The Venice Paparazzi team has the pleasure of checking out Belles Beach House last week, and WOW, what a fantastic place it is! As soon as you walk in the door, it is like you are transported to an oasis in the South Pacific. The decor is stunning, the staff super friendly, the vibe is ultra chill, and the food and drinks are truly next level. On top of that, we saw many old friends and made some new ones. A giant fist bump to the folks that made this happen!
Here is more info!
THE WISH YOU WERE HERE GROUP INTRODUCES BELLES BEACH HOUSE
Nicholas Mathers, founder of the Wish You Were Here Group, celebrates surf culture and Hawaiian cuisine with the introduction of Belles Beach House. Inspired by ’70s retro and the iconic Venice boardwalk, Belles is a perfect mixture of a Hawaiian Izakaya meets Tiki Bar. Belles is the next eye-catching concept from the Wish You Were Here Group that transports Angelenos to an island vacation in the heart of their own city.
“Belles was inspired by my travels through the South Pacific. These island destinations and their approach to hospitality and life have always appealed to me, particularly from a culinary sense.”
– Nicholas Mathers, Founder of the Wish You Were Here Group
Belles feels like a modern bamboo living room with elements of 1970’s retro. Full of natural light and oversized palms, with lots of lounge furniture and plenty of bar space and high tops available for groups to gather and enjoy a cocktail, light bites or a full dining experience.
The space is full of unique art and design pieces ranging from vintage Hawaiian upholstery to retro surfboards that pay tribute to both the islands and surf culture of Venice. The vibe of the restaurant surrounds surf culture and celebrating the benefits of beachside living.
Interior designer, Tara Bean, sourced an oversized tiki statue hand carved in Hawaii to greet guests at the door. Belles cocktails are served in vintage tiki glassware, and ceramic tiki lights made from a local sculptor hang above the bar. The most notable decor are the oversized vintage prints hanging throughout the lounge, they were found in an unprocessed role of film and are over 70 years old!
All photos below by Laura Huertas Photography
THE CONNECTED HISTORY OF BELLES, HOTEL ERWIN, AND LARRY’S
Since the 1950’s the names Larry Bell and Erwin Sokol have been synonymous with the Venice Beach community. Despite their contrasting personalities, their respective legacies are equally evident throughout the neighborhood with Bell’s artwork and Sokol’s iconic Hotel Erwin remaining as testaments to their love of the neighborhood they have called home for over 70 years. Since opening in 2010, Larry’s restaurant, built and operated by Erwin Sokol, has operated on a very basic principle, support the community that supports you. Having unfortunately closed at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the decision was made to reopen Larry’s in a new format that would continue to pay homage to the original Larry Bell. Belles Beach House is a collaboration between the Sokols and fellow beachside enthusiasts the Wish You Were Here Group, led by Nicholas Mathers from Elephante restaurant in Santa Monica. Having bonded over their mutual love of Venice and restaurants that celebrate the benefits of beachside enjoyment in Los Angeles, the team collaborated to bring to the public a new concept that will continue to draw generations of locals and tourists alike to Venice Beach. In a time when many restaurants are still struggling, or closing permanently due to the impacts of Covid-19, Belles is bringing life to the Venice boardwalk, employing over a 100 staff and serving thousands of happy guests each week in a purpose built outdoor environment designed for all guests to enjoy in this new age of outdoor dining. While the menu and design may have changed the same fundamental principle remains as the guiding force of Belles, support the community that supports you.
Belles introduces a Hawaiian Izakaya menu and tiki cocktail program that are completely unique to Los Angeles. The restaurant offers a full sushi program in addition to the Hawaiian inspired dining menu. The Belles cocktail program brings together West LA foodie culture and classic tiki culture. The cocktails are inspired by Hawaiian tiki, utilizing fresh fruits and purées, but focusing on West LAs favorite spirit category, agave spirits (tequila & mezcal), instead of the traditional rum.
Belles fresh presses different fruits and vegetables on a daily basis to create a whole menu of “skinny” daytime cocktails that have no added sweeteners, and are made balanced just by the natural sugars in the fresh juices. To keep the menu “green” and create no waste, they then take those fresh pressed juices at the end of the day shift, clarify them by straining out the fibers, and turn them into syrups, which go into some of the night time cocktails and slushies.
THE WISH YOU WERE HERE GROUP
The Wish You Were Here Group are forever traveling to foreign places and are always inspired by the eclectic details of how other cultures live, and the unique ways in which communities use the land and waters they live upon. They had the idea of bringing back the things that left a lasting impression on them, allowing others to enjoy these authentic cultural experiences in a place that feels like home.
“We hope to welcome new guests into our environments and share our own experiences through food, wine and cocktails. When guests enter our restaurants and bars, we hope that they feel like they are being temporarily transported to a special place, far from their own daily routine, but still close to home.”
– Nicholas Mathers, Founder of the Wish You Were Here Group
Similar to other restaurants in the groups’ profile, Belles is a transitional space. Guests can come for dinner and stay til late for a night of drinks and dancing under the signature disco ball. DJs will be playing jungle inspired disco tunes Thursdays through Sundays beginning October 21st.
Go to Belles Beach House!
- 24 Windward Ave. Venice, CA
- 424 363 6600
- View menu
- Make a reservation
- Website: bellesbeachhouse.com
- IG: @bellesbeachhouse
For more information regarding The Wish You Were Here Group and Belles Beach House, please contact [email protected]
Photographer credit: Laura Huertas Photography