425 Washington Blvd
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Dining date: 4/1/16
Charcoal Venice (though technically I think it may be in Marina Del Rey) opened at the end of last year, a modern meat-centric concept from chef Josiah Citrin. Citrin is most notable for fine dining Melisse which is still going strong after 15+ years. The vibe here is much more casual and approachable, anchored around its flame-grilled meats.
Charcoal Venice is more than just beef and potatoes, though it has plenty of that. Two of its most notable dishes are a baked cabbage and a half of a duck. We ordered both of these, as well as a sampling of other items throughout the menu.
Cabbage Baked in the Embers Yogurt, Sumac and Lemon Zest
The cabbage was imbued with a very strong smoke flavor, bringing out a sweetness and richness complemented by the yogurt and lemon. A really interesting dish.
Smoked Lamb Ribs
Lamb ribs were saucier than expected, though plenty tender – just about falling off the bone. A nice charred crust and plenty of fat helped to provide lots of delicious flavor.
Yellowtail “Kissed with Coals” Kohlrabi, Arugula, Roasted Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
Thick slices of yellowtail were paired up with light citrus and crisp kohlrabi.
21 Day Aged Half Liberty Duck
Duck was prepared well, with a crispy skin and moist tender meat. There was a subtle sweetness (potentially in a glaze) that complemented the duck meat. The $48 price tag was on the high side – I’m not sure I’d get it again.
Smoked and Grilled Bone-In Short Rib
I’ve had a version of Citrin’s beef ribs at a dinner at Melisse, and this version really reminded me of it. The short rib was almost melt-in-your-mouth tender with a rich and hearty BBQ sauce. I thought this dish was also a bit high at $34 for basically a really refined beef rib, though it was unique and delicious enough to justify the price tag.
Prime New York Striploin
Our striploin was cooked just right, tender and with good beefy flavor.
Steak Fries with Homemade Ketchup
Broccolini Smoked Fingerling Potatoes, Lemon-Rosemary Bread Crumbs, and Chili Oil
Both of our sides were good. Steak fries were served piping hot, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The broccolini was paired up with smoky creamy potatoes and crispy breadcrumbs.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Cake with Valrhona Dulcey Chocolate Ice Cream
Desserts were solid as well highlighted by the rich, yet moist, chocolate peanut butter cake.
We had a good meal at Charcoal Venice. It’s not in my top tier of steakhouses/meat-based concepts, but it’s a good option in this part of town (which doesn’t seem to have a lot of meat-focused spots).