Show 154, January 9, 2016: Executive Chef Josiah Citrin, Charcoal Venice, Venice, CA

Josiah CitrinCharcoal Venice, the new inviting, neighborhood restaurant from Michelin-starred Chef and Proprietor Josiah Citrin (our guest), opened early last month on W. Washington Blvd., a burgeoning culinary destination in Venice, CA bordering Marina del Rey. A more casual concept than Citrin’s Melisse, Charcoal Venice upholds the chef’s philosophy “In Pursuit of Excellence,” with a simpler, more approachable menu.

As the name suggests, the daily menu features craveable comfort foods cooked over a live fire via a wood oven, over charcoal, in the coals, or in a Big Green Egg – imparting a smoky, backyard barbeque flavor with the use of premium oak and hickory lump coals. Adding to the communal atmosphere of the restaurant, these dishes are all large, family-style portions meant to be shared.

Citrin also offers starters, including a unique tartare selection, such as beef heart and lamb, alongside a selection of farmers’ market vegetables including a whole head of cabbage baked in the coals until it’s completely black on the outside and smoky on the inside. The Cabbage Baked in Embers (a nice variation on the standard grilled artichoke) is becoming a signature of the restaurant.

“This is the type of casual concept I’ve always wanted to open. It’s the food that I prepare for my friends and family in my backyard on the weekend. Not too fancy, just delicious food that you crave,” says Citrin. “Mélisse is your special occasion restaurant, while Charcoal Venice is an every night place for a refreshing beer and a perfectly grilled entrée.”

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