Venice: Zinque

A low key wine bar with a killer happy hour and the best french fries in the Westside.

Zinque has a bright and airy vibe to it that never feels less than welcoming, day or night. The stylish decor is very industrial with thick wooden tables and metal chairs. I’ve been here alone for meals, drinks, and have taken many friends who come to visit from the Eastside. It’s my fail-safe option.

Their wine selection is huge and if you ask them for recommendations, they’ll gladly help you out. If you’re not in the mood for alcohol, they serve a mean cup of coffee. They’ll refill it for you for free too.

A French guy who works the bar stands out because of his outrageous character. If he’s working, you’d know it right away. I’ve never been able to get his name because he’s always moving like a rocket from here to there, never idle, and he’s efficient. He’s always on top of everyone’s orders and if there’s a slight delay, he notices and goes to the kitchen to take care of it. The waitstaff in general are friendly, attractive people and it makes you wonder if it’s a requirement to look pretty or at least have a cute accent in order to work there.

The menu is rich with small bites and plates, perfect for a glass of wine or two. Their french fries are my favorite in the city, served with Sriracha mayo, and I dare you to find better. There was a time when their fryers were always broken and I’d call ahead just to check if they were serving them or not. I don’t do that anywhere else, but the fries in question are just that good. Thin cut, crispy, and perfectly seasoned. It’s so easy to get addicted.

For a real meal, I’ve never been let down by their quiches. And worry not, the vegetarian version is just as delicious as its pancetta-filled counterpart. They serve it with a nice salad, but I substitute it with fries. Naturally.

Zinque is located right on Abbot Kinney and Venice Blvd. Although walking in is quite easy, they take reservations now too and I recommend it if you’re bringing friends to avoid a wait. Request for the outdoor patio for groups and sit at the bar if you’re alone.

Some of my favorite things are beef jerky, bacon, Benedict Cumberbatch, pistachios (aka the nut of the gods), my husband's face, and coffee.