All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013
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I am a Hollywood snob. An east side snob. Driving west of La Brea gives me the vapors. The words “Beverly Hills” are greeted with a roll of my eyes. I go years without seeing the ocean. It is pretty twisted actually. Matters are made worse by the fact that Miles’ favorite LA meal & favorite bar at which to linger – is Birds – right within walking distance of my home. Here is Miles’ favorite meal there.
That is a half chicken, loaded baked potato & baked beans. Birds can be pretty limited in its selection if you are a pescatarian, like me. But they added this new flatbread with mozzarella & jalapenos & I have become mildly obsessed with it.
I love Andrew & Brooklyn, the bartenders at Birds, and so I can easily have my arm “twisted” and agree to Birds – sometimes EVERY day that Miles is here. It has happened.
But, sometimes, when he is in town – I find occasion to venture out – sometimes even out past La Cienega. Recently, we found ourselves in Venice. Before I headed out there, I scoured Yelp for out best lunch options & came up with Benny’s Tacos. It is difficult to guess what to expect from the exterior but there was parking & I am all about that. Here is the exterior (image stolen from Benny’s site).
On the left of the image, you see their al fresco dining area. We meant to eat out there but the tables all seemed very unstable so we moved inside. Here is the interior.
And look at that cool tortilla heater thingy back there! It rotates.
The greatest thing about Benny’s (for me) is their wide selection of seafood & vegetarian options. I ordered a lobster & a fish taco – grilled not fried – and Miles got some massive chicken burrito. We got drinks, chips & some salsa from the salsa bar & chose a table. Benny’s also serves beer & wine! There is a little three-seater bar in there, too!
If I lived close to Benny’s – I can promise you – Miles & would make that bar our own.
Chips & salsa were good. Beer is served in frosted mugs. Always a nice touch.
Then my tacos arrived.
That is the lobster taco on the left. And let me tell you – that was the best Goddamn taco I have ever had in my life! I don’t typically eat lobster because I feel really bad for them. Seeing them in those tanks at the supermarket or in restaurants – claws bound & crawling all over each other waiting to die by being BOILED ALIVE – moves me to tears. But, hypocritically, so did that lobster taco – as I washed it down with ice cold beer. I kept photographing it in an effort to prolong the pleasure. The fish taco was delicious, too, but that lobster fucker was a revelation!
Miles was served a burrito nearly the size of a football.
Miles pointed out that serving a burrito that size – largely filed with rice & beans (and TONS of chicken) – with additional rice & beans might be considered a rice-n-beans overkill but that is a minor complaint. Especially for Miles – who can be very finicky about food minutia. We both found our meals to taste fresh & clean & to be quite substantial. I wanted to go right back up & order every other taco they offered that fit my diet but – alas – we were both stuffed. My only complaint about Benny’s is that it is all the fuck the way in Venice – I place I have gone to more often than Venice, Italy – primarily because I have never been to Venice, Italy & that number (zero) is hard to beat.
But if you live anywhere near there – I cannot recommend highly enough that you give Benny’s a try. They do a whole rotisserie chicken thing there, too, that we never even got into. The menu – HERE – is far more varied than your average taco stand. You could eat there every night for a week & never feel like you are ordering off the same menu. And you can get likkered up, to boot! What is stopping you? Go there now! And save me a seat at the bar!