218 Main Street
Venice, CA 90291
By MERV HECHT | Restaurant Critic
A lot of small, ethnic restaurants are popping up around town. When I read about one nearby in Venice with French attributes, I decided to try it.
Coucou is a small, crowded space with a nice bar that takes up most of the space. We had a couple very delicious drinks, I had the “Hippies in Paris,” which was gin and ginger, a bit spicy and a nice start to cleanse the palate.
Then I walked around and looked at what people were eating. The oysters looked good, as did the Wagyu beef burger.
We started with the appetizer of Zucchini Beignets. They were nothing like French beignets, but they were delicious with a zucchini base and came with a good dip.
My friend had L’Haute Dog, which was unique, and he liked it, although with so much stuff on it, it was hard to eat. The menu suggests “you’re gonna want a knife and fork” with the dish, which comes with French onion marmalade, cheese fondue and spicy mustard.
I had the Mussels Mariniere in a wonderful coconut sauce and found that worth going back for. We also had Harissa Roasted Cauliflower in a spicy sauce, which was also unique and delicious.
Other items on the menu include a Veggie French Dip, with king oyster mushrooms, house made boursin, Dijon, rockette arugula, baguette and faux jus, and Steak Frites, with Strauss Farms grass-fed woodfired hanger steak, caramelized shallots, handcut Chipperbec fries and black garlic jus.
There is an adequate wine list not overpriced, and corkage is $35, or half for half bottles. A bit steep for this level of restaurant.
All in all, it was very good.
Merv Hecht, like many Harvard Law School graduates, went into the wine business after law. In 1988, he began writing restaurant reviews and books. His latest, “The Instant Wine Connoisseur, 3d edition,” is available at Collections Antiques and Accessories (15326 Antioch Street) and Amazon. He currently works for several companies that source and distribute food and wine products internationally. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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