One of LA's favorite food trucks turned brick-and-mortar opens its Venice location today on Main Street. Komodo Chef Erwin Tjahyadi serves up his famous menu of inventive California Asian fusion dishes including classics like top sirloin tacos and spicy Blazin Shrimp, as well as fresh salads, market select fish plates and, of course, munchies. Prepare for truffle fries, kimchi nachos and the Brutus Salad - a mound of tater tots topped with steak, bacon, cheddar cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo and jalapeno aioli.
Komodo took over the former Baja Fresh space with a remodel by Ana Henton (who used to live just off Rose Ave.) and LA-based MASS Architecture. The 80-seat eatery, including patio, was updated with a clean, modern design that nods to its roots as a food truck as well as its proximity to the beach, without being too literal. Under a wavy canopy of taco trays pinned to the ceiling, customers peer into an open kitchen and sit at custom-crafted tables and chairs arranged communal-style without actually being connected. Large wooden sliding doors, reminiscent of the side hatch of a food truck, can close off the view from the ordering counter during private events, and music fills the room from a gramophone-inspired docking station.
Chef Erwin's brother and co-owner Eric Tjahyadi says that before they settled on a location, they knew they wanted Henton (also behind Intelligentsia Venice and Mercado in Santa Monica) because of "everything she does." Citing a Pinterest board of inspiration for this project, which would be much larger and more ambitious than Komodo's first restaurant on Pico and Robertson, Eric Tjahyadi says that design was a crucial element. They picked Main Street because the Komodo food truck does its best business at the gourmet food truck lot Tuesday nights at the Victorian on Main and Ocean Park.
Komodo is open daily at 11 and serves until 10 p.m.
Komodo Venice // 235 Main St., Venice, CA 90291