Lunch | Wednesday – Friday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Brunch | Saturday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
In-Between Menu | Wednesday – Sunday 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Dinner | 7 days 6 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Late Night | Thursday – Saturday 10:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
Bar Last Call | 1:30 a.m. nightly
Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos – $19
Fried Calamari – $13
Ginger Mojito – $12
Cheesecake – $8
Carrot Cake – $8
Some of you may be wondering why this restaurant rings a bell…located on Venice Beach, James’ Beach made an appearance in the Paul Rudd/Jason Segal masterpiece (lolz) I Love You, Man. Jason Segal’s character INSISTS on taking Paul Rudd to eat some fish tacos he eloquently describes as “the tits.”
My brother insisted I take him here when he came to visit…since he was only in LA for a week, I agreed! We made the 40 minute trek to James’ Beach on a Monday evening for dinner!
The staff was extremely friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating…our waiter was hysterical and never made us wait for anything!
We started with the fried calamari. As Sicilians who grew up with the best, most fresh fried calamari in Rhode Island, we’re picky when it comes to our squid! The calamari itself was tender and just melted in your mouth. The thyme buttermilk batter was light enough that it didn’t overwhelm the meat but complimented it beautifully. It came with a side of chipotle aioli which was tasty, but not needed at all. We simply squeezed the grilled lemon on top and enjoyed it that way!
My ginger mojito was strong on the ginger and light on the rum…call me cheap, but for $12 I want a drink to make itself known (I like to feel it in my toes)! But it was absolutely delicious, so I can’t complain too much. If you are unsure if you like ginger or don’t like spicy drinks…stick with a regular mojito or try their raspberry mojito instead.
Fun fact – a bartender I knew in LA told me that James’ Beach added the fish tacos to the menu after the movie. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised.
The fish tacos were…meh.
The guacamole didn’t seem super fresh and the salsa tasted generic. The mahi mahi was cooked well – it wasn’t dried out…but it was almost watery. I’m not a huge fan of whitefish to begin with for this very reason. It just seemed to be a protein filler for the taco, not a staple of the dish. I believe I should be able to eat the protein of a taco separate from the taco itself – and still find it delicious as the center of the dish. I tried it by itself before putting it in the corn tortillas (which I am always a fan of) and just…meh. Underwhelmed. I resorted to piling the black beans on because man those were sooooooo good. By far the most flavorful part of the dish.
The cheesecake and carrot cake were to die for! Both tasted fresh, both were moist and…both were completely gone in 5 minutes flat.
Overall, if I were in Venice Beach again, I’d go back. The service was phenomenal and I have a feeling based off of how delicious the calamari was, the less famous dishes are probably just as well composed and tasty as that one!