L.A.’s Best Day Trip

Contributing editor Carolynn Carreño takes us on a low-key “daycation” of strolling canals, bohemian shops, and gourmet cafés in her favorite neighborhood, Venice Beach.

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Venice Beach Axe Restaurant
Photographer Thomas J. Story

Follow the Crowd

The best-dressed crowd on the west side―or maybe in all of Los Angeles―can be found on weekends eating breakfast in the spare, airy, architectural room of longtime neighborhood fave Axe (1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd.; 310/664-9787 or axerestaurant.com). The restaurant, pronounced “AH-shay,” committed to sustainability long before it became a buzzword. The kitchen prepares old-school health-food staples such as quinoa, brown rice, and braised greens in a way that doesn’t taste like health food, which is pure Southern California and quintessentially Venice. The nine-grain pancake is a dense patty of whole grains barely bound together and served with maple syrup, and a Vietnam-inspired rice bowl is heaped with fresh local veggies. Both have cult-like followings.

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