1657 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA | Directions 9040134.010479 -118.493218
Lunch: Tue�Fri 11:30am�3pm
Dinner: Mon�Sun 5:30�10pm
Weekend Brunch: Sat & Sun 9am�2:30pm
Happy Hour 4:30�6pm
Bar open until 2am
Neighborhoods: West LA, Downtown
Legendary Chez Jay, est. 1959, is a Santa Monica Historical Landmark located on Ocean Avenue across from the Pier. Known for its steaks, fresh seafood, generous drinks and comfortable atmosphere, Chez Jay is one of the best celebrity hideaway taverns in all LA. With peanut shells on the floor and its famous jukebox playing, Chez Jay is a place to soak up stories, enjoy a great meal, and have a good time. Stop in and become part of the legend!
Old school dining (Frank Sinatra dined here) with a casual bar and reasonable prices. Come here for happy hour and order the calamari steak!
RUDE, RUDE, RUDE! (and overpriced) – My friend and I came to get a drink here last week and and the staff was was incredibly and unapologetically rude. I'm always very nice (having worked as a waitress) and respectful to whatever person I am talking with. BUT these women didn't seem to think they needed to be anything of the sort back. I'm not asking for kisses and big fake smiles, simple neutrality would have been fine. It was the GIANT chip on their shoulders that bothered me. Immediately upon walking in there we were greeted by a woman in a red t-shirt with her hands on her hips and a total attitude. She brusquely told us that the tables were for food only. We were standing next to the tables, not sitting down and we told her we were just getting some drinks while waiting for a group of friends. She says: "What kind of "GROUP" (here she proceeds to use finger quotes in a COMPLETELY patronizing way) are you talking about?" We explained to her that the group was not coming into the restaurant, we were meeting them outside after our drink. We walk up to the bar and the woman behind it was also totally unfriendly and took forever to come ask us what we wanted even though it was not busy and she clearly saw us there. It was the same 'you're bothering me by coming in here and wasting our time' attitude. I felt like I'd just barged into some random person''s house without knocking! To make matters worse it was $17 for 2 drinks. The price isn't the big issue it was the price compounded with the rudeness.Honestly I don't know if the owner /manager is just never there to see this or maybe he/she just doesn't care and they get enough business as is. All I know is that when you start getting that bitter and rude to customers It's time to get a job behind the scenes somewhere, NOT WORKING WITH PEOPLE!
I'm not a picky person at all. I don't expect lightning service, not even an immaculate place or wonderful food---just respect...and that's something you CERTAINLY won't get at Chez Jay.
Rude staff – I dined here with a good friend of mine and will never return. We had just barely finished our meal and we were asked to leave so that our table could be cleaned for the next people, which was really rude since we had not even finished our drinks. Maybe because both my friend and I are young...I am not sure, but that was demanding and tacky especially when we had just eaten an overpriced meal which wasn't even worth it in the first place. Totally overrated. Try somewhere else on Main Street in Santa Monica.
Overpriced food and always crowded but not really in a good way – I've only eaten at Chez Jay once for lunch and after one look at the menu I decided never again. The food is over-priced and most of it typical bar fair. Nobody at the table felt inspired to visit again for the food. The one plus is they let you throw the peanut shells on the ground.
Though never returning for a meal at Chez Jay, I end up there for drinks a couple times a year. The bar is always crowded and I much prefer sitting at a table if they're available (unfortunately, they're usually not). If you go with a group of any more than two, you can pretty much expect to stand for the entire evening (and there's not much standing room), This bar has it's fair share of regulars and is an interesting mix of hollywood wannabes, old men with younger women and alcoholics. I can't say I've ever managed to strike up a conversation with anyone interesting here (I've had much better luck at Big Dean's a block away on the beach). All in all, I would say that Chez Jay has character but if you don't come with a group and luck out get a booth, I don't know what kind of evening you're going to have. I'm not really sure why it's such a popular spot other than its Hollywood history.
Local Dive – My girlfriend and I always drove by Chez Jay and finally took the plunge to check it out. It is small and there are plenty of fixtures on the walls and the bar stools. The owner was in the house, Jay, and he was very inviting, but not to the point of "complimentary". The food is typical "bar food by the sea" and the favorite drink was beer. We can now cross this local watering hole off our list.
Food is terrible – Yes, the service was lackluster, but the food is what is truly awful about this place. My "French onion soup" tasted like a cup of sauteed onions in a lukewarm balsamic vinegar. The soup was not improved by the slice of melba toast floating in it or the square inch of not recently melted cheddar. I heard the couple next to us gasp when they tried theirs. My girlfriend's salad tasted like the lettuce had been fisted out of a plastic bucket of ice water. The only other ingredients in the salad were dressing and a few slivers of red cabbage. My girlfriend ordered the "grilled yellowtail with scalloped potatoes." The "yellowtail" was a murky shade of grey, tasted fishy and dry, and did not appear to be grilled. The "scalloped potatoes" tasted like warm grocery store potato salad. The highlight of the meal was my chicken marsala, only because I managed to eat it.
Maybe we just went on a bad day. Maybe the chef called in sick and sent his 12-year-old son in to fill his place. But I will not risk a second attempt.
Beer fuels philosophical musings at Santa Monica's historic neighborhood bar. – The Scene
Chez Jay has been serving drinks for the past 40 years, successfully avoiding any pressure from this popular tourist area to change. Enter this small bar through the Dutch door and take the helm or just sit yourself on a barstool. After a few drinks, the combination of fake fish on the walls, fishing nets and the ocean's proximity might make you think you're aboard an old, barnacle-crusted ship.
Good Food Good Price – The bar is a little intimidating from the outside and you really have to know where you are going but once inside, you are greated with floor covered in straw and good cheap steak!!!
I wanted to like it, but... – Went there for the first time last saturday night. Did not have high expectations. Service was prompt and friendly. The garlic cheese bread is good. The salads tasted diluted as if the lettuce were wet when dressed. All 4 of us had new yorks and they were all cooked perfectly; however, the beef is not that good. It had three of us reaching for A1 and me reaching for salt, thinking that if you salt a piece of meat enough, you can wring some flavour out of it. Not always true. The scallop potatoes were the best thing we ate all night. I have no reason to return. Yes, it's not expensive like Boa, but I'd rather get a $12 burger somewhere that tastes great than get a Sizzler grade steak.
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