Belles: Larry Bell provided art for the bar. Photo credit: Beverly Bond PR Group

Special to the Daily Press

Visitors to the newly opened Belles Beach House are treated to a bohemian, surfing-themed design with windows looking out to the iconic Venice Beach scene. Its tiki bar style is perfect for Windward Circle and its proximity to the plaza and the beach have made it an instant hit.

The spacious new addition to the local restaurant scene opened at 24 Windward Avenue and between the dining room and its casual lounge areas. Art provided for the restaurant is from famed artist and Veteran Venetian, Larry Bell.

Nicholas Mathers, founder of the Wish You Were Here Group, who operates the property describes this latest addition as “Hawaiian izakaya meets tiki bar”. Mather’s group also has restaurants in Las Vegas, New York City 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, particularly in the culinary sense.”

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

The staff does their own fresh pressing of various fruits and vegetables used in their ‘skinny’ daytime cocktails. To keep the menu sustainable, unused fresh-pressed juices are strained and clarified of fibers and are then turned into syrups used in some of the nighttime cocktails and slushies.

Belles goes easily from day to night, just like some of the other restaurants in the group, (Elephante in Santa Monica and The Eveleigh in West Hollywood). You will find a fireplace for those chilly marine layer times, and after dinner, those who stay late for drinks can find themselves dancing up the disco ball with a DJ -just like the 70s- and a DJ spins Thursdays through Sunday nights.

Published in partnership with the Westside Current.