Los Angeles restaurateur Jared Meisler (Roger Room, The Friend, The Little Friend), and the exemplary team of David and Patti Reiss of the Reiss Co (The Alibi Room, Vito's, Yours Truly Venice and The Brig). NUEVA's Cocteles Menu boasts a vast agave collection of tequila and mezcal that includes Sotol, Bacanora and Raicilla, led by Beverage Director Adam Fournier (most recently of NoMad). The Agave collection is curated by reputable Raul Yrastorza, who crafted the tequila collection at El Carmen and the mezcal collection at Las Perlas.

Nueva is located at 822 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292 at the intersection of Abbott Kinney and Washington Blvd. Hours are

Mon, Tue, Wed 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM, Thur, Fri 5:00 PM - 11:00 PM, Sat 10:30 AM - 11:00 PM, Sun 10:30 AM - 10:00 PM

You can make a reservation through RESY or at NuevaVenice.com

 

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