• What: Seafood, Scandinavian, Fusion
  • Where: 1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
  • Cross Street: Venice Blvd.
  • Phone: (310) 392-6644
  • Price: $$$$
  • Website: www.akinvenice.com
  • Hours: Tues-Sun 6-11pm, Sat-Sun 10am-3pm

  • This red-painted spot on an otherwise unassuming block of La Brea boasts one of the most impressive cheese menus in the city, boasting upwards of 80 options, so everyone from the fussiest eater to the most intolerant of lactose should be able to find something to nibble on.

    Just ask the amicable staff, dressed in all black with handy aprons, for suggestions. The main menu also changes, but you'll usually find a few rich soups like the recent velvet tomato one made with imported San Marzano tomatoes, or the one made from roasted kabocha squash. The salads are equally exotic, with components like crisp firecracker lettuce, beets, toasted hazelnuts, Brillat-Savarin triple-cream cheese and citrus vinaigrette.

    Antipasti include a white bean crostini with charred tomatoes and fried sage, and there are pizzas, of course, like the one with black truffles, and one with fatted calf and duck sausage with spicy cavalo nero greens and fresh burrata. For the pasta course, there is a blue cheese and asparagus ravioli, a lemon butter-poached artichoke-stuffed pasta with toasted pine nuts in a lemon cream sauce, and tortelloni stuffed with fig and pancetta in brown butter with walnuts and parmesan. There are only a few meat and fish options, but they are usually pleasantly surprising, like the pancetta-wrapped beef filet.

    To set the right "mood" for dessert, try the lavender syrup panna cotta with caramelized pecan biscotti, or the yuzu mousse with almond cookies. We'll be keeping our eye on Chef Erin Eastland since she is certain to remain a fixture on the food scene in town. Also, be sure to check out the sleek espresso machine on the way to the restroom. It's like making a cappuccino using a Ferrari.

    Interior of new dining hotspot, Cube
    Interior of new dining hotspot, Cube