Air Apparent

Salt Air sets new trends for stylish Abbot Kinney

The sense of fashion is palpable at Venice's new "beach bistro" Salt Air.

There's the sharply dressed, elbow-to-elbow clientele, the stark white brick dining room and the dainty, homespun small plates from chef Greg Daniels, who left New York's Perry St for the sunny shores of California.

On almost every table you'll find the restaurant's best accessory: a bowl of crunchy fish-skin chips ($6). Daniels' seafaring riff on chicharon is served with creamy smoked onion dip and zesty harissa paste.

The vibrant green freshness of the pea toast ($11) turns heads; Daniels dresses a thick slice of pain de mie with caramelized onions, ricotta and a tangle of crushed English peas and their tendrils.

But the real showstopper may be the cocktails: Bar manager Brian Butler brilliantly sidesteps the space's lack of a full liquor license with his refreshing aperitif-based drinks.

The "Tiki" ($11), made with Cocchi Rosa Americano, orgeat, angostura, lime and pineapple, glows a deep, summery red, while the highly aromatic "Sour" ($11) mixes Byrrh with Punt e Mes and puréed strawberries.

Now that's a trend we can get used to.