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.
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