First Look: The Rose Reopens in Venice

By Lesley Balla  |  November 11, 2015
Credit: The Rose/Pascal Shirley

Longtime Venetians were pretty bent out of shape when Bill Chait's Sprout group took over their beloved Rose Cafe. The restaurant had served the neighborhood since 1979, when Venice was a little bit rougher, a time when "Bohemian" meant artists and creative types weaving themselves into the fabric of the beachside enclave, not million dollar homes and $6 cups of coffee. But we get it; change is hard. No one wants to let go of a favorite breakfast spot or local hangout. But the fresh-baked pastries, breads and sweets, Verve coffee, wood-fired pizzas, handmade pastas, charcuterie and other rustic fare that the restaurant's chef Jason Neroni is known for may change their minds. Welcome to the newly hyphenated Rose Cafe-Restaurant.

As a former gas company dispatch office turned cafe turned impromptu gallery, the space itself has good bones and lots of history. Its most recent transformation by Studio UNLTD has pushed it into more boho-chic (than just boho) territory. It's large, with a main dining room; an open kitchen stuffed with all sorts of cool things, from a hearth to a wood-burning oven; a marketplace and bakery; two patios, including a beer garden; and a huge full bar area that has a counter, communal seating and spots to linger on foot while you wait for a table.

The menus are classic Neroni, a mix of Southern Californian, Italian and other global influences for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You'll see things like pumpkin pancakes, beet-cured salmon with farmer's cheese, and a new Rose breakfast burrito for the mornings; lamb schwarma pizza, ricotta gnocchi with soppressata​ ragu, and a patty melt for lunch; and more entree-type dishes like roast chicken for dinner, which doesn't start until December. Check out the slide show below to get hungry. As with most Sprout restaurants, Julian Cox and Nick Meyer are in charge of cocktails.

For the rest of November, Rose Cafe opens daily at 7 AM, serving until 5 PM on Sunday through Wednesday, and until 7 PM on Thursday through Saturday. Later hours, until midnight on the weekends, will come along in December.

220 Rose Ave.; 310-399-0711

  • Bakers Jacob Fraijo and Christina Hanks (from San Francisco's Quince and Cotogna) are whipping out breads, croissants and other pastries for the restaurant. 

  • Lamb schwarma pizza is just one of the flavors to come out of the wood-burning oven.

  • Roast chicken from the hearth will headline an upcoming dinner menu.

  • Cacio e pepe, Neroni-style. It has miso along with pecorino, parmesan and pepper.

  • Baked goods galore.

  • The main room is open, big and communal, with colorful posters by local artist Craig Stecyk covering one wall, a giant rose painted on the other, and industrial accents throughout.

  • Credit: Rose Cafe-Restaurant

    Macrame planters!