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Joe's in Venice closed for renovation?

John Oct 20, 1999 11:37 AM

Their answering machine says they'll reopen in mid-Nov. I was planning to eat there this weekend--any suggestions? Can I find that quality of cooking combined with unpretentious service in a relaxed setting? --within an hours drive of West Hollywood?

  1. b
    Bruce Jan 19, 2000 10:55 PM

    Happy to know I ate at the newly renovated Joe's over the weekend and as always,the best value in Los Angeles when you consider quality of food,cost and now ambience. The renovation is perfect with a beautiful bar,tastefully done tables and chairs,and a much larger kitchen. They expect to expand to the room next door in the not too distant future.

    1. b
      Bob Oct 29, 1999 10:26 PM

      Joe took over the store on the corner and is turning it into the kitchen and he will have more tables in the existing building. I think the entire process is going to take a month. I agree with Michael S. that Joe is one of the best chefs in LA. He is there every night and his attention to nuance is only excelled by Joachim S. I think even Tom Armitage would agree with me on this. Zagat agrees too. I think we have uncovered another Vincenti-type situation here. Different tastes, different opinions. Just try to get a reservation there and you will see the popularity. His front house staff is snooty and his waiters are no prize either but people continue to flood in there, it has to be the food or mass hypnosis.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bob
        Tom Armitage Oct 30, 1999 12:42 PM

        Actually, Bob, I agree with you. I like Joe's a lot, and have had some terrific meals there.

      2. j
        John Oct 21, 1999 11:14 AM

        Alpha hound was just in Los Angeles---did he have a Joe's-like experience anywhere?

        3 Replies
        1. re: John
          j gold Oct 21, 1999 04:54 PM

          I've never quite figured out the cult of Joe's. It's fine, but it's not much more than professional American restaurant cooking with a tiny bit of flair, and there has never been a particular dish that I couldn't wait to taste again. That being said, you could try one of Joe Miller's other restaurants--Reed's in Manhattan Beach is pretty good, and I think he still runs it; so is Joe Joe's in Sherman Oaks, which I think he may have sold. Patrick Healey's French-American cooking at the Buffalo Club in Santa Monica is actually much better than Joe's, in a similar style--order whatever sounds closest to a French stew--and Rix under Neal Fraser has also become pretty solid in that style of cooking.

          1. re: j gold
            Michael S Oct 22, 1999 03:04 AM

            I am a Joe's cult member. I will confess. I think that the consistency of his signature dishes, the dorade, the porkchop, and though I have tired it now, his balsamic beef, are certainly crave dishes. I now find myself eating specials virtually every time I am there. The last time I had a plum glazed sweetbread as an appetizer and a pepper sole for dinner that were just so fine. I also love the idea of seeing the owner in the kitchen. I look forward to the reopening next month and hope that they do shake the menu up a bit. As far as Reed's goes, I don't believe he owns it anymore, if it is even still open. JoeJoe's he is not with either. One of his orginal waiters opened Pauls Cafe on Ventura which is quite good.

          2. re: John
            Jim Leff Oct 25, 1999 12:59 AM

            Yeah, I threatened to go but did not actually get on plane. L.A. trip is not to be, alas.

          3. m
            Michael S Oct 20, 1999 01:15 PM

            You may want to try The Beach House on West Channel off of PCH in the Palisades. It is not AS good as Joe's but it does emulate the relaxed atmosphere pretty well, though by no means is it Joe's.

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