Nueva, you had me at Uni, Mezcal cocktails, and MexiCali Cuisine

Nueva is your new reason to get out of the house. Newly-opened in Venice right next to Scopa, NUEVA offers socially distant patio dining outside. Coming here might be the pick-up you need because the food and cocktails are incredible!

Once a hotspot back in the day that almost felt like an outdoor club, some 12 years ago this same location was once filled with beautiful people frolicking, then transitioned to popular Sunny Spot. Today find NUEVA, a Mexican Cantina just a few blocks from the beach serving up modern Mexican cuisine in a spectacular way. Dine under heat lamps at night or under a black and white umbrella during the day in their open-air space.

First, they had me at uni! More and more restaurants in LA are including uni on their menus. Order their Uni atop Hamaci with local citrus, charred peanuts, and fresno chili – a taste so ocean fresh it may have just come out of the sea. To satisfy all ceviche lovers, seafood, classic, and a vegan option can be found on Nueva’s menu. Interesting salads options include the Smokey Ceasar and the Street Cart Salad with mango, pineapple, jicama, cucumber, radish lime, and ancho Aleppo salt. 

Share a ceviche and the standout Elote where grilled sweet corn is sliced off the cob in a baby skillet pan doused in parmesan cheese, chipotle butter, and chili lime crunch. Hmmmm! You may need to order your own.

A stand-up list of wines from Mexico and Spain can be found here because all good Angelenos know some of the best wine comes from south of the border. The cocktail menu boasts a frozen margarita section (mango, strawberry, pineapple infused Aperol, cilantro and nasturtium infused ancho reyes – oh my!) but we kept our sites on the impressive cocktail menu. 

A Mezcal pineapple mule caught our attention although we opted to begin our imbibing with the Naked and Famous, a Mezcal Aperol mixture with yellow chartreuse and lime. The perfect smoky spice we love in a cocktail continued with their Sotol arriving with Tajin Rim sticks across the glass, a sort of suck-on swivel straw for your drinking pleasure made with Sotol, Manzanilla, Ancho Reyes Verde, Nasturium, cilantro, and lime agave. Others “Cocteles” that may excite you are the Oaxaca Old Fashioned, the Mezcal Negroni, the Clarified Paloma, or the Mezcal concoction with hibiscus, lemon, and champagne up. Consider the Agave Flight for $30 for their current favorites of Mezcal, Raicilla, Bacanora, and Sotal.

Popular tacos (2 per order) for around $5 include pork belly chicharron with pineapple salsa; tempura sea bass; roasted squash; carne asada; Mediterannean octopus; chicken tinga; and falafel. 

The Branzino is beautifully prepared and makes another worthy dish to share as this wood grilled fish arrives with spicy rich Mexican mole rojo sauce and castelvetrano olive tapenade.  

A Mexican meal is not complete without churros, but Nueva’s churros are special cinnamon fried dough ones that crunch on the outside and are soft, warm, and melt in your mouth on the inside, accompanied with dark chocolate ice cream. Also, for dessert lovers, you will find Tres Leches, Flan, and Coconut Cake with Coconut Pudding and candied pistachio. 

This colorful cheery outdoor patio will make you forget we are in a pandemic while the food and cocktails will lift your spirits and make you thankful you left the house. 


822 Washington Blvd

Venice, CA 90292


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