With the high turnover in Los Angeles restaurants, I find it impressive when a restaurant maintains a high level of quality and popularity for an extended period of time. Joe's in Venice has been a fantastic restaurant for seventeen years. We recently returned there for dinner with some friends and I was glad to see that it is still firing on all cylinders.
We were early for our reservation so had a drink at the bar which is small but very comfortable. They have a good selection of specialty drinks and my friend Tim Harvey was impressed with the many varieties of Scotch that were available (I think he had recently seen Swingers). While we waited, we looked over the wine list and selected a bottle for dinner. The list was impressive both for its depth and the number of wines that were available at lower price points. Also, it had a number of reasonably priced imports (I find it annoying when the only wines on a list from France or Italy are super expensive).
The inside dining room does not look dated and strikes the perfect balance between being a casual and formal space. The other diners seemed to be enjoying themselves and I noticed several large families that appeared to be celebrating an occasion. The restaurant retains a neighborhood feel.
The food was amazing. I had the wild mushroom ravioli that was both earthy and rich (but not overpowering). My main course was the potato crusted snapper which was also superb…crispy on the outside and moist underneath the crust. Two of the other diners had the carrot soup which earned high praise from everyone who tried it. Unfortunately we were too stuffed to try dessert.
All of the dishes were reasonably priced (entrees between $24 and $30) given the portions and the quality and I left feeling very satisfied. I will not wait so long to return to Joe's.
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