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Apr 9, 2002 01:24 PM

Chez Jay

  • g

My husband and I spent a wonderful two days in Santa Monica, on Ocean Blvd, near the Pier. On a lark, we decided to eat at Chez Jay's, which was right next to our motel. Unassuming building, with just so-so food, but it was BUSY, and appeared to have quite a history. Can anyone tell me why this is such a popular spot? The place was jumping!

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  1. I am a big fan of Chez Jay. Yes, you may have to pick and choose your way around the menu, but it's really more about the atmosphere, the location, the personality of the owner, the whole mise-en-scene. A true gem.

    3 Replies
    1. re: soccerdad

      Soccerdad, what dishes are worth ordering? Everything I've tried there has been a bomb.

      1. re: ClaudineToo

        The best dish is a martini - or a beer. Actually, I have had a decent steak, and I seem to recall sand dabs as a good special one night. The potatoes with bananas are something that you may want to try (perhaps just once, to say that you ate them). Really - a better place to hang and have a drink than to eat.

        1. re: ClaudineToo

          Try the sand dabs.
          And if they have abalone in, give it a whirl.

      2. m
        Michael Robertson Moore

        I think nostalgia value is Chez Jay's main appeal. An authentic '50s place serving red meat and martinis will tend to attract a certain crowd. And it's a bit of "old Santa Monica" in the era of the Third Street Promenade. Or maybe customers are attracted by the story (probably apocryphal) that Daniel Ellsberg, employed next door at Rand, passed the Pentagon Papers to Neil Sheehan there.

        In fairness, I'll say that the one time I ate there I had a pretty good steak.

        1. Think tankers and wonks from the nearby RAND Corporation have been known to hang at Chez Jay.

          1. So did you eat, drink or both, and what did you have and how was it. Did you have the Jayburger?

            1. been there many times...the stakes & seafood are good...and the place is fun...though a bit worn..but after 40 years...

              its history is its attraction...the rat pack used to meet there before going to malibu..

              from time to time you will see a "star" having dinner..