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Review of Joe's Restaurant - CLOSED

Joe's Restaurant
Price range: US$25 - US$35
Cuisines: French, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighbourhood: 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
Reviewed 3 June 2014

Joe's is a long time favorite in Venice, and deserves to be. Arriving a little early, we were seated at the bar, where their excellent mixologist dispensed good advice along with excellent cocktails. Once seated in the very busy, but friendly, dining room, we were greeted by our waiter who pleasantly surprised us by informing us that the tasting menu didn't have to be ordered by the whole table (very unusual). This could be either four or seven courses, and wine pairings were very reasonably priced at $25 for three courses.
The food was excellent, especially a duck main course, and everyone enjoyed the meal. Service was spot on. This is a real treasure!

Thank Gerald S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (187)
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48 - 52 of 187 reviews

Reviewed 25 April 2014 via mobile

Good reminiscence of my old days in southern California. It's a perfect quiet place for lunch. A simple version of contemporary French-Californian cuisine. We left Joe's with big smiles on our face and happy tummies. We will definitely return here again.

Thank Okipanda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 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.

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Thank EagleDave90266
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 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.

    • Value
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Thank edacious-p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2014

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.

Thank Suemallory
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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