The Neighborhood Guide
The best of Venice, from Abbot Kinney to Brooks
Because every man wants to explore Los Angeles, even if that means actually walking somewhere, we’re proud to present the Neighborhood Guide, a series that reveals the must-see, -do and -eats in a burg near you. Up today: Venice Beach.
You know Abbot Kinney. Once a sanctuary for all manner of guttersnipe and drifter, now a sanctuary for … people who like brunch and IDing celebrities from two blocks away.
Yes, we know you’ve tread these commerce-packed streets many times over. But there’s a spate of new openings on the block that we’d like to introduce you to.
From high-five-sized donuts to Ducati-endorsed boots to a new menswear hub that doubles as an art gallery, here are your marching orders.
52 Brooks Ave
We start with General Admission, a new menswear spot/event space that hosts occasional art exhibits — like the one opening tonight for iconic local architect David Hertz. In your correspondent’s humble opinion, these guys are among the best art and design curators in town. Check it out:
On your shopping list: an in-house collection of hoodies lined with French terry — ideal for those cool Venice nights — and a textured white henley with ribbed sides. All of it’s made in DTLA. They also carry local upstarts like Freenote Cloth, Outerknown and Garrett Leight.
General Admission is located where Abbot Kinney becomes Brooks, offers its own parking and has plans to add a coffee bar.
The Dudley Market
9 Dudley Ave
Dudley Market is not technically on Abbot Kinney nor Brooks, but given that there are so few night spots in Venice and Chef Jesse Barber can do no wrong (read: chicken perfectly cooked with fig mostarda and mustard caviar), we thought we’d make an exception. Good for breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner.
Blue Bottle Coffee
1103 Abbot Kinney Blvd
This San Francisco boutique company is synonymous with high-end joe. They’re breaking into L.A. a little late, but their New Orleans-style cold brew is in a league of its own. Plus: uncharacteristically speedy service.
Blue Star Donuts
1142 Abbot Kinney Blvd
A Portland-based company, Blue Star bakes hand-sized donuts from scratch and encases them in primo ingredients like hazelnut, organic blueberry jam, dark chocolate, maple bacon and caramel. Served hot and soft. There will be a line; it will be worth it.
1420 Abbot Kinney Blvd
If socks are to menswear what cartoons are to movies, then Happy Socks is Pixar. Your correspondent has been a fan for five years, and wherever he removes his shoes, heaps of praise for his colorful, comfy socks are sure to follow. Their new open-air store is beside Warby Parker and home to hundreds of color combinations.
Fiorentini + Baker
1504 Abbot Kinney Blvd
British bootmaker Fiorentini + Baker just launched a capsule collection with Ducati. The flagship on Venice has been around for three years (practically an eternity in L.A. years), but their new motorcycle boot/sneaker crossover with the Italian moto gods is straight rockstar, with Italian leather, classic bolster tips and lateral buckles. They’re available starting this weekend at the Abbot Kinney location.