Sunday, February 02, 2003


If nuclear holocaust hit Venice, the cockroaches left behind would probably be hanging out at Hal's. It's been an Abbot Kinney mainstay since long before Abbot Kinney was a staple of the Angeleno vocabulary. I've never had a great meal there, but I keep going back. Why?

1) The space. It's a large space with high, warehouse ceilings. Large colorful paintings on the walls. It manages to remain big without being spare. Can get a little noisy, however.

2) A very good cheeseburger. Not quite up to Father's Office snuff, but I'd put it on the high list of best high-end burgers in our fair city.

3) Great ethnic and age mix. LA lacks racially diverse nightlife and restaurants. Hal's always seems to have a mix.

4) Not the Hollywood scene. Instead, much more of the Venice neighborhood crowd, mixed in with a lot of the art and design and architecture folks.

5) Though the restaurant is overpriced, the bar area is very reasonable.

6) Also, the bar scene is somehow a pick-up scene that doesn't feel like a pick-up scene. Which is good.

7) "There are a lot of MILFs here," said a friend. Yes.