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Chez Jay

CharlesKochel Nov 27, 2012 07:20 PM

really, gansta atmosphere in SM...ok, whatever, who cares - It worked. Still my favorite place to grab a beer and a bite, visit with locals and catch the UCLA game on the 1983 color TV.

The bar keeps are bitchy and food is just fine, that's the way I like it. That's the way a local "SM DIVE" should be. I hope they never change a thing. The coolest is during the weekend, you can catch "latino/mexicans) in the back room watching futball/soccer on the 1985 tv.

Really...It does not get any better than this. Peace to chez jay, see ya this week, ck

  1. t
    Thor123 Dec 2, 2012 09:19 AM

    A similar vibe and scene is the Galley on Main. A plus there is the great clams.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Thor123
      y
      yogachik Dec 2, 2012 11:18 AM

      Vito's bar on Ocean Park has a major local's crowd, everyone knows everyone's name.

      1. re: Thor123
        JeMange Dec 2, 2012 12:47 PM

        I was gonna chime in with The Galley. Similar vibe and better (but still not great) food. Solid steaks and tasty, as you said, steamed clams.

        1. re: JeMange
          CharlesKochel Dec 2, 2012 02:23 PM

          these are my kind of places to sit by myself and not think of a cold beer a ballgame on tv I don't care about and some non-interesting conversation...a dumb out, if you will. Where the food sucks, just to the point of, I'll eat tapas and wash it down with a cold one style. Great recommendations on the vibe. I'll check out each and give my thoughts on Both Vito's & The Galley. Thanks everyone, see ya where the light is low and the beer floweth freely.

          1. re: CharlesKochel
            t
            Thor123 Dec 2, 2012 03:40 PM

            The clams at the Galley dont deserved to be dissed, they are excellent!

            1. re: Thor123
              CharlesKochel Dec 2, 2012 04:04 PM

              I feel a date with a clam @ the Galley, Monday!

              1. re: CharlesKochel
                t
                Thor123 Dec 2, 2012 04:59 PM

                Please report back!

                1. re: CharlesKochel
                  d
                  Dirtywextraolives Dec 2, 2012 05:16 PM

                  I've been dying to go there forever! I'm a sucker for steamers, and a good bar.... Just wish my kids could be otherwise occupied, like with a babysitter, or something... ;-))

                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                    k
                    kevin Dec 2, 2012 05:46 PM

                    Yeah, that sucks. No decent babysitters out there these days ?

                    1. re: kevin
                      d
                      Dirtywextraolives Dec 3, 2012 08:15 AM

                      There are, they are just so dang expensive! Only a few more years before I can leave them without one {{sigh}}.

                    2. re: Dirtywextraolives
                      JeMange Dec 2, 2012 06:37 PM

                      Technically, what you get at The Galley are not "steamers" which are traditionally Ipswich or soft shell clams that have the little snorkel. The galley simply steams hardshell clams.

                      1. re: JeMange
                        d
                        Dirtywextraolives Dec 3, 2012 08:16 AM

                        I wondered about that. I doubt anyone here sells true steamers out here, just so perishable. But I steam Manilas at home often, they come out as a decent sub.

                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                          k
                          kevin Dec 3, 2012 01:06 PM

                          Well, you can always get those fried Ipswich at the Jar, (shoot, I don't even know if it's still in business).

                          1. re: kevin
                            d
                            Dirtywextraolives Dec 3, 2012 01:44 PM

                            Thanks, but BPO flies them in almost daily and is much closer to my house. But that's good to know, I think Jar is still open.....

          2. m
            MRS Dec 1, 2012 08:48 AM

            LOVE Chez Jay!!!

            1 Reply
            1. re: MRS
              CharlesKochel Dec 1, 2012 11:14 AM

              <3

            2. y
              yogachik Nov 30, 2012 02:07 PM

              I love the food. The Fiondella steak is fantastic! And, where else can you get a full meal (steak, potato/rice of choice, vegetables, soup or salad) for less than $30? Been going for decades, thrilled that they won landmark status so I can go there for decades to come.

              22 Replies
              1. re: yogachik
                Servorg Nov 30, 2012 02:13 PM

                Just watch out for the bananas in the potatoes au gratin...

                1. re: Servorg
                  m
                  maudies5 Nov 30, 2012 03:27 PM

                  I love the bananas in those potatoes.

                  1. re: maudies5
                    k
                    kevin Nov 30, 2012 05:44 PM

                    EWWWWW.

                    Wow, bananas in the au gratin. That's pretty fucking vile.

                    1. re: kevin
                      CharlesKochel Nov 30, 2012 06:31 PM

                      or creative

                      1. re: CharlesKochel
                        f
                        foodiemahoodie Nov 30, 2012 06:44 PM

                        I vote vile.

                        That's kind of a signature dish for Chez Jay. And it's why I can't take the place seriously when it comes to food.

                        1. re: foodiemahoodie
                          k
                          kevin Nov 30, 2012 07:16 PM

                          Their brunch was not half bad, but it wasn't great. Sometimes it's very hard to screw up breakfast dishes royally.

                          1. re: foodiemahoodie
                            CharlesKochel Dec 1, 2012 11:09 AM

                            i like the atmosphere, the foodie side of the entire place is doubtful at best

                        2. re: kevin
                          d
                          Dirtywextraolives Nov 30, 2012 07:58 PM

                          Maybe you should try it before you dis it. Now, I've gotta try it, sounds too intriguing to pass up.

                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                            Servorg Nov 30, 2012 08:06 PM

                            While there is no accounting for taste I found it, while not vile exactly, I'll just say it certainly did nothing to improve what otherwise would have been pretty fair au gratin potatoes. I would never order them again, that is for certain.

                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                              m
                              maudies5 Dec 1, 2012 08:32 AM

                              They are called La Jolla Potatoes.

                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                CharlesKochel Dec 1, 2012 11:11 AM

                                intriguing it is, to this end, it has sat it's little self across the street from Hotel California for Many Many Years and as we all vote, the overwhelming feeling is the "atmosphere" which is the original point, otherwise go to the Lobster down the road...will be gone when Santa Monica Place is finished...maybe even removed.

                                1. re: CharlesKochel
                                  Servorg Dec 1, 2012 11:19 AM

                                  As I wrote in another thread about Chez Jay's last year:

                                  "Chez Jay's = Casual Eaters & Serious Drinkers"

                                  1. re: Servorg
                                    CharlesKochel Dec 1, 2012 11:37 AM

                                    Agree with al my heart and soul

                                    1. re: Servorg
                                      k
                                      kevin Dec 1, 2012 01:40 PM

                                      Don't get me wrong. I really like the place too. You have to really dig the atmosphere, which sure feels like Santa Monica in the early 1980s.

                                      Anyone have a recommendation that feels like the Regal Begal in Three's Company ???

                                      1. re: kevin
                                        y
                                        yogachik Dec 1, 2012 02:46 PM

                                        Regal Beagle is based on Chez Jay, in fact.

                                        1. re: kevin
                                          CharlesKochel Dec 2, 2012 02:35 AM

                                          i don't know but i would like to know this also: REGAL BEGAL like anyone?

                                      2. re: CharlesKochel
                                        d
                                        Dirtywextraolives Dec 1, 2012 03:38 PM

                                        Not sure what you're trying to say here, I am very familiar with the area, having lived on this side of town for ten years. And I was referring to the potato dish, when talking about trying it.

                                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                          CharlesKochel Dec 2, 2012 02:35 AM

                                          Hell No. I don't want to eat much, just sit at the bar, by myself and have the bartender's "what would you eat" special and go...but, for those 50 minutes, it's like nothing else.

                              2. re: yogachik
                                JeMange Dec 1, 2012 01:48 PM

                                I'll third or fourth the "vile" comments re: their banana potatoes. My first trip to Chez Jay, after listening to others talk it up, was an utter disappointment. The steak was gristly and the sides were either tasteless or (the aforementioned "signature" potatoes) pretty darned disgusting.

                                Then, I stopped in a few years later for a drink or four and finally understood the place's charm. It's a drinker's bar, pure and simple.

                                1. re: JeMange
                                  k
                                  kevin Dec 1, 2012 01:48 PM

                                  It is.

                                  If you really really really want to go out on a limb, you can try their breakfast dishes on the weekends, which are not half bad.

                                  Those bloody marys are so good that they become excessively dangerous. DD central.

                                  1. re: JeMange
                                    d
                                    Dirtywextraolives Dec 1, 2012 03:40 PM

                                    Totally a drinkers bar. Maybe after a few martinis, those potatoes will taste wonderful to me.....

                                    1. re: JeMange
                                      CharlesKochel Dec 2, 2012 02:35 AM

                                      it's not about the food.

                                  2. t
                                    Thor123 Nov 30, 2012 11:44 AM

                                    Chez Jay is a lot of fun!

                                    1. d
                                      Dirtywextraolives Nov 27, 2012 07:27 PM

                                      Um, okay, if you consider ANYTHING about SM as slightly gangsta..... LOL!

                                      Seriously though, I get the feeling this place will not be the same once those mega-mall-like trendoid complexes they are building on all sides of it are opened...... Enjoy it while you can!

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                        CharlesKochel Nov 27, 2012 07:40 PM

                                        I know and agree with all my heart and soul. That's why I'm posting it NOW. Get it while the gettin is good.

                                        1. re: CharlesKochel
                                          d
                                          Dirtywextraolives Nov 27, 2012 07:52 PM

                                          No doubt, my friend!!

                                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                            k
                                            kevin Nov 29, 2012 05:22 PM

                                            Yeah, I like this place too. They make a killer (and I mean killer) bloody mary. The bartender makes his own secret recipe mix, which he also sells in bulk to establishments around town.

                                            The food is barely passable at best.

                                            The vibe is priceless. Perhaps it's the only remaining dive bar (though Jay lacks dive bar pricing) in Santa Monica and reminds me of the Regal Begal if that dive actually existed.

                                            1. re: kevin
                                              d
                                              Dirtywextraolives Nov 29, 2012 05:57 PM

                                              I hear the sand dabs are delicious. But I've never eaten there myself.

                                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                k
                                                kevin Nov 29, 2012 06:26 PM

                                                Same here. I have not eaten those sand dabs. But better than the sand dabs proferred at Musso and Frank ???

                                                1. re: kevin
                                                  c
                                                  cls Nov 29, 2012 08:25 PM

                                                  No, the food is not better than Musso and Frank, and I don't like the food at Musso and Frank.

                                                  1. re: cls
                                                    CharlesKochel Nov 30, 2012 12:16 AM

                                                    that's the point, you are not going for the food ...

                                                    1. re: CharlesKochel
                                                      c
                                                      cls Nov 30, 2012 06:10 PM

                                                      tell it to yogachick and maudies5

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