The Tasting Kitchen **

LOCATION

1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; (310) 392-6644; www.thetastingkitchen.com.

AMBIENCE

Relaxed bistro with two communal tables in the bar, and an upstairs room.

SERVICE

Friendly, precise, passionate

PRICE

Smaller plates, $8 to $13; larger plates, $15 to $28; desserts, $8.

BEST DISHES

Dishes change daily; look for merguez sausage, rillettes, wings, butter lettuce salads, doughnuts and semifreddo.

WINE LIST

A dozen wines by the glass and three to nine wines by the bottle. Corkage fee, $15.

BEST TABLE

One of the tables along the back window or a seat at the communal table in the bar.

DETAILS

Open for dinner daily 6 to 11 p.m.; brunch on Sunday 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Full bar. Valet parking, $5.

Rating is based on food, service and ambience, with price taken into account in relation to quality. ****: Outstanding on every level. ***: Excellent. **: Very good. *: Good. No star: Poor to satisfactory.