We took a short bike ride down the beach trail from Santa Monica to Venice and popped into Joe’s for dinner because I had a Blackboard Eats deal for a free bottle of wine and dessert. We sat at the bar and thought it would be a quick meal, but thanks to their handy pacing, dinner lasted almost two hours (I didn’t mind and it was a very nice, relaxed meal). I was almost hesitant to eat here because a lot of reviews mentioned it was overpriced, had small portions, and upon sitting down, I almost felt like I was in a Portlandia sketch sitting next to a couple talking about lack of emotion in some storyline of a play or movie. But this restaurant has been one of the best meals I’ve had in LA so far.
From the bar menu, we ordered seared foie gras and the charcuterie plate. The foie gras was teeny tiny, but perfectly cooked with toast points. Oh, and their bread selection included three or four kinds with softened butter and olive tapenade. The charcuterie plate had five kinds of meats with purple mustard, hearts of palm, and pickled cauliflower. A fantastic deal for $11.
I love charcuterie, especially when it’s affordable. I’m not sure what everything was, but I think there’s a country pate, prosciutto, rabbit mortadella, chicken liver mousse, and… something that tasted like jerky.
Usually at a restaurant, there will be two entrees where one is just slightly better than the other. Our entrees were fantastic and I couldn’t choose which was better, as they both had unique flavors that fully complemented the type of meat we ordered. I had Tasmanian ocean trout in a savory broth of peas, squid, and toasted farro (I think… it was crunchy and salty and provided bursts of flavor). The skin was perfectly crisp and the fish itself flaky and moist.
Fantastic meal. I can see why Joe’s is so popular and I could see this being a rewarding date night after a nice evening bike ride.