Known for it’s beaches and popular boardwalk, being an abode for the creative and artistically-inclined, its elongated entertainment-furnished Promenade and slower-paced neighborhood feel, Venice, CA is also host to another notable attraction…Joe’s Restaurant. For more than 20 years, Joe’s has been catering to the gastronomic cravings of patrons and leaving in its wake only satisfied customers forming lines to return. Our most recent visit to this eatery proved to be a delight of the senses, a culinary experience worth noting and an excellent choice for a late lunch.
Opened in 1991, Executive Chef and owner, Joseph Miller sought out his love of all things culinary by opening Joe’s Restaurant along Abbot Kinney Boulevard in an eclectic section of Venice, California. Since that memorable occasion, Chef Miller has been serving up unmistakable offerings that serve as a favorite gathering spot among locals.
Upon being seated at a cozy table for two on the patio on a perfectly beautiful California day, our server brought a vessel of iced water to our table, menus and a variety of breads with butter and an olive tapenade. Relaxing sounds of water flowing from the stone wall fountain built into a patio wall amplifies the al fresco dining experience. The fresh crusty bread that is served while perusing the menu is heart an delightful.
I especially loved this warm weather chiller…the Watermelon Agua Fresca! Fresh-squeezed watermelon juice, simple syrup, a splash of soda and lime juice just waiting to be enjoyed. Such a refreshing beverage to enjoy on a warm day.
The Chef’s Tasting was a small biscuit accompanied by a square of pork belly with a peach mustard, which complimented the flavors nicely.
Joe’s offers a sensational three-course lunch extension. For just $19, you can choose a starter, entree and dessert! We’re not kidding! We both did this, and were extremely satisfied with what we were presented for under $20.
Here’s what we ordered…
For my starter, I chose the Carrot Ginger Soup with Creme Fraiche and Cilantro. The essence of ginger was unique and mildly spicy throughout without being too overwhelming, while the soothing carrot puree rounded the dish off perfectly.
My husband chose the Albacore Crudo for his beginning flavor experience. Enhanced with Creme Fraiche, Japanese cucumber, breakfast radish, watermelon and toasted sesame, a quick taste of this appetizer convinced me that visual artistry wasn’t it’s only highlight.
For his entree, my husband selected the California Sand Dabs. Avocado, cherry tomatoes, Maine sweet shrimp and delicate Sand Dabs in a delicious chive nage. (Nage is a French word for a flavored liquid used for poaching delicate foods-typically seafood. An example of a traditional nage is a broth flavored with white wine, vegetables and herbs in which seafood is poached. The liquid is then reduced and thickened with cream and butter.)
My entree choice was the Duck Confit Tagliatelle. Super thin ribbons of Tagliatelle pasta, topped with multi-colored baby carrots, poached leeks, grilled onions and a savory duck jus. This dish was scrumptious and filling and I was happy to have ordered it.
For our dessert selections, my husband opted for the Chocolate Crunch Cake below. Joined by a hazelnut praline, coffee ice cream and flavorful candies hazelnuts, this sweet temptation was crunchy, delectable and good enough to cure even the most discriminative chocolate cravings.
I selected the Pavlova. Fresh macerated berries, meringue, mascarpone cream atop delicately crumbled cookies. So picturesque! (See full review and photos at SavorHour.com!)
Joe’s has the deal on lunch in Venice! Nowhere else that we have found has this much variety and quality for under $20 for three courses. Take a look at their menu online and see what we mean. And the next time you’re in the Venice area, be sure to stop in at Joe’s. Whether it’s for their three-course lunches, their prix-fixed dinners, or just to indulge in a cold creative concoction at the cozy intimate bar, you’ll be glad you visited!
ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Upscale, yet has a casual feel. Cozy, yet possesses a spacious ambiance. Gets busy, yet we never felt as thought we were forgotten at any point during our visit.
FOOD / DRINK: Refreshing Watermelon Agua Fresca coolers, a choice selection of wines and cocktails and eye-catching culinary presentations worthy of being placed in national food magazines. The menu items are full of flavor and creatively engineered.
LOCATION: Joe’s is located at 1023 Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, CA 91411.
HOURS: Joe’s is available for Lunch Tuesday through Friday from Noon – 2:30PM, Dinner on Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday from 6PM – 10 PM, then on Friday and Saturday from 6PM – 11PM, Brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 11A to 2:30PM. Joe’s is closed on Mondays.
SERVICE / STAFF: Marguerite was our server, and was professional, suggested favorites on the menu and gracious. All other staff we interacted with were friendly and very assisting as well.
PRICE / VALUE: Happy, happy, happy. Where else can you find such value for two lunches with such variety at these prices?
CORKAGE FEE: $25 per bottle.
CONTACT INFO: Phone: (310) 399-5811, Website: www.joesrestaurant.com
PARKING: $2 with restaurant validation located in the lot behind the restaurant.
TOTAL BILL: Our two three-course lunches at $19 per meal plus a Watermelon Agua Fresca and a green tea came to a total of $50.03 (including tax).