Despite the last time I visited Nikki Local 72 in Venice, when the casual beach lounge turned into Friday night at The Avalon at the strike of 11pm, I decided to give the place another chance; one reason was because it was only 7pm, so I figured we had 4 cheese-free hours to enjoy the otherwise fun spot, but mainly it was because the tasty bar food I had last time was as memorably good as the stilleto-heeled table-dancing party-goers were bad.
We just missed happy hour which ended at 7pm, but I found another reason to move to Venice Beach--Wednesday nights is 'Venetian Night' where proof of a Venice residence warrants you 25% off your food. As luck would have it, I was with Jess, a Venice-dwelling resident, so our dining pleasure automatically improved by 25% right there. (another great Venice spot on Abbot Kinney, The Otheroom, is also very Venice-centric; simply flash your Venice ID and skip past all the non-Venetian bar-goers waiting in line everytime)
We settled on the shrimp ceviche (which also has scallops, calamari and whitefish), nacho platter and buffalo wings, our bartender--who didn't know what kind of food experts he was dealing with--highly recommended the ceviche, which is made to order, but suggested 3 plates was a lot of food so we should pick one of the two. We politely dismissed his suggestion and decided to order all three. Again, he urged us to start off with two and order a third if we needed it. Humoring him, we just ordered the ceviche and the buffalo wings.
The generously-portioned ceviche came in an oversized martini glass, with the dressing possessing a perfectly lemony-lime kick. Yum! A definite must-order for future visits.
The buffalo wings had that good sticky-sauced yet crunchy fried coating consistency. The wings weren't too spicy but they also weren't too greasy or fatty either. Besides, it's all about the bleu cheese dressing. Creamy with small chunks of bleu cheese, the way I like it. After our wings, I also ate all the celery and carrots just so I could dip into more of the bleu cheese.
We took a break to comment on how we could still easily polish off a plate of cheesy, beany nachos when we spied our waitress walk by with a cast-iron skillet filled with a single, giant chocolate chip cookie, and we decided maybe it was a good idea we didn't order the nachos. the 'Half Baked' is a warmed-up, deep-dish, 7", half-baked giant chocolate chip cookie topped with two scoops of vanilla icecream and chocolate sauce people!
We were done and out of there by 10pm so I can't say for sure if the place still gets cheesy-bad late in the night, although the flyer we saw for 'Lingerie PJ Party, this Sunday Night' posted on their pillar makes me suspect yes.
Nikki's Local 72
72 Market St, Venice
Wednesday Nights: 'Venetian Nights' 25% off with proof of Venice residence.
Appetizers and dessert: $7 each without a Venice discount, $15.75 total with a Venice discount!
Several fun and fruity martini's: $9