Joan McNamara is our GLOW idol. Not only does she own one of our favorite spots in LA, but she does it with absolute perfection. Her impeccable taste, in every sense of the word, is extremely inspiring. And, don’t miss out our must-have food-picks!
Joan’s on Third is a family owned and operated Gourmet Marketplace, Café and Full Service Catering and Event Planning Company. What Joan’s does is perfect the classics, creating an epicurean heaven filled with comfort and just down-right deliciousness. You can find everything from a crisp salad, to an indulgent sandwich, to some of the best sweet treats that LA has to offer.
Us #glowgirls frequent this place at least once a week and usually more than that. Joan’s is like home to us, a place where we know we’re going to enjoy every bite of food. This space is special because of the people behind it; Joan and her two daughters have created a family business that embodies love, food, and happiness.
An entrepreneur, tastemaker, chef, founder and curator of all things Joan’s on Third, the incredible Joan McNamara has created an L.A. foodie institution. The daughter of Czech immigrants, Joan grew up in New Jersey, in a hard-working, Catholic household where life revolved around the kitchen, studying at her mother’s apron strings, and absorbing countless secret recipes.
Entertaining has always been a joyous family affair in her family. Specifically, Joan told us about her annual New Year’s Day Parties at their home, where her and her daughters Carol and Susie worked around the clock designing, decorating and cooking together. On the day of the party, friends and family would arrive at noon and often stay into the night, relishing bountiful food and drink, festively celebrating. Each year, the party grew in size. When it reached more than five hundred guests, thats when the ladies knew that starting a catering business would be the right choice.
Joan’s on Third opened in 1995, on then-sleepy Third Street in Los Angeles, but quickly becoming one of LA’s most in-demand caterers. An emerging success, Joan’s devoted customers, new and old, packed into the intimate space on Third Street, a dash of NYC in LA, to peruse the gourmet counter, brimming with delectable, crafted selections, freshly prepared sandwiches, salads and baked goods, shelves carefully fashioned with specialty foods and unique products.
A vibrant and beautiful gathering place, Joan’s on Third has evolved into a must-stop LA culinary emporium and destination. Customers stream in daily to eat in or take out, or even setup a perfect picnic basket. You’ll see Joan running around the space– behind the counter, cooking an omelette, or visiting table to table warmly greeting customers– making you feel perfectly at home. Her extended family of loyal and longtime staff do just the same, mirroring her gracious spirit and devotion to excellence.
We are so excited that Joan is developing a cookbook and branded products to more readily share her favorite things, and is working on a new Santa Monica location alongside the newly opened Studio City location.
Everything from the food, ambiance, to the service is all top notch here. Joan’s is fabulous for lunch, early dinner, picnic baskets, or food to-go. The marketplace has an impeccably curated selection of cheeses, wines, teas, mustards, ice creams, cookbooks, jams, and any other food items you can dream of. This is our #glowheaven.
These are our must-haves eats at Joan’s on Third:
- Turkey Club Sandwich— from the bread to the bacon to everything in between, it’s simply perfection
- Chinese Chicken Salad— addictively tangy dressing, crisp chopped romaine lettuce, and great crunch. On the regular, we ask for grilled chicken when we want to feel a little healthier
- Joan’s Special Breakfast Omelette— this omelette has the magic touch, as Joan is usually in-house making them… once you try this nothing else will stand up to it, try the potato omelette for a special treat!
- Ficelle sandwich— this little Parisian sandwich doesn’t look like much… but the combination of bread, brie, and ham is swoon-worthy
- Focaccia bread— the selection changes daily, a favorite is the potato
- Pretzel baguette— dip this delicious bread into mustard and you’re good to go
- Corn Soup— it’s not always available, but when it is you’ll love the creamy deliciousness
- Short Rib Sandwich— this hefty sandwich has made a name for itself and for good reason, caramelized short ribs offset by pickled onions.
- BLT— perfect in every way, crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato…. drool
- Side of warmed meatloaf— it’s all about the chipotle aioli it comes with
- Butter Lettuce Salad— great simple salad, we like it with grilled chicken
- Brownie— it’s dense and just so rich
- Mac and Cheese— this mac and cheese is legit, super gooey filled with tons of different types of cheese, and warmed to order
- Chocolate covered gummy bears— these little gems are addictive
- The Chocolate Chip Cookie– if you’re lucky you’ll get it when its warm and you’ll definitely fall in love, one of the best in the city
- If you come around dinner time, make sure to check out the daily special hot dinner items– especially the roasted fingerling potatoes, mashed potatoes, roasted chicken, sole, pot pies, and chicken wings
Watch the VIDEO of the marketplace as well as Joan making her scrumptious and life-changing omelette. She was kind enough to even share her special recipe with us– it’s so simple!! But of course, because simple is always best.
Joan’s Famous Omelette Recipe:
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. water (*never milk!)
- salt to taste
That is the basis. Then you can customize with whichever chopped herbs and fillings you prefer, Boursin cheese, fresh vegetables, etc.
|Joan’s on Third
West Hollywood // Studio City
HOW THEY GLOW QUESTIONNAIRE
PROFESSION: Chef, Owner of Joan’s on Third
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? New York
WHERE DO YOU LIVE? West Hollywood, California
WHAT IS A TYPICAL…
BREAKFAST: A foamy cappuccino, perfectly made by our Joan’s on Third baristas.
LUNCH: Little snacks from the kitchen.
DINNER: I love to go out to dinner.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS?
Robert et Louise and Les Cocottes de Christian Constant in Paris, and Balthazar in New York.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INDULGENCE?
Buying cookbooks, daily, sometimes the same ones twice.
WHAT IS THE BEST DISH YOU COOK/ YOUR FAVORITE RECIPE?
A fluffy omelette.
WHERE DO YOU GROCERY SHOP?
I get most everything I need from our marketplace. When I travel I love to visit local farmer’s markets.
TOP 3 ITEMS YOU ALWAYS HAVE IN YOUR KITCHEN?
Butter, salt, and a wooden spoon.
IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 PRODUCTS WOULD YOU TAKE WITH YOU?
1. A good book.
2. A cappuccino machine (and a barista).
3. My family.
TOP 3 FAVORITE TYPES OF MUSIC?
1. Classical and opera, one of my favorites is Albinoni’s Adagio for Strings in G Minor.
2. Jazz, especially the likes of Edith Piaf and Louis Armstrong.
3. Country music.
Something’s Gotta Give
All of them. But I really love the Ottolenghi books, they’re all wonderful.
Lost & Found and Obsolete in LA, Merci in Paris, and ABC Carpet & Home in New York.
Crosby Street Hotel in New York.
WHAT IS THE BEST GIFT YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
A self-portrait my grandson, Henry, made for me.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
I would spend the morning at Joan’s on Third and the rest of my day would be spent with my family, filled with lots of laughter and delicious food.
“Leap and the net will appear.”
“Do what you love and they’ll love what you do.”
WHAT MAKES YOU GLOW?
Being with my family, traveling and going on trips (after I’m able to get myself out the door) and I love coming to work.
Photography by: Brian Charles Lehrer
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