ISSUE 16  |  The California Life

Venice Beach’s Favorite Restaurant

April 18, 2012 10:30 PM

BY Meredith Swinehart

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There are two ways to pronounce "Axe." One you know; the other is Ah-shay, which is how they say it in LA (and in the West African language Yorùbá).

Venice Beach restaurant Axe, which takes its name from a word that means "go with the power of the gods and goddesses" in Yorùbá, derives its own strength from its farm-to-table menu. Chef and owner Joanna Moore, who studied fine arts, designed the simple, almost monastic space herself as a backdrop for her "California soul food." For more information, go to Axe.

Photography by Laure Joliet for Remodelista.

Above: Subtle design, to complement the uncomplicated food.

Above: Inside, most of the wood is congona or black acacia.

Above: Striped kilim pillows and linen cushions, for bench seating.

Above: Moore, who studied fine arts, also designed the counter.

Above: Simple materials: black wooden stools and a concrete floor.

Above: Open shelving separates the kitchen from the dining room. The jute pendant lamps are also a Moore design.

Above: Axe was one of the first restaurants in Los Angeles to use dinnerware from Heath Ceramics.

Above: A popular menu item is the nine-grain pancakes.

Above: A recent addition, the patio garden features rosemary, jasmine, figs, oranges, and olives.

Above: A blue ceramic wind chime curtain by artist Stan Bitters divides spaces in the backyard.

Above: Guests can sit on the patio while waiting for a table.

Above: For chilly nights, a wood burning stove.

Above: The restaurant, on a quiet stretch of Venice's Abbot Kinney Boulevard.