Neil’s Cuisine: J. Nichols Kitchen

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Nestled between Venice and Playa Vista, one will find the small seaside community of Marina del Rey. Approach the small craft harbor full of boats and yachts and you will encounter an array of shopping and hotel locations home to fine dining restaurants and eateries. J. Nichols Kitchen, a staple of the marina community, serves up a modern take on comfort foods.

Anchored in the Villa Marina Marketplace, J. Nichols Kitchen is primely located near other amenities such as a marketplace and movie theaters. Recently renovated and reopened in 2012, the outside facade is modern and chic, befitting to the restaurant’s contemporary and modern philosophy. Inside, the modern theme continues with ambient lighting, hardwood accents, and an inviting layout. The booth and bar layout promotes a community atmosphere that encourages table-to-table interactions. The staff is both inviting and attentive, efficient at taking orders, and prepared to answer any question.

The menu presents locally-caught goods, international cuisine and homemade ingredients. The large portion size of meals offers opportunities for takeaway meals that are fresh and ready to eat when reheated.

A highlight of the breakfast and brunch menu is the pork and pancakes plate. The savory taste of the house-smoked pork contrasts well with the sweet aroma of the maple pecan butter and pancakes. The sunnyside egg, placed on top of the conglomeration of pancake and pork, completes the meal with an appetizing twist.

For dinner, the menu brings together a combination of foreign cuisines and American classics. The plate comes with fresh compari tomatoes and creamy mashed potatoes. The combination of flavors tie together the meal well.

To top off the meal, delight in the dessert menu. I recommend the brownie sundae, topped with caramelized pecans, a scoop of ice cream and caramel sauce. The sweetness of the brownie and pecans pairs well with a brewed coffee or hot chocolate. If the brownie does not satisfy your sweet tooth, I recommend the key lime pie, topped with fluffy whipped cream.

From the artistic design to the delicious artisanal cuisine, the J. Nichols dining experience is one to remember.

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