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Venue Reporter

Throw a Minimalistic Garden Party on Abbott Kinney
Katie David Bush
REPORT
No. 6565
VENUE:
Axe
LOCATION:
Abbott Kinney, Venice, CA.
TYPE
STYLE
SETTINGS
Private Dining / Restaurant
Minimal Garden Party
By the Beach!
REPORTER: Katie David Bush

The Report

This venue is VRV (Venue Report Verified); Venue Reporter Katie has personally visited this venue and thrown a party here!

Axe (pronounced AXE (ă • shay) is a salutation borrowed from Yoruba (where Nigeria is today) that means, "go with the power of the Gods and Goddesses.” Oft confused with the pronunciation akin to the tool of choice wielded by plaid-clad lumberjacks whose attire has now been appropriated by many of the so-called hipsters lining Venice’s famed Abbott Kinney Boulevard. Yet god, goddess or lumberjack would all find a place at the table in the backyard of Venice’s quiet, superb Axe Restaurant.

Located in a city bathed in the shadow of the entertainment industry and renowned for its excess of glitz and glamour, lies this gem in the heart of what was once an enclave for hippies and bodybuilders but now sits at a crossroads of a a new food and design revolution. Minimalist chic prevails in the restaurant proper, as it is clear the food is the star and any aforementioned glitz and glamour is checked at the door and/or adorns the restaurant’s patrons. Tables are reclaimed wood, the plates simple, white, modern. With a menu that changes based on the seasons and served family style by friendly, knowledgeable wait staff it is the perfect setting for a first-date, anniversary, birthday or special night out. Patrons vary from Venice locals to entertainment industry creative types, designers, artists and craftsmen, yet all have that look  as each new patron darkens the doorstep…. “This is my secret, tell your friends and I end you.” To all of those people… well, I really hope you aren’t reading this.

HOW WILL MY GUESTS GET HERE?: Axe Restaurant is right off the (405) freeway at the Venice exit or approx. (15) minutes from the LAX airport by taxi. Should you choose to boat in, it's approximately (10) minutes from Marina del Rey if that is your fabulous, nautical form of transport (go you)

CELEBRATION CAPACITY:
ACCOMMODATIONS: None Onsite
HIGH SEASON: N/A
FOOD SERVICE: Provided by Venue
BAR SERVICE: Provided by Venue
VIEWS: Garden
ESTABLISHED IN: 2012
VENUE SPACES: 2
DECOR: Minimalistic Garden Party

THE SCOOP

The entirety of the restaurant proper as well as the backyard space can be utilized as a party perfect gathering space. There are stunning garden views from the back patio and insanely cool people watching perch from the front bay windows overlooking Abbott Kinney Blvd. This  is the most special of places for a birthday party, bridal shower, intimate wedding, fundraiser or anniversary. The restaurant will work with you on a set, family-style menu and it’s BYOB as long as you meet the required restaurant minimum. However the carefully cultivated in-house beverages are second to none and each recommendation is better than the next.

It’s one of those places that needs no real dressing or addition. It’s simple magic is in the pure elemental combination of senses – the heat of the old Mexican stove, the scent of the grill and the lemon trees, the taste of the delicious food and wine and create an intoxicating elixir of a night for the ages.  The outdoor garden area is IDEAL for any intimate dinner party while the indoor restaurant space would be the perfect spot to host a charity event or corporate dinner for 50 or more. Book the outdoor patio. The entirety of it. Use the fabulous, long, weathered table as your dinner table and use the intimate lounge area as a place for guests to mill around and relax prior to the family-style dinner. Menu must be arranged and ordered beforehand with the extremely helpful manager who's advice one should gladly take - its impeccable.

Rates + Options *subject to change: The Axe Venice Communal Table fits 20 of your nearest with a $2500 F/B Minimum. You can throw a garden party by renting the whole back patio for up to 26 guests and a $3k minimum.  Friday/Saturday night, throw a seated dinner party for up to 60 inside. Or you want to really go big? You can rent out the entire space!

Row 3 Photo: LA Times  | Row 4: via Rachel Phipps 

Perfect for:

  • baby shower
  • birthday party
  • bridal shower
  • dinner party
  • holiday party
  • social event

BONUS

For my rather hotly anticipated and dread-inducing 30th birthday I knew I wanted to have an intimate dinner party. A gathering where the setting would allow my family and friends some privacy and adhere to my father’s cardinal rules (not “fancy,” must have meat, good wine and beer he’s heard of) yet live up to my critical event planning eye. Not only did this space completely supersede my expectations, but ended up being another welcome character of carefully cultivated nearest and dearest. .

For me, the pleasure is in the details. Wisps of mouth-watering smoke waft through the air from the large open-air charcoal grill, accompanied by undertones of fragrant lemon trees which dot the yard thoughtfully. Small strings of vintage Edison bulbs sway softly in the breeze bathing everyone in that gorgeous back light. Weathered wood benches are able to accommodate at least 20 of your nearest and dearest with additional tables for seating if needed. Food is served family style and in abundance. The wine is poured with abandon. The tables are heated by an old, Mexican terra cotta fireplace which adds to the romance and intimate feel. At the end of the night, overturned wine glasses, wisps of smoke, a hint of salted chocolate dessert, scraps of paper dotted with birthday wishes and strains of musical cheer echoed in the air. It was a night to remember. A night seared so fully in broad strokes in my mind, I close my eyes and I am undone by the simple perfection of it all.

STYLE FOR YOUR SETTING

The restaurant is minimal and sprinkled with congona and black acacia woods. Handmade jute lamps lend warmth and richness to the serene, modern and unique space. The Open windows invite the ocean breeze into the simple and spare space. We also love the symbol of the name, Axe, where in Nigeria it means, "go with the power of the Gods and Goddesses".

1. You are Invited: These invites fit the bill for many reasons. We love their simplicity fuzed with their bohemian vibe. Both elements that you will find at Axe. More importantly, we love that they are washed in Indigo watercolor. Indigo is something you will stumble upon in Nigeria, and we think this is a fun and secretive nod to the inspiration for Axe's name. Via Peter Loves Jane   2. Garden Arrangements: Keep it simple with your table decor, both inside and out. Patina vessels with lush greens keep in line with the minimal, beachy, garden aesthetic of Axe. Via Saipua   3. Nigerian Baskets: The textures of the jute lamps throughout the space, call for the same textures on the tables. These baskets were made by the Hausa community in Nigeria from Vegetal fiber and straw. At only $29.00 for a set of 4, these would be ideal for placing plates on or a centerpieces filled with arrangements or votive candles. Again we love the nod to the Nigerian symbol of the restaurant name "go with the power of the Gods and Goddesses"  Via Africa Direct

INSIDE SCOOP

You want the inside scoop!? The restaurant proper is a wonderful venue in and of itself. It's stunning, actually. But itt’s simply a chapter in this loving narrative. Navigating oneself through the restaurant and out the back, past the bustling, open kitchen and into the yard is like coming home no matter where you’re from. It is a pocket, a space, a moment so special and so heart-breakingly lovely this writer and ten-year event planning veteran can think of no other gathering space for her own personal moments. And that is how this love letter to Axe began.

HIGHLIGHT REEL

  • Location, Location, Location.. Abbott Kinney is filled with fun stuff to do.
  • The minimal decor and flexibility of both the inside and outside spaces, lends itself to lots of options and design direction.
  • Mexican terra cotta fireplace, weathered wood benches and lemon trees.
  • The restaurant will work with you on a family-style menu and it’s BYOB as long as you meet the required restaurant minimum.

AROUND TOWN

Chill Out at Tom's:

Axe is tucked away on the west end of Venice's famed Abbott Kinney Blvd. Of course, no stop on Abbott Kinney would be complete without a trip to the Tom's flagship store for an espresso or shoes. Chief Shoe Giver Blake Mycoskie lives in the neighborhood and is often found lounging on one of many colorful cushions with a welcoming smile and a humorous anecdote from his travels. Visit | toms.com

Local Leather Goods:

Head over to Will Leather Goods for the most gorgeous leather goods around. Anything from luggage to leather business cards they have it all. Fun fact: they'll hand engrave any leather piece with your initials on-site. Perfect favor, wedding gift or place setting piece for an event right?! Visit | willleathergoods.com

Post Dinner Hobnobbing:

Looking for a little after dinner action? Head to The Other Room and mingle with the fabulous artists, creatives and out-of-towners as you down excellent local handcrafted beer and wines from around the world, set to the soundtrack of your life. The space is raw and industrial, yet still like a comfy and cozy living room. Visit | theotheroom.com

VENUE: Axe Restaurant |Row 3 Photo: LA Times  | Row 4: via Rachel Phipps 

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