12.20.2005

Restaurant Review #97: The OtherRoom, Venice

A somewhat new place on hipper-by-the-minute Abbot Kinney, I was excited about the OtherRoom because there are very few wine bars in the area, and I love wine. They're also a microbrewery, and offer over 60 different kinds of beer. They don't have a liquor license though, so don't get your heart set on that martini.

I'm not excited anymore, though. The OtherRoom is exactly the kind of place I try to avoid, because it's too loud to hear the person you're talking to. If they cut the volume of the music in half, and played a type of music that could fade into the background (may I suggest deep house?), this venue could be exactly what I'm looking for. The interior is dimly but warmly lit, there are a decent number of comfy places to sit, and the wine list is very extensive. But the place is so dimly lit and the wine list so extensive and high up on the wall behind the crowded bar that it's impossible to read. I hope they have menu-style wine lists that I just didn't see.

Since I couldn't read the list, I asked for a sweet white, and was presented with a blah viogner. Hey bartender--just because I didn't make a specific request doesn't mean I can't appreciate decent wine that doesn't taste like the metal barrel it was produced in.

I went on a Wednesday night around 10:30, and it was quite busy. The floorspace was still walkable, but almost all of the seating was taken. I imagine it just gets more crowded as the week goes on. It was pretty easy to park on the street, but I suspect that isn't true on weekends.

I appreciate the idea of trying to create a hip venue for enjoying a glass of wine or some real beer, but with the overly loud music and large crowds, I'll still have to stay home or stick to a restaurant if I want to share wine and conversation with my friends. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who are happy with the hip and loud scene, so places like this will likely continue to flourish, and the rest of us will continue to stay home.

The OtherRoom
1201 Abbot Kinney
Venice, CA 90292
310.396.6230

2 comments:

Erin S. said...

bummer! I walked by here just the other afternoon and it looked like a promising option. I don't make it to Venice much in the evenings since I'm an eastsider, but always looking for new places to try. I've heard good things about primitivo--have you been?

Foodie Universe said...

No, I have not been to Primitivo, but I would like to try it.