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Roy Choi is arguably the nation?s hippest star chef. The 42-year-old Korean-American started the gourmet-food-truck craze, oversees thriving restaurants and created a recent uproar when he blogged that he was thinking of leaving food service--or going vegetarian. 

Not to worry: Choi?s newest restaurant is going strong, serving his latest fusion cuisine--Caribbean--to dinner patrons and weekend brunchers hungry for a good time. Sunny Spot in Venice is a bright place with a big patio and a reggae soundtrack, serving unique Caribbean interpretations such as Scotch bonnet?spiced short ribs, mofongo and juicy spiced roast lamb (served with lettuce leaves to wrap with pickled mango). 

Everything?s big here: the flavors, the 183-person capacity in three seating areas (only the indoor Rum Den takes reservations) and the design scheme--rich blue walls, kitschy chandeliers and vinyl barstools. The bar, too, is a place of bold tastes: Thanks to bartender Brian Butler, an old-fashioned is made with 12-year-old Nicaraguan rum instead of whiskey, and Champagne cocktails come touched with white rum and brandy.  

After a couple of those, we dare anyone to leave with their island jones unsatisfied.

Sunny Spot, 822 Washington Blvd., Venice; 310-448-8884 or

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