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Oct 8, 2001 01:08 AM

Joes / whats with the salt?

  • t

Had dinner at Joes, in Venice last nite, I have to say...whats with all the salt??
Lovely salad with pinneapple tomato/chevre/ and grilled eggplant . The eggplant was salty, the dressing was salty and the whole thing had large gritty flakes of salt crunch. Not to the point of being inedible, just too salty for me, would have been perfect otherwise. We were dining late and they were out of the fish I wanted so I had halibut, which is not the most flavorful fish, but nice. this was good, very sweet and rare, but served with a couscous that was, well, really really salty. It was very interesting, "israeli"? couscous, large pearls, with chanterelles, did not need all the salt!!
For dessert i had the choc/mocha/torte thing, which seemed a little boring, didnt finish it so brought it home. This morning tried the remainder of the torte and it was awesome...I think last nite my taste buds were just burnt out by all that salt.
So, did I complain, no, I did not want my friend to think I was not enjoying the meal, because I was enjoying it, just not as much as other times at Joes.
Next time I will request lite on the salt...Please!

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  1. Joe's has been going downhill for quite some time. It was even better than it had to be when it was small. As soon as he built the new larger kitchen, every meal has been flawed. One time mushy shrimp, once overwhelmingly sweet dessert, and more. We have gone from eating there 4 times a year for dinner to less than once a year. Joe has less direct influence with the food now. When Hans Rockenwagner was there he was also amazing. When he moved to the big restaurant, I have not liked it much since.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Just Larry

      Thanks Larry. I had not been to Joes since the remodel, before that we had had 2-3 wonderful dinners there. Previously the atmosphere was nicer, more laid back warm. Now Joes has that colder/ cosmopolitan drinking / bar atmosphere, which I did not mention in my first post cause I wanted to stick to food critique.
      So where do you recommend in Santa Monica Venice area?? We were going to try Josies. Melisse is just too pricy and formal for a impromtu dinner.

      1. re: tanyal

        Joe's, as it WAS, is a hard act to follow. I would suggest Jiraffe and confirm Josie as excellent places in the area. You will not get a fabulous 4 course meal for $35.00 at either of these places though. Places like Lilly and Rockenwagner have the potential to turn out amazing food but it is not a sure thing. Joe's was probably the surest thing in town for many great years...many great memories.

        1. re: Just Larry

          Want some food with your salt? It's funny to see the salt complaints, I thought maybe it was me. And that was about 1 1/2 - 2 years ago.
          A chef who at that time had formerly worked at Joe's in Venice was working as the chef at a restaurant called JoeJoe's (on Ventura). I hear he has since moved on and I'd say he's worth tracking down. JoeJoe's had a nifty tuna tartare and the world's greatest apple tarte tatin! They also had a prix fixe meal for early diners (what time, what days I can't remember, and I don't know if they still offer it).

    2. m
      michael (mea culpa)

      I wish Joe's hadn't closed in the patio. I liked going there when the jacarandas were blooming and having the flowers fall on the table and all around.

      1. So funny you mention it. I went to Joe's for brunch this morning, had a bowl of the otherwise very good tomato/basil soup...and the soup was salty as all get out. I'm a huge saltaholic so if something is too salty for me it would positively offend a "more normal" palate. Not a problem with the rest of the meal, btw, but that soup was a killer.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Lisa Bee

          Joe's makes a salad of shrimp over arrugula or spinach. The shrimp would burts in your mouth with juice. Recently they were overcooked and rubbery and a time before they were mushy. They are just not the same as the old days when everything was totally perfect. The kitchen staff has changed too. Very sad.