Saturday saw the very soft opening of Venice's Le Zinque, a new wine bar and French coffee cafe on Abbot Kinney's Southern stretch. Resident L.A. sets the stage for a more relaxed counterpoint to the trendy street's crush of cat-eyed glasses and hirsute dudes who have all day to play in the line at Gjelina Take Away, reporting that it's the kind of place one can pass the day in reading newspapers, right-clicking mice with free Wi-Fi, sipping coffee, and biting their thumbs at the line at Intelligentsia.
Currently, the restaurant is slinging a short selection of ethically-obsessed La Colombe Torrefaction mud, tea, mimosas, and breakfast nibbles, with a McMuffin-esque sandwich so far a named standout on a menu that plans to morph daily for the time being.
Owner Emmanuel Dossetti tells Grub Street that there's currently no set menu here, nor a full picture of what exactly the place will be serving, as this past weekend's opening was intended to slowly integrate the new business into the neighborhood while keeping a low profile. To this end, Dossetti will be playing around with and switching around different dishes every day until his specific plans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner are established.
While sandwiches and tartines currently rule the ad hoc menu hanging from the wall, wine will be the focus come afternoon, with charcuterie and cheese plates planned for the scatter of tables and the long wooden bar. Once menus are more firmly set, operating hours will be established, with plans to stay open until 2:00 A.M. on weekends and possibly until 11:30 on weekdays.
Inspired by the everyday French cafes known as "zincs," the smart space of smooth wood furnishings, set off by a concrete floor, bare bulbs, and exposed rafters, could help connect the ever-popular blocks of Abbot-Kinney with the burgeoning sub-Venice Blvd. zone that houses Gallic competitor French Market Cafe and ends abruptly at Roy Choi's Caribbean-influenced rum runner Sunny Spot (where the pig's feet are a must).
Le Zinque probably won't whittle down the line at Intelligentsia right away, but for that, more than a few of the street's less trend-dependent Venetians will be happy to climb into this calming respite.
Le Zinque, 600 Venice Blvd, Venice. 310-437-0970.