Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern (JFAT) – Comfort Food with a Twist
By Michael Vallens
Santa Monica is a special place made even more prominent now that SD and OC darling Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern (JFAT) has graced our presence with the opening of their newest location, on Ocean Avenue in gorgeous Santa Monica. In a long line of restaurants, JFAT stands out of the crowd with their take on regional comfort food with a twist.
JFAT is the brain-child of David Wilhelm and Jimmy Duval. Their goal was to create the perfect neighborhood restaurant with sustainable and high quality food and provide a sizable selection of wines, cocktails and locally brewed craft beers.
Upon arrival, I marveled that JFAT has found a perfect location on Ocean Ave overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean.
What can be more pleasant than indulging in a cold beer on a sunny Santa Monica day? I chose JFAT’s Blonde beer; it was crisp and smooth and was a great way to start this epicurean endeavor.
The first appetizer was the Charred Brussels Sprouts; a sweet and savory blend of flavors made with Applewood Bacon, toasted pine nuts and glazed Maple Syrup. With all flavor profiles covered on this appetizer, I quickly escalated my expectations for this tasting.
The picturesque ‘BBQ Buffalo Style’ Meatballs were to follow. These little balls of joy were shaped beef and bacon were seasoned gracefully and stacked in a glorious blend of BBQ and Buffalo sauces that provided an addictive kick. This was definitely a stand out dish and would recommend this for lovers of sweet and spicy foods.
The third and last appetizer was the Whiskey Shrimp; tangy Bourbon flamed with Cajun spices, shallots and Dijon mustard. Paired with charred toast fresh off the grill, this combo of flavors was both unexpected and thought provoking. With so many different tastes, I still ponder about this dish on a daily basis.
My first entrée was the Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes, Thyme gravy and Green Beans. Made with boneless chicken cutlets, then breaking was seasoned nicely and fried to crisp perfection. The Thyme gravy was the hero of the dish as it lent its delicate and herbal flavor to the chicken, potatoes and green beans. This dish was the epitome of comfort food.
My last entrée for the day was the Jimmy Burger, an miraculous creation that needs its own time in the spotlight. Prepared with certified 100% New York sirloin (chopped, not ground) fed a hormone and antibiotic free vegetarian diet and a placed on a signature JFAT Parkerhouse Bun. This burger has Applewood Bacon, Jalapeño Jelly and Southern Pimento Cheese. This burger isn’t only easy on the eyes, but tastes better than it looks.
After reveling in the tasty array flavors I had just consumed, I realized I found my newest “happy place” at Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern. With five locations, including the original in Point Loma and its newest in Santa Monica, JFAT is making a name for itself and the food stands out in the crowd.
There’s great news for JFAT fans that frequent their Brea and Dana Point locations. All locations are now offering their best selling Famous Mary, Champagne as well as all Mimosas for only $7 until noon at their Sunday brunch called JFAT’s Early Bird Happy Hour. Some of their options include their Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Malted Ale Waffles, The Bubba, Pulled Pork Benedict and their popular Southern Comfort dish.
Brea Sunday Brunch: 11am – 3pm
Dana Point Brunch: 10am – 3pm
Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern – Santa Monica
1733 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401
P/ (424) 292-5222 • F/ (424) 292-5223