How can you review a restaurant that has great hours, great parking, and a menu so full of my favorite dishes that there’s not enough space to even list the dishes, let alone explain them?
That’s the problem reviewing Zinqué Venice, a French bistro that has everything I like on the menu. It’s very casual, but often very crowded—it’s only fault. The prices are high, but reasonable, the service (partly self-service) friendly and it’s a great place to meet people—those you know and those you just meet there.
Zinque gets fantastic reviews on the web, and the only negatives, which are mild, are the prices. Besides the food, reviewers mention the full bar and wine list (and bottles of wine in the front of the store), the grocery/deli foods to take out, and the great parking in the back. A couple of people who overstayed their welcome, putting a large table out of circulation for a couple of hours while they worked on a computer, had run-ins with the owner. But the owner is well known in town, especially among some of my French friends, and is always referred to as a gentleman and a friendly person.
So about all I can do is to tell you some of the dishes on the menus that I personally like. But I’m only listing a small percentage of what is available.
For lunch or brunch I love the smoked salmon plates, and there’s a great burger. And there is every kind of sandwich you can dream of.
Dinner is another story; I never run out of favorites from the dinner menu: I love the asparagus with mustard and bacon vinaigrette, the fried artichokes, the Vietnamese nems, the Niçoise salad, the spicy wings appetizer, and the traditional French steak frites, modules frites, and tartines. And of course there is pizza and pasta which is OK but that one can find as good or better in lots of restaurants.
In addition to the great menus and the great hours of service, there is a section of prepared, canned and bottled food and spices to take home.
Zinque is located at 1440 Lincoln Blvd, halfway between Santa Monica and Marina del Rey, and is open 7am-11pm Sunday – Thursday & 7am-1am Friday & Saturday.
Merv Hecht, like many Harvard Law School graduates, went into the wine business after law. In 1988, he began writing restaurant reviews and books. His latest book “The Instant Wine Connoisseur, 3d edition” is available on Amazon. He currently works for several companies that source and distribute food and wine products internationally. Please send your comments to: email@example.com