LA: Joan’s on Third
A few Saturdays ago M and I set out on a little Los Angeles adventure. We were making our way to the Melrose area where LudoTruck was scheduled to be serving that day. We arrived a bit before the scheduled 11:00 am opening so we could check out the location and gauge the crowd to plan our strategy. But once at the location things were suspiciously quiet. After looking around a few minutes – checking out nearby alleys and side streets – I finally thought to check the schedule again. Rats! Somewhere between my last check of the website and Saturday morning they’d changed Saturday to an “Off” day, although part of the original location information remained like telltale proof of the originally planned event. Well, what to do now?
Luckily M had plenty of ideas and we made our way to a favorite spot of hers, Joan’s on West Third.
While Joan’s definitely serves food and is a café, it seems to be first and foremost a market. There’s a case filled with amazing cheese, an array of breads and pastries, and shelves of specialty retail items, some made there and other items from around the world. On the left side of the shop is a deli-style takeout counter where you can order sandwiches, salads, entrees and sides for takeout or to eat in. In the mornings, or until 2:00pm on weekends, there’s also a breakfast menu.
Inside there are a few tables along one side of the shop and a large community table surrounded by the racks of goods. The majority of the seating, however, is on the sidewalk along the front of the shop. And this being Los Angeles, the sidewalk was the place most customers gravitated after placing their orders and while waiting for their food to arrive, M & me included. Although I love Seattle it really is nice to be comfortably sitting outside in early February…
I had a delicious smoked-salmon platter and M chose a selection of items from the deli case. While breakfast was great, I really would have liked to spend some time perusing the shelves and cases of the market. Joan’s is a popular place, though, and Saturday morning is really not the time to browse as the place is packed. The open space is filled with people placing their orders either for there or to go. One of these days I’ll make my way back and examine those shelves and cases in detail. I just know there’s all kinds of inspiration waiting for me.
Joan’s on Third
8350 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Joan (on the right) talking to the leader of a food tour.