Barnyard — Simple farm fresh cuisine elevated by a confident chef

By Abigail Stone

Barnyard

Abigail Stone

Jesse Barber is a chef whose work in the kitchen warrants the wait—for a table or for a reservation. A plate of torn escarole dotted with toasted almonds and Parmesan, or a bowl of luminescent beets matched with the equally brilliant orange yolk of a runny egg, although pretty and fresh, seem too straightforward and uncomplicated to be worth battling Los Angeles traffic to get to Venice. But one bite of either dish—or any of Barber's other offerings, for that matter—will change your mind. Even the grilled bread, a nod to the chef’s previous stint at Tasting Kitchen, satisfies. Spread it with basil-infused tomato jam and it may banish any craving for pizza, just as the harissa and crème fraîche dip that comes with the French fries may permanently erase any desire for ketchup. Beat the rush and duck in for lunch when, with the salt-laced air blowing in from the back patio and the space relatively quiet, you can imagine you’ve been spirited away to an island of your very own.

... on the side

the crowd
Artists, graphic designers, actors, and diehards who work and live in the area, along with sand-spotted folks who’ve wandered in after a day of beach going. Bonus: The fact that the restaurant is a few blocks from Abbot Kinney means fewer tourists.

beans to spill
Jesse Barber, part of Tasting Kitchen’s original quartet, is an Alice Waters- and Thomas Keller-trained chef. Stints in Japanese restaurants and a love of Moroccan food have given him an offbeat twist that complements flawless French technique.

decibels
Low to medium.

hours

lunch: Wed–Fri 11:30 AM–3 PM
dinner: Mon–Sat 5:30 PM–10:30 PM
brunch: Sun noon–4 PM

price range

$5 to $12
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