99 Essential Restaurants 2014

Jar

photo by Anne Fishbein

It bills itself as a “modern chophouse,” but Suzanne Tracht’s Beverly Boulevard restaurant, Jar, encompasses all that’s great about steakhouses, both the old- and the new-school versions. This restaurant exudes midcentury charm — it’s a room to get dressed up for, just for the fun of it. The clubby bar serves bracing martinis, there’s a maitre’d who might be wearing a purple suit, and the creamed spinach thankfully has lost nothing to modernity. But say the idea of kimchi in your Brussels sprouts intrigues, or that instead of a hulking wedge salad you’d like black mussels with ong choy (water spinach) and lobster Béarnaise. Jar can accommodate those needs as well. On a recent Friday evening, the chef strode through the dining room feeding a bottle to a diner’s baby as moguls moguled, dates swooned at one another and families celebrated. Jar takes everything that was great about old Los Angeles glamour and blends it seamlessly with much of what we love about modern dining. The steaks are pretty awesome, too.

-- Besha Rodell