Farewell Abbot Kinney

1-2013-03-23_11-48-36_651There was always one unassuming oasis resting on the chaotic Abbot Kinney Boulevard that I found myself at many times over the years. It was Jin Patisserie – a small, charming pastry boutique with an outdoor garden cafe. I spent several afternoons with a small pot of my favorite green tea, their delicious quiche, and a surprise sweet treat; enjoying the tranquil setting alone with a book and a smile on my face. Other times, it was almost always the first place I thought of when a friend wanted to get together for lunch because I adored introducing people to its unique charisma. This past weekend, I paid one last visit for lunch with my boyfriend and a friend to say goodbye.


About three weeks ago, I learned from a L.A. Magazine article that due to the rising costs of leasing on the now extremely trendy Abbot Kinney Boulevard – Jin Patisserie would be forced to close – a pattern that is spreading up and down the short strip as I type this post. While Abbot Kinney has always been one of the more popular streets in L.A.; known for its one of a kind, vintage inspired merchandise; high quality ingredient dining options; fused together by a laid back beach-y vibe – it was also home to many small original ventures that can no longer afford to keep up with its growing popularity.


{my favorite tea – peche mignon.}


{ham & feta quiche lunch combo.}

The silver lining to Jin Patisserie’s farewell to Abbot Kinney is that you can still order your favorite pastries and loose leaf tea selections online from their production kitchen in Culver City. And while Kristy Choo, its beloved owner, says that she’s looking for a new space to relocate – I cannot help but think about how it wouldn’t be the same. Perhaps it’s because I associate happy memories of the patisserie and the boulevard interchangeably. Perhaps she’ll find a way to create an even better oasis at an even better location. The fact that she managed to keep a successful business up and running in the restaurant fickle city of Los Angeles for 10 years is a celebration in and of itself.

While I’m not bidding farewell to spending many upcoming warm L.A. Saturdays strolling the sidewalks of Abbot Kinney personally, I’m saying farewell to my favorite part of it.


{the day’s sweet treat – Macarons.}


AXE Restaurant


Location: 1009 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice

Abbot Kinney is one of my favorite boulevards in all of Los Angeles. A short strip of quaint clothing shops, home decor boutiques, stationary stores, restaurants, bars, and cafes; fused together by a much more laid back L.A. vibe – thanks to the pacific ocean just 1 mile away.


Near the tail end of the boulevard, I recently spent a Sunday afternoon with 9 of my friends to celebrate a birthday at AXE (pronounced “ă • shay” I later learned). The menu is all about clean eating; using fresh, local, organic ingredients. The dining space promotes simplicity with a salute to earthiness. I have to give it to them when it comes to their intention with the design of the space and thoughtfulness in developing the menu, read more here.

For brunch, I went with the 9 grain pancake and a side of the crispy potatoes. One of the girls brought a bottle of champagne to share with the table to toast. Talk about Sunday Funday! I can’t think of anything more awesome than champagne and pancakes on a Sunday afternoon.


{Hello champagne.}


{9 grain pancake.}


{Crispy potatoes.}

Pros: Great atmosphere, awesome location, organic food, surprisingly not too pricey.

Cons: Took forever to seat our group despite our reservation (after waiting 30 minutes I went in and complained – lo and behold our table was ready); I was happy with my dish but the food wasn’t anything super special; service was slow, and the wait staff was pretty nonchalant and unwelcoming, with no sense of urgency at all, it took forever to get our food.

Overall: I enjoyed (as always) adding a new “been there, done that” to my LA restaurant list, but due to the vibe from the wait staff and food that was just okay it’s not someplace that I feel the need to ever return to. Especially, when my favorite place, Jin Patisserie, is a 5 minute walk down the boulevard. AXE really needs to work on service and their unwelcoming attitude. Oh, and I can’t believe a place like this would give a table of 9 a hand-written bill that was hard to read. I’m all for being more earthy, but get a machine to tally receipts. It’s 2012!