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Venice Restaurateurs' Gastropub Pairs Filet Mignon with Jazz

The owners of the China Beach Bistro and Hinano Cafe team up for a French-Vietnamese gastropub that features live jazz shows and exhibits from local artists.

Le Celier, a French-Vietnamese fusion restaurant on the Venice and Marina del Rey border, has been revamped to feature weekend jazz shows and art exhibitions.

Owners Hiep Thi Le and Mark Van Gessel, who also owns in Venice, wanted to bring French-Vietnamese cuisine to the community when they opened the restaurant in February.

“Although it's not easy to find out here, French-Vietnamese food dates back to the 18th century,” Le said. “This unique cuisine combines the fresh herbs of Vietnamese food with the fine heritage of country French cooking.”

Le moved to Oakland, Calif. as a child, where her mother worked at a French-Vietnamese restaurant. After a brief stint in the film industry, Le opened up in Venice 10 years ago. 

Van Gessel, who bought Hinano Cafe about 16 years ago with business partner Andy Schelich, recently celebrated the bar's 50th anniversary with a weekend-long party that included drink specials, live music, visits by the original owner and, of course, the best hamburger in Venice.

To celebrate the arrival of local artists and bands to the restaurant, which will start performing on weekends, Le Celier will serve $28 wine flights and $18 beer flights, consisting of four beverage glasses and four appetizers. 

Le Celier’s chef Bernard Louberssac, presents dishes such as Mekong Delta red river fish grilled in fresh baby dill, turmeric and bacon for $17 and a Vietnamese black peppered wok fired filet mignon on fresh watercress for $18. Louberssac wants people to forget their preconceptions about wine and drink with an open mind. 

Le Celier is located at 417 Washington Blvd. in Marina Del Rey.

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