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“Outstanding Food and Service” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Joe's Restaurant - CLOSED

Joe's Restaurant
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $35
Cuisines: American, French, International, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic, Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Venice
Cross street: Main Street
Transit: Santa Monica 2 at Westminster/Abbot Kinney MTA 33/333 two blocks away at Brooks and Main/Abbot Kinney and Main Santa Monica 1 two blocks away at Brooks and Main/Abbot Kinney and Main
Description: Abbot Kinney's Original Fine Dining Experience where Farmer's Market Driven Ingredients Meet a California-French Cuisine in a Comfortable Neighborhood Atmosphere in Venice Beach
Manhattan Beach, California
Level Contributor
27 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Outstanding Food and Service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2014

Joe's Restaurant, located in the Venice area of Los Angeles, is a small, intimate but superb environment for culinary delights. A relatively small menu but filled with good food, good appetizers, and outstanding desserts, all presented to the patron with skill and personalized attention, particularly by Margarite, the best waitress in Los Angeles.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank EagleDave90266
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

187 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    98
    54
    22
    9
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Textbook neighbourhood”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2014

I’d spent the day at the Coachella music festival, and while circumstances dictated that proceedings in that regard were uncharacteristically restrained I was tired, a bit sunburnt and very hungry by the time I got back to my hotel in Venice on the Sunday evening in question. There are a number of well-regarded places to eat on this stretch of road and I selected Joe’s almost at random. The main alternative was Axe, a few doors down, which from the website seemed a bit pretentious but which I noticed to be a lot busier than Joe’s as I walked past on the way. Not that that’s necessarily an indicator anything of course, and despite the fact that I’d booked, my slightly fragile state meant I was hoping for fairly quiet surroundings regardless of any connotations that might have for the rest of the evening.
I was greeted by an attractive front of house who seemed a bit puzzled that I was dining alone (who wouldn’t be?) and offered me a place at the bar as is customary in the US, but I preferred a table and was seated in the main dining room which is through a doorway from the bar and reception area. Joe’s feels like a proper Californian restaurant and the soft lighting and wood fittings coupled with the obviously well-heeled customers gave the whole thing an air of easy-going affluence which I suppose is the outward image of the region even if the reality is very different these days. Service was predictably friendly although a slightly awkward episode developed with the waiter regarding my festival wrist band, which in fairness I should’ve anticipated and did nothing for my solo-dining self-consciousness: I should’ve taken it off before going out and now I couldn’t bring myself to ask for a pair of scissors for fear of drawing even more attention to myself.
Usually I’d drown that kind of angst in the appropriate manner, but as previously mentioned restraint was the order of the day and I’m afraid that I didn’t even look at the wine list. The food menu did divert my attention however and the range of dishes on offer looked encouraging: a western selection of appetisers, pasta dishes and mains, but with the addition in places of Asian elements in a manner that didn’t seem to warrant that regrettable word “fusion”. There was a fixed price three-course option available but I ordered a small portion porcini mushroom ravioli as a starter followed by slow roasted salmon fillet as a main from the a la carte options, assuming that dessert wasn’t a question that would need asking.
In good time but only after I’d selected and downed a slice of rosemary bread with butter and very good tapenade (smooth, not too strong) the ravioli made it’s appearance, accompanied by what turned out to be an unnecessary warning of a very hot plate (lawyers frequently dine here I imagine). Large, flat parcels swam in a medium density sauce with chunks of fried porcini and grated parmesan on top; this wasn’t classically Italian presentation but the depth of the flavours warranted association with that country. The pasta was skilfully made and accurately cooked, the sauce unctuous, and the mushrooms, slightly seared in places, added genuine value by way of texture and concentrated flavour. It would be fair to say that the volume of sauce was excessive and meant that when cutting the pasta in half (as was necessary due to the size) there was a danger of getting things lost in the liquid, however that was a minor complaint and I made good use of some extra bread in mopping it up.
My main course arrived far too quickly after my spotless ravioli bowl had departed, which would’ve been more annoying if I’d had company and was in the market for a protracted Sunday evening meal. As it was I was hungry and not particularly bothered about time keeping, so I tore on in to the good sized hunk of salmon which was surrounded by chopped new potatoes and green vegetables, with the odd splodge of sauce dotted around for good measure. I’d been warned on ordering that the fish would come medium rare and the slow roasting on what was presumably a very low heat suited it very well – salmon should never be served much past this stage of cooking anyway though.
To my slight surprise I found myself ordering a dessert which was described in a slightly opaque manner which I don’t exactly recall, but turned out to be a intriguing combination of lemon mousse, something which very much recalled old-style lemon curd (which was admittedly a bit of a shock at first), earl grey ice cream and the slightly oddball addition of snow-pea mousse, which tasted strongly of, well, peas. I’m not sure it entirely worked but after two very well executed but slightly run of the mill courses it did provide something to think about, which in the absence of conversation that didn’t involve my Coachella wrist band was a welcome addition to the evening.
Joe’s isn’t cheap but the cooking was excellent and some thought had clearly gone into the menu. Service was good and the restaurant itself is certainly somewhere you could enjoy yourself over a few hours (as long as they space out the courses a bit more than they did for me). And although the bill wasn’t inconsiderable I’ve no doubt you could do a lot worse for the money in this area of Los Angeles.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank edacious-p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Let's do Lunch on the Patio”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Joe's is a special meeting place for lunch with one of my dearest friends. The lunch special of three courses for $19 are always amazing. We have had trout, salmon, sea bass and more prepared to perfection, ending it all of with a chocolate dessert that is to die for! The service is always excellent. We often stay for hours and never feel rushed.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Suemallory
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex
Level Contributor
87 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“One of the best”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2014 via mobile

Delightful dining room with waterfall wall, attentive and engaging service, but,above all, delicious food. My octopus was almost unbelievably succulent and its paring with a smoky tomato sauce was inspired. My rabbit risotto was more rabbit on top of a risotto but none the worse for that as the quality of the meat was top notch. My cheese course had so many interesting accompaniments that I forgot about the dessert wine pairing chosen by the sommelier! We loved it so much we quickly returned with local relatives who had not tried it. Although there were some false notes this time ( the main dining room was not as nice or as quiet, the shad roe dish verged on the dull side of great, my cousin's octopus seemed a touch spicier, the service not quite as good) this was more than compensated for by the sensational luxardo cherry (?) panna cotta. I had hesitated between that and another dessert as I am not a great panna cotta fan. But I am glad I took the server's advice. And the restaurant rose on my estimation because I was given such good advice.

Helpful?
Thank Irlandos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
39 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Upscale comfort”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 4, 2014

Eating at Joe's was like having a gourmet chef in your home dining room. The food was fresh, well thought out and innovative, but not over the top. The menu was something you'd expect in a trendy new downtown spot but the restaurant is anything but that. The atmosphere was casual but upscale and the wait staff were professional but laid back, not stuffy. Upscale comfortable beach is the only way to describe it and the food fits that design as well. My salmon was perfectly done and the flavors in the lamb my husband had blended together well. It's a nondescript little spot and I would definitely recommend this for any special occasion or just a night out. It's that versatile.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Susan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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