We caught up with him to find out more about the neighborhood staple that has served locals and visitors for more than 20 years just a few blocks away from the Venice Beach strip.
How long have you lived/worked in the Los Angeles area and what led to you becoming chef/owner of Joe’s Restaurant?
I have lived in Los Angeles for the past 35 years and worked at Joe’s for 21 years. I have always wanted my own restaurant because my father worked for himself. Owning Joe’s is a dream come true.
It helped me understand what Angelinos ate at that time and it also gave me basic training in my cooking.
How would you describe your cooking style and what’s your signature dish?
My cooking style is French California using local ingredients. My signature dish would be my tuna tartare.
What is your favorite locally sourced ingredient?
I get these Jerusalem artichokes from a woman in Santa Monica a couple times a year.
What’s your favorite menu item of the moment?
All of our crude dishes because they are ever changing with what’s fresh at the fish market and I like playing around with different flavors
Outside of Joe’s, where should visitors stop in Venice?
Where are some of your favorite places to unwind before/after work?
I like riding my bike and staying home
It has become much more casual with a focus on comfort food and less fine dining, using local ingredients and what you find at the farmer’s market. Our menu is always changing on a daily basis because of this.
Zagat described you as the “grandaddy of Abbot Kinney.” What do you like most about the neighborhood?
The Venice neighborhood has a unique feel and vibe with all the artists and diversity much greater than anywhere else in Southern California.
What would you change?
The food trucks that park right in front of our restaurant
How would you describe the perfect meal?
My perfect meal would be anything from the sea. I love to look at it and eat from it.