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Jar...Disappointing

Hi all,

Went to Jar a while back and was disappointed. The place was very dark---very, very dark (the man next to us had to use a flashlight to see the menu!).

The pot roast was $29, and was just a small piece of meat--NO sides, those were extra! It was okay, but mine is better :).

We had their shrimp and crab cakes as an appetizer, which were mediocre.

Service was slow (was a weekday but rest was full). The dessert was delicious (forget what we ordered). I can't find a reason to return.

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  1. We had dinner there on a Saturday evening about two months ago. It was not at all dark...I hate dark restaurants and would surely have noticed. Perhaps when you went, other guests requested that the lights be turned down...that sometimes happens.

    We actually had a very nice dinner with very good food and service. I do remember us commenting afterwards that it seemed too expensive for what it was.

    1. I think it must've been an unusual night, as it usually isn't so dark. Jar is wonderful if you order right, such as a steak with lobster bearnaise (i think it is the best steak i've had in LA, but haven't been to Cut). Plus delicious sides.

      I didn't love that roast either.

      6 Replies
      1. re: epop

        For someone who seems very concerned about the noise factor in restaurants I have a hard time understanding how you can go to Jar? It has to be one of the noisiest places we have ever visited for dinner.

        1. re: Servorg

          I also hate noisy restaurants (as well as dark restaurants...I like to see what I'm eating!), and on two recent visits, one on a Saturday night (7-9pm) it was neither dark, nor unusually noisy.

          1. re: Servorg

            Agree. We went on a Saturday night over a year ago, and the noise level was ridiculous. There was 6 of us at a large round table, we were screaming at each other the whole time. And the food was non-remarkable too. I had the signature pot roast, which was ok. The lobster cocktail barely had any trace of lobster, and what was there was flavorless. None of us thought it was worth a return visit.

            1. re: markn

              been there few times and my #1 problem with jar is the noise level. we had large round table too and could only talk to someone next to you.

              1. re: markn

                We must have been very lucky...or else it was our relatively early dining hour, but Jar was not overly noisy on either of two recent visits (one at 6 pm and one at 7).

              2. re: Servorg

                Honored that you remembered that, Servorg.

                The large round table doesn't work, I agree. It is way too loud.

                But I've sat in the corners with one person and never had an issue. It just so happens that I usually I go alone. I guess that's why I've been able to enjoy myself there and not so many other loud places.

            2. Hi.. I'm curious: you mentioned two apps (shrimp and crab cakes), but just one entree, and there were two of you dining. Did you and the dining companion split a single order of the pot roast? If so, yeah maybe a single entree for two appetites might be too small ( I have found at higher end places that braised meat dishes tend toward the very rich side, and as such the portions are much more downsized than at my grandmother's table ;-)? Or did you both order an order of the pot roast each (in which case I'd ask "why"? )? And yes, the cost of sides do add up, but if you choose wisely, they are worth it. I've been dreaming of the unctuous duck fried rice, which easily feed two as a side, and I'm a big eater... The ribeye at Jar is really tasty, due to the marbleing of fat in that cut, so if you like meat, try one of their steaks if you indeed ever find a reason to return... Oh, and lastly, you really can't remember the dessert you had there? Bet it had butterscotch in it...

              2 Replies
              1. re: silence9

                I was with a very small and cute diner! (6 year old)

                Maybe it was butterscotch--really, really good!

                The pot roast was dull--took about half of it home. It was no better the next day, sadly. It was not rich, btw--just lackluster. It was certainly not worth $29--barely worth $15 IMHO.

                Their pot roast was so heralded...next time (if...) I'll try the ribeye!

                1. re: Funwithfood

                  I usually have the pot roast or ribeye. Once the pot roast was sub-par...not inedible, just not remarkable. I remember it being a little dry and just short on flavor. Every other time I've ordered it or shared a bite it was incredible.

                  The ribeye has never, ever failed me.

                  The banana cream pie and the butterscotch haunt my dreams, and I don't have a sweet tooth.

              2. Geesh...I must have been at a different restaurant. Here is an excerpt from what I wrote on my blog. I went just a few weeks ago:
                "...The food has always been outstanding, and I was looking forward to another great meal. Jar did not disappoint...everything we had was fabulous. Upon walking in we were immediately sat at one of the best tables in the house and ordered a couple of martinis...a Lemon Drop for me, and a Rubitini for my dining partner, which had tequila as a base and something else in it that gave it a redish hue...cranberry maybe? Pomegranate? I've forgotten, but she enjoyed it. We had such a difficult time deciding what to order, which is the case every time I come to this restaurant. Everything sounds so good that it's hard to narrow down the options...when the waiter came over to tell us the specials he threw an even bigger wrench into our plans...another few dishes that sounded extraordinary...what were we to do?
                We finally decided, and although Jar bills itself as a "chophouse," we veered away from ordering steak. I personally wasn't really in the red meat mood, but that isn't even an issue since there is so much more on the menu to choose from. To start, we shared the Crab Deviled Eggs (a must order in my humble opinion), and one of the specials; the Tempura Fried Squash Blossoms stuffed with Lobster and Artichoke...I mean, how can you NOT? My dining companion had never been to Jar so I was very excited to see her reaction to the food here, and she was nothing short of pleased right off the bat. The two dishes we started with were both so good...the eggs were generously topped with fresh crab meat and the squash blossoms were so flavorful and light.
                Next, my dining companion ordered Jar's signature Pot Roast, which I was thrilled about because this meant I could have a little taste. I ordered one of the appetizer salads, the Jar Chopped with chicken, Parma ham, fennel, red onion, green olive, cabbage, and feta, which was the perfect little size. On the side we got one of my favorite items on the Jar menu: the Japanese Purple Yams with creme fraiche and chives...another must order at this restaurant. They arrived as 3 mini potatoes sliced in half and topped with a bit of the creme fresh which was warm and melty due to the roasted potato's heat. My friend described them as tasting like caramel, which is a great description...they are naturally sweet, simply prepared, and unlike anything you've ever tasted. My salad was good, and the Pot Roast...oh, the Pot Roast...meltingly tender, rich, and sitting in a jus with the carrots and celery it was cooked with. No need for a knife. It's simply divine...my trying to put it into words is just taking away from how good it really is. It is something you just need to experience for yourself.
                For dessert we ordered their chocolate pudding. It was so rich and dark that all I needed was a spoonful to be satisfied. What a perfect dinner!
                I really can't say enough about this restaurant...I just love it. It was such a treat to be able to go last night. It's a perfect place for a special occasion or just a casual dinner out. You can even walk in and sit at the bar, and have an equally as lovely dinner there. They have a wonderful and extensive wine list as well as classic cocktails that just seem to go with the supper-clubby theme of the place. Oh, and one last thing...I'll let you in on a little secret: it's not on the menu, but order the french fries with the Lobster BĂ©arnaise sauce on the side for dipping. It's an out-of-this-world combination that one of their regulars came up with years ago. You'll be happy you did!

                Jar
                8225 Beverly Blvd. (at Harper) Los Angeles, California 90048
                323.655.6566
                www.thejar.com

                1. I've been to Jar twice and I can't say the two experiences were anything like each other! The first time was several years ago and the room was light, airy, open and not nearly as dark as now. One obvious note was everyone was quite elderly. Being 29 at the time, I felt we were 3 decades everyone's junior. The steak was amazing and only when I left did I realize this was a steakhouse.

                  The second time around, Jar looked much different. It was traditional, dark, contemporary, sleek, with wood panel walls and leather booths. The crowd was young, beautiful and trendy. I brought my 1994 Gruaud Larose and they decanted it (quite well) next to my ribeye steak. The food was just as good as the first time, but it really depends on what type of atmosphere you enjoy dining in. I'd still recommend the rib-eye to serious carnivores.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: stevel74

                    I found JAR to be dark in a great way. Very cool, hip, unique, modern, yet sophisticated decor. I think JAR is fun and festive without being way too loud, like most LA restaurants. I don't like places that are too quiet, e.g. hotel bel aire.

                    the food was great. cocktails, dessert, protein, salads, apps, and specials were all fantastic. I had 0 complaints about JAR.

                    The service was perfect also. Laid back but knowledgeable. Not snooty and stuffy like the east coast.

                    I would eat at JAR over the more ambitious restaurants anyday. It is very pleasing cuisine with modern updates and a little asian flare.

                    I cant say agree with the OP

                    1. re: jlrobe

                      I agree, thinking the place underrated.

                      1. re: epop

                        i would agree with jlrobe. i stated in a recent post on another thread that i consistently prefer jar to mastro's....and i stand by it! it can be noisy, but if you're sitting on the perimeter of the room, i've not found it a problem. if it's toooo dark, ask them to turn up the lights! the food is consistently delish. if there's any complaint form me, it's that service can be too hip....or contrived.....but that's the worst of it for me.

                        1. re: jay 1

                          The dark was not the problem. The food was the problem...I wanted it to be good!

                          1. re: Funwithfood

                            You might like their brunch. It's the same thing we find with some other notable places such as Campanile. We find that the higher dinner prices, (and the noise at Jar - but I will say that we have never sat in one of the corner booths, only at one of the round tables in the middle) make our satisfaction meter recalibrate to a higher level than at brunch.

                            1. re: Servorg

                              keep it to less than or equal to 4 and I think you'll have a better time than at the larger tables.

                  2. they have awesome brunch specials. try their corn pancakes with coffee