Restaurants, Travel

Restaurant Review: Joan’s on Third, Los Angeles

My little brother and his girlfriend live in Los Angeles, which means I visit there more often than I would otherwise, because it’s just not my favorite town. If I’m going to California, I’d much rather visit the Bay Area. The traffic in LA drives me crazy, and though there is lots of fun sights to see and things to do, I leave feeling more empty, whereas a trip to San Francisco and the surrounding area always soothes my soul.

But when I do visit, my favorite way to spend the afternoon is having lunch at Joan’s on Third and heading over to LACMA.

I love their caprese sandwich with fresh mozzarella, basil, greens, tomato, and a lovely balsamic dressing. But really, anything on their menu sounds good.

Joan’s is a deli nestled into the neighborhood behind the Beverly Center. It’s always busy, and more for the quality food than the chance of a celebrity sighting (though, I will say I find the thought of running into Alexander Skarsgård appealing). They have a selection of sandwiches and salads, and the amount of side dishes to choose from is positively mind-boggling. But don’t over-order, because you’re going to want to save room for a cupcake. Bring a friend or two so you don’t have to try and decide between chocolate peanut butter and carrot cake.

Spend the afternoon strolling through the gallery of LACMA, rather than shopping. There are lots of fabulous art museums in LA, including MOMA and The Getty, as well as lesser known, smaller spaces, but LACMA is still my favorite.

I love the Art of the Americas exhibit, which includes this fascinating actual human skull decorated with turquoise.

Perhaps my favorite portrait ever resides in LACMA. Young Woman of the People by Amedeo Modigliani is breathtaking. Something about those pupil-less eyes.

And a visit to LACMA wouldn’t be complete without contemplating Burn, Baby Burn, an overwhelming piece by Matta, one of my favorite artists.

What’s your favorite lunch spot in LA? Where would you most like to spend an afternoon in LA?

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