Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nikki's, Venice

72 Market Street
Venice Beach, CA 90291

Telephone: 310.450.3010

Monday - Friday:
4:00 pm - 1:00 am
Saturday & Sunday:
10:00 am - 1:00 am
Any day with an NFL game:
10:00 am - 1:00 am

Happy Hour:
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
2 for 1 drinks
1/2 price appetizers

Went to Nikki's on Friday night to meet some people I used to work with. I hadn't seen them in a while, what with everybody working crazy hours. Now that some of them are done with their show, we decided to meet up for a sort of congratulatory night of drinks.

Nikki's is a bit pretentious, as many of the newer bars in Venice Beach are, and totally overpriced, which was completely expected. I don't mind spending a bit on drinks to see people that I like, so I wasn't really angry about the prices. The pretentiousness pisses me off, of course, but I was mentally prepared for it.

I tried a couple drinks there that were on their cocktail menu:

Cantaloupe martini: Stoli raspberry vodka, Marie Brizzard watermelon, and orange juice.

White grape martini: Ciroc vodka and white grape juice with a champagne floater.

The cantaloupe martini was a little odd- I don't think the orange juice was right for the drink. The white grape martini was good, I had two of them. Delicious, tart, a little astringent, and slightly effervescent. Yummm.

It was mostly the company that I cared about, so it was a good night. I was distracted all night by the giant print on the wall of the topless woman holding a surfboard over her head (visible in the photo above). Seriously, why?? It's not a surf-themed place, although one of those tacky moving pictures of a waterfall hangs on the wall farthest from the front door (is that ever a good idea in any establishment?).

The bar's in what a friend called "the middle of the ghetto," that part of Venice Beach that gets a little suspect/shady after dark. You walk in the single door and the whole place is visible, narrow and long, a sure sign that the building was not meant to be a bar.

We went early (I think I got there a bit before 9:00?) and left early (I left around midnight) so the place wasn't crowded. I was pleasantly surprised by that. I realized as I was leaving that the reason the bar wasn't overly crowded was because bouncers keep a ton of people waiting. Thanks, bouncers! I hate bars that are packed to the rafters.

The valet was adorable and French, but that didn't help in making the $7 valet fee any easier to stomach. I'm not clear on how much the drinks were, but I think the martinis were about $13, maybe?

Not a place I would go again unless it was for a gathering that someone else planned. Seeing friends (and a few people I wouldn't count as friends) was great. I miss being social.