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August 25, 2005
We made reservations, but we waited 45 minutes for a table. This is a pet peeve of mine. The bar was full, and we had to wait outside on the street with other guests.
Joe's is small: it has a bar in the front, several dining rooms, an open kitchen, and a lovely patio. It looks like it was a converted beach cottage.
We were given a nice table on the outside patio. The inside looked a little cramped. If there is a choice and the weather is good, I would suggest requesting the patio.
Our waiter came and was helpful with taking our orders. The chef/owner Joe Miller is an expert at California cuisine, and everything on the menu was fresh and in season. .
Our soups came right away. We had chilled summer soups, and they were delicious. I had a tuna tartar on toast points, and it too was outstanding. Our entree took a long time to come. It took close to 50 minutes for our food to arrive at our table after our soups. I felt bad for the waiter, as he came by often to apologize, but was at the mercy of a slow kitchen.
Finally, our meals came. The food was out of this world. I had a potato-crusted halibut that was beautiful to look at, but tasted even better. It was a perfect dish. The kids got steaks that were great. Our meals were outstanding. Yes, this just may be the best food on the beach!
After dinner, the chef/owner came by and apologized for the long wait for our food. He said that we had been seated during the dinner rush and offered to buy our table desserts. We hadn't planned dessert, but hey, who can turn down an offer like that?
We all took up the free dessert offer. I ordered an interesting peanut-and-jelly bread pudding, and everyone else had chocolate cake. The desserts took 15 minutes to get to our table! Things went from bad to worse; you would have thought that they could have hurried dessert along a bit to calm us! From the time we gave our car to the valet until we picked it up, it was 4 hours and 20 minutes!
My friend was right on the money. I had no complaints about the food. The kitchen is just way too slow, and it's hard to enjoy such good food when you are mad about a long wait prior to it getting to you. I understand that the best deal on the beach is lunch at Joe's. They have a prix-fixe meal for only $14 per person. Just make sure you don't plan on a quick in-and-out lunch!
From journal Surf Camp and Relaxation - LA style!
los angeles, California
October 8, 2000
Rarely, do you get great uncomplicated flavors prepared so well, and without any hype to distract from the experience. You'll find interesting fusion cuisine with no embarassingly complicated pronunciations or crazy mixtures too far off the beaten path.
I recommend the grilled vegetable rissoto to start. It's creamy texture was full without weighing us down. An unexpected sharpness to the base married well with the grilled flavor. We also enjoyed the mixed green salad with a light, tart balsamic dressing. There are interesting choices of nutty-smelly cheese salads. Both starters couple nicely with the salmon bordelaise main dish. But, I am always tempted by the mashed potatoes w/ pork tenderloin or rosted beef!
Joe's has a safe wine list with many choices in both the red and white families($15-25). Prix-Fixe Menu $35-45, order in advance. This includes a souffle cake.
A handful of intimate tables, crisp white linen, direct and warm service make this the perfect simple and elegant evening out for couples or foursomes. (Anything larger might require you book the restaurant.) This storefront cafe is small enough to feel like your secret place. Also, its size makes for comfortable conversation levels--not noisy, but no whispering required for privacy. This is the perfect place to impress without trying to!
From journal Abott Kinney: It's like SoHo--but not, dude