The owners of Elephante open the Tiki Bar in Venice

Daily Press Special

Visitors to the newly opened Belles Beach House enjoy a bohemian surf-themed design with windows overlooking the iconic Venice Beach scene. Its tiki bar style is perfect for Windward Circle and its proximity to the square and the beach made it an instant hit.

The spacious new addition to the local restaurant scene has opened at 24 Windward Avenue and between the dining room and its casual lounges. The art provided for the restaurant is by famous artist and Venetian veteran, Larry Bell.

Nicholas Mathers, founder of the Wish You Were Here group, which operates the property, describes this latest addition as “Hawaiian izakaya meets tiki bar.” The Mather Group also has restaurants in Las Vegas, New York and other SoCal locations. The native Australian also adds that it was his travels that inspired Belles. “Island destinations and their approach to hospitality and life have always appealed to me, especially in the culinary sense.

The reference to the Hawaiian izakaya means small plates and that’s the menu for most. You can also find a teriyaki cheeseburger, a lobster roll, and a fantastic bar. The drink menu refers to tropical drinks unique to the Los Angeles area. The cocktails incorporate fresh fruit and mash with an emphasis on currently popular LA spirits: agave drinks that use mescal or tequila rather than traditional rum.

The staff do their own fresh pressing of various fruits and vegetables used in their ‘lean’ daytime cocktails. To keep the menu sustainable, unused freshly squeezed juices are filtered and clarified into fiber, then made into syrups used in some cocktails and nightly slushies.

Belles goes easily from day to night, as do some of the other restaurants in the group (Elephante in Santa Monica and The Eveleigh in West Hollywood). You’ll find a fireplace for those chilly marine layer weather, and after dinner those who stay late for a drink may find themselves dancing the disco ball with a DJ – just like the 70s – and a DJ spins from Thursday to Friday. Sunday night.

Published in partnership with Westside Current.

About Michael B. Billingsley

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