How long does it take on a Monday at 7 pm when Salt Air is not full to get appetizers? So far forty minutes. Forty-five minutes. Fifty minutes. Fifty-five minutes. The manager does nicely come over to apologize. Still no food. Have had one corn bread fritter (very nice) so might start eating the napkins.
Aaaaaand finally it arrives. Almost an hour after The Monster orders.
The former Capri and pop-up Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing has been smartly redone in a beach chic way, it feels airy and breezy even with the tables packed together. This seafood-centric Abbot Kinney resto is already pulling in the beautiful set.
So, as for those tardy apps, great pistachio pesto with the roasted cauliflower. Some of the best The Monster has had in LA. In fact, wish it was more prominently featured on the menu. Lovely.
The mussels in coconut curry are embarrassingly small even with a nice curry broth of scallion and cilantro. For a seafood restaurant to feature such wimpy bivalves, well, it just plain sucks. Do better Salt Air.
Luckily, the grilled octopus with beluga lentils, pickled onion and chorizo is a hit. So, two out of three appetizers working ain’t bad.
And right when those are done the mains arrive. Can’t say timing is a strong suit at SA right now. It’s new, so time will surely help.
The lobster roll is tasty. Also salty. And small for the price. Not that lobster needs it but the corn relish adds a certain zing that is appreciated. Like this is buttered and not overly mayo-ed.
The bouillabaisse features a great broth, rich with a touch of sweetness. It is not a huge portion but not skimpy either.
After the wait/timing debacle dessert is comped (monkey bread, delish). Nice touch. Not as nice, the manager says he is comping other dishes but the bill arrives and it is not itemized. According to The Monster’s math (and looking at prices online) half of the cauliflower is comped. It is appreciated but not exactly overwhelming.
Still, The Monster will call this a blip on the radar and come back to Salt Air which is undoubtedly a welcome addition to Abbot Kinney.
Why go? You are beautiful. And not terribly hungry.
Monster rating: 3½/5 Monsters
1616 Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Venice, CA 90291