When people think of Los Angeles, typically 3 things come to mind - the weather, the beaches and the traffic. And if you want to experience all 3 at the same time, all you have to do is drive the coastline along PCH. If the sun is out and the temps are above 60, you can expect to admire the beautiful beach aside bumper to bumper traffic.
Now as far as enjoying a nice meal along the water, the choices have been limited to a few high end hotel restaurants and a couple of chains where you'll need to be ready to endure the crowds and the prices for mediocre meals. Enter newly opened Nikita who is trying to offer good food in a beautiful setting right on the water.
Nikita has a prime spot of real estate on the beach with ocean views from nearly every seat in the house. They're also neighbors to the fabulous, but uber pricy Nobu. Those two know how to shop for property. The location is stunning and Nikita's interior is done with neutral stone and warm cherry wood so as to let the ocean view do all the talking.
But like some people in LA, we wondered if the beauty wasn't going to go any further than the window dressing. We dug in to find out, starting with the recommended house specialty of the "Nikita" Cannolo. They were like warm egg rolls with the lightest of exteriors, achieving a perfect crispness to hold the sea bass and lemon which wasn't quite as interesting as the outside or the celery and cantaloupe sauces swirled on the plate, but overall an interesting concept.
The wild mushroom pizza was a nice size to allow for further menu sampling. The ratio of cheese to mushroom to seasoned sauce worked and there was a thinner, chewy dough which was also a hit.
The handmade Fagottelli Carbonara contained light puffs of ravioli, delicately filled with warm, molten cheese that should be eaten with one pop as it deliciously explodes in your mouth. The pancetta served on top was truly the icing on the cake.
Dessert didn't end there though. We had the seven layer chocolate bar which was the best looking Kit Kat I had ever seen, or tasted. Layers of hazelnut mousse and crunchy almond were condensed into this delicious dessert that you simply must have.
Now for the bad news. The portions are fairly small and are meant for sharing and for you to order multiple items off the menu. The menu is not cheap, but it's not Nobu expensive. Dishes will add up if you order from multiple sections.
It may not be the end all be all answer to beach dining in Los Angeles, but I'd happily go back to enjoy some pizza and pasta while watching the sun set, saving room of course for the 7 layer chocolate dessert. That would keep me plenty satisfied to endure what's left of the traffic for the ride home.