STUDIO CITY, California, November 5, 2017 — It may be less important in Southern California to know who’s on first (classic Abbott and Costello comedy routine) than who’s on Third.
Who’s on Third is Joan McNamara, founder, owner and tastemaker of Joan’s on Third, which has locations in Los Angeles and Studio City.
The daughter of Czech immigrants, Joan grew up in a hard-working home, often joining her mom in the kitchen cooking and absorbing countless family recipes.
She began her career working for industrial designer Paul McCobb in Manhattan and famed chef Dione Lucas. After launching her cooking school, she and Lucas opened The Egg Basket, a gourmet omelet restaurant inspired by French cuisine and culture on 59th Street near Bloomingdale’s, which Joan eventually bought and ran herself.
After moving to Los Angeles to raise her two daughters, Carol and Susie, Joan’s passion for cooking reemerged as the heart of her home, where she invited ever larger groups of friends to gather until her guest lists outgrew her accommodations. She opened Joan’s on Third in 1995 with her daughters on a then-sleepy street in Los Angeles, quickly becoming one of LA’s most in-demand caterers and effectively putting Third Street on the map while helping define the city’s food culture.
From Pasadena and other points east, however, Joan’s On Third’s Studio City location might be easier and more accessible to reach. It’s a virtual carbon copy of the L.A. location.
The interior space of the former Studio City post office is a sea of white, gleaming with porcelain hexagonal tile, white beadboard and marble counter tops, luminous deli cases, and towering shelves overflowing with candies, wines, jams and sauces and countless other culinary surprises. A bow truss ceiling soars overhead.
More than a restaurant, it’s a melange of individual gourmet markets, including a bakery, gelato bar, deli, cheese counter and a bustling kitchen around which you can take a seat along a black rustic community table while you wait for your latte, short rib sandwich or butter lettuce and cranberry salad to arrive.
Outdoor seating is also available if you want to watch the valley’s passing parade of people wandering along trending Ventura Place, a diagonal cutout from Ventura Blvd.
While Joan’s engenders a great Grand Central Station vibe and hustle and bustle, Joan has engineered every inch of the place, down to the last detail, like your silverware stored right in front of you in an earthenware jar. Genius!
Although Joan’s has that artisanal hipster appeal, it boasts family pricing. Apricot and lemon bars were $2.95, the coffee beverages were under $5. Sandwiches were in the $12 range. It’s not Subway pricing, but you’re not eating on Formica, either!
From Pasadena, take CA-134 west until it merges with US-101 north. Take exit 14 for Laurel Canyon Blvd. from US-101 toward Studio City. Follow Laurel Canyon Blvd to 12059 Ventura Place.
Sunday through Monday hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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