Tags: closed, venice
as more and more vegan restaurants close these days (R.I.P. vegan spot and doomie’s), plenty seem to be opening…especially on the west side. we’ve been lucky enough to gain seed, casa de tree, and yet another m cafe in beverly hills. i guess with all this awesomeness happening, there was bound to be a fluke. enter j’s kitchen on abbot kinney in venice. the new vegan macrobiotic restaurant sitting on a prime piece of real estate should be something to get really excited about…instead, it wound up being a total letdown.
i was really excited for j’s kitchen to open, don’t get me wrong. supposedly this place has a wicked storefront in japan, serving up high-quality vegan food that is known all around the world for being delicious. they were supposed to open in like september, but that got pushed out months, and finally they did a soft-opening in december. what looked like it would be an awesome duplicate of the famous tokyo location turned out to be just a salad bar with no seating and very limited hours.
now over 2 months later, j’s kitchen still has no indoor seating, the menu is small and limited, and while they do have some food other than a salad bar…in my experience, it was really disappointing.
i wanted to love j’s kitchen so much, i really did. i drove all the way from mother-fuckin’ hollywood and met my vegan-enthusiast friend there at 8am. we were so stoked to be trying out a new vegan breakfast joint on the westside….the 50 minute drive didn’t even phase me. when we arrived, however, we were told that the chef “decided not to come in until 8:30″ that day. we had the choice of getting some cold breakfast, or waiting a bit longer for the stuff that was advertised on the menu. we decided to wait. and wait. and wait. at 8:30, the chef still wasn’t there. she arrived at more like 8:45 or 8:50, and the food we received definitely didn’t justify the amount of time we had to sit around.
my friend ordered the veggie tofu scramble, pictured above, which was basically a mix of bland tofu and bell peppers. the tempeh bacon was an extra 3 bucks for just two slices, and they tasted like they came straight out of a box. even after adding a ton of salt, the scramble was still pretty tasteless. now i understand that macrobiotic food is a whole new game, but if seed and m cafe can make such awesome dishes, j’s kitcen really has no excuse.
i ordered the breakfast burrito, which was small and not very flavorful. i can’t believe it cost nearly $8! $3 dollars more than the scramble, and about the same amount of food. while the burrito wasn’t horrible to start with, it went from “meh” to “fucking disgusting” instantly when i found a long, black, curly hair all wrapped around the tofu at the bottom of the burrito. that’s it. breakfast over.
who knows, maybe my experience was a one off and usually j’s kitchen is great. some stuff on the menu did look pretty good, and i’ve heard great things about it on other sites. i just know that hair in my food was enough to gross me out for awhile, and the blandness of everything else makes me feel like i’m not missing much. sure, maybe i will return for lunch someday…but not any time soon.
here’s to hoping j’s kitchen gets their act together! they are in a great location, and another good vegan restaurant on the westside would be a wonderful thing.
1239 abbot kinney blvd.
venice, ca 90291
open 8am to 4pmTags: breakfast, burrito, macrobiotic, tofu scramble, venice
monday thru saturday