Tropical Bar & Grille Opening Soon in Venice’s Washington Square

The President of Venice Duck Brewery and CEO of Casa Rica Tequila Have Teamed up to Take the Place of the Venice Pier House

By Zach Armstrong

Several months after The Venice Pier House, one of Washington Square’s anchor restaurants, closed its doors, a new tropical-themed establishment is getting ready to take its place.

Nalu Vida is an upcoming bar & grille that will incorporate elements of Polynesian and Central American culture. The array of dishes to be presented on the menu include the Piña Colada Calamari (Tender calamari protected in a coconut breading), Caribbean Shrimp (Blue masarepa filled with sautéed Caribbean-spiced shrimp) and the Fried Adobo Chicken Sandwich (Panko & corn flake crusted adobo chicken with tropical jicama slaw), while drinks include tiki-style or shaved ice cocktails.

The bustle and aesthetic of its interior aligns with the spirit of its dining options. The walls are painted in teal, orange, bright pink and other tropical colors. A dark walnut top is up above while the back of the bar is trimmed with wooden thatching. Weekend musical performances are set to feature local bands, ukulele players and DJs spinning various genres including reggae.

The story of Nalu Vida starts in 1992, when its future co-founder Christian Warren moved to Venice. 

It was in those days when Warren met Nalu’s other founder Justin Urich and got his hospitality career started by working at Baja Cantina. Both men, while remaining close friends, would go on to make their mark in Los Angeles’ food scene. 

In his multi-decade career, Warren’s roles include being the co-owner of Santa Monica’s Makai Lounge and the Melody Bar and Grill in Westchester, as well as the Founding President of Venice Duck Brewery. Urich has had his share of success in L.A.’s dining and nightlife business sector; he spent nearly a decade as the owner of Sherman Oaks’ On The Thirty restaurant before working as CEO of Casa Rica Tequila.

One day, Christian asked Justin to take a look at the place which once housed the Pier House. Although he was hesitant at first, the spot conjured up good memories for Justin: this was where he would underage drink back when he and Christian were surf-loving youngins in Venice Beach. 

He was all in!

While spiffing ideas for dishes and themes, the pair found they were completely in sync. They presented each other with their own takes on various dishes from South America, Costa Rica and Hawaii. After some tweaks to each other’s cuisines, what is now Nalu Vida’s menu began to manifest. 

Located at 1 Washington Blvd., Nalu Vida replaces The Venice Pier House which halted operations in October. The re-shuffling is one of many that have recently taken place around the popular beach-adjacent square. Last year, Casa-12 re-opened while Coco Beach as well as Divani set up shop on Washington Blvd. 
An official opening date is expected to be announced soon. For more information, go to https://naluvida.com/.

in Dining, News
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