Chef of the Moment: Joan McNamara is set to expand Joan’s on Third

Joan McNamara's the founder of Joan's on Third, which will open a second location in Studio City.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Joan McNamara is the chef-owner-tastemaker behind Joan’s on Third, the always-packed cafe and market on 3rd Street that draws more than 2,000 customers a day. McNamara is the black-clad force behind every detail in the store, from the decor to product placement, and the comforting dishes such as French omelets, chicken Milanese and her famous short rib sandwich (among the 1,200 items that are part of her repertoire). Newly installed for summer is a Salt & Straw ice cream counter, and in the works are family dinner nights featuring her version of poutine. Meanwhile, construction begins soon on her long awaited Studio City location.

What’s coming up next on your menu? Poutine of new potatoes (cooked, smashed and fried) with short rib, delicious gravy and cheese curds. Also a vegetarian version without short rib but with portobello mushroom and other vegetables. The poutine is not a regular menu item … yet. It will be on the family dinner menu that is also currently being developed.

Latest ingredient obsession? Butter and salt.

What restaurant do you find yourself going to again and again? Son of a Gun (our 3rd Street neighbors)....I love the hamachi, lobster rolls, shrimp toast and amberjack sashimi.


The one piece of kitchen equipment you can’t live without, other than your knives? Wooden spoons and my omelet pan.

Favorite kitchen soundtrack? The “Amélie” soundtrack, Edith Piaf and “Goodfellas” soundtrack.

Joan’s on Third, 8350 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, (323) 655-2285,


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