Larry's Restaurant By Chef Larry Bell

Beach food and California Minimalism at Larry's

Before the beachside hotel at the corner of Pacific and Windward became the boutique-ish Erwin, it was the site of Venice's Best Western Marina Pacific.

The nondescript hotel was California Minimalist artist Larry Bell's home base for decades. Bell lived in room 412, paying his rent in artwork.

The onetime Erwin resident, whose work is featured throughout the building, is now being honored with a restaurant behind the hotel that is simply named Larry's. The beachy, open-air spot features a menu from Waterloo & City's chef, Brendan Collins.

Collins is exhibiting his well-known charcuterie skills, offering a prime example of chicken liver mousse–enriched with foie gras and topped with an earthy, tart sweet-potato jam ($12)–and a slab of velvet-smooth duck terrine studded with pistachios ($12).

But it's another slice that's the most intriguing, a baroquely layered terrine of freshwater eel and foie gras (pictured; $14). Surf and turf are interspersed with the British mixed-vegetable relish piccalilli, adding a light crunch to complement the dueling textures of flakiness and silk. Collins' singular plate might be dubbed a California Maximalist creation.

Judging by these dishes, Bell must not celebrate sparseness in his food as he does in his art.

Larry's, 24 Windward Ave., Venice; 310-399-2700 or