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LA Date Night: Bread Pudding In Venice

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BREAD PUDDING
Lien Ta

The end of summer looms, and the guilt of not yet having made it to the beach is suffocating. You want to see your summer fling in a bikini, don't you? Prioritize a beach day. But after all that rolling around in the sand (and the shooing away of sharks), your date night ought to include the following:

Poke-Poke: Eat like a surfer -- eat poke. Poke (pronounced "poki"), is a Hawaii-born way of preparing and eating tuna tartare. At Poke-Poke, cubed ahi is marinated to-order with shoyu, seasame oil and seeds, and tossed with green and white onions -- get it with a bed of greens and/or rice (or not). A Veggie Poke is also available, and naturally, it would include kale, plus, avocado, macadamia nuts and brown rice. Poke is typically a take-away meal, something light to eat while poised against your surfboard that’s expertly propped in the sand. But we imagine the brawny fellas at Muscle Beach (just yards away) eat poke too -- but, like, six helpings at a time.
Poke-Poke, 1827 Ocean Front Walk, at 19th Avenue (424-228-5132 or poke-poke.com)

Schulzies: Behind a small glass window on the Venice Strand reveals something almost unheard of: 108 flavors of bread pudding. Flavors like "So Very Strawberry & Balsamic" and "Boom Boom Banana." Most are served in scoop form -- maybe even in a martini glass with a toothpick of blueberries! (Go ahead and ask the proprietress how she feels about bread pudding served to look like a Lego.) We also appreciate the practical serving size -- not because we fear carbs, but because this way we can order two (bikini hour is long over). You can't not try a boozy bread pudding either ("Gotta Have Guinness!"). Bonus caffeine: Schulzies serves Blue Bottle Coffee.
Schulzies, 1827 Ocean Front Walk, at 19th Avenue (510-783-3464 or schulziesbreadpudding.com)

Del Monte Speakeasy: What you ought to know about this speakeasy was that it used to be a for-real, screw-Prohibition speakeasy. Which means that the Townhouse, the current-day frat-like bar above Del Monte, was a smart little grocer thoughtfully swilling booze downstairs. Nowadays, we're all free to know about Del Monte, go to there, sit in refurbished bar stools and pretend we're stars of "Boardwalk Empire." It's quite slick. And 1920s-transportive even, if you don't mind the hipster DJ clad in flannel and Converse. But whatever, you're still in your bikini ….
Del Monte Speakeasy, 52 Windward Avenue, at tktk (310-392-4040 or townhousevenice.com)

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