May 20, 2022 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Five Months Into Opening, Jonah’s Kitchen Is on Fire With Casual, ‘Made From Scratch’ Dishes

By Susan Payne 

Having a seat inside of Jonah’s Kitchen, an elevated, yet fast casual restaurant in Santa Monica, is like having a meal with the celebrity chef himself, an al-fresco cooking experience.

Chef Jonah Johnson opened the restaurant in June, inspired by his travels through Latin America and made with love — organic dishes, fresh vegetables, sauce and food made scratch, cooked above a wood-fired grill.

“When we take the meats out of the smoker, everything we do is from scratch. It’s been a dream to open this and express the types of food and cooking I like to do,” Johnson said. “It takes after the experience you would have at my home.”

Although heavily traveled across the world, Johnson’s restaurant is an ode to the people in his life he has learned from: food and flavor stemming from a multicultural, ethnic background.

Mexican, Caribbean, Italian, and Korean, Johnson said, his menu is a mix of cultural foods over an open fire. 

“I’ve experienced all those flavors, traveled and lived in some of these places, and I wanted to bring a multicultural smorgasbord of barbecue the way different cultures cook their food with fire,” he said. 

Growing up in California, Jonah found behind the grill with his father more entertaining than playing basketball with the neighborhood kids. At the age of 10, his intense love of food began with one question: how did raw meat over fire, or fresh ingredients from the garden, become something that tasted so good. 

“My father is a grill master, and I was intrigued by that as a kid, smelling barbecue and seeing the offset cooker and wondering why it tastes so good,” Johnson said. 

Johnson’s aunt, Bethann, who lived in Minnesota, was another kitchen influence in his life. Bethann was a southern style cook who made sauces from scratch. 

On the other side of Johnson’s family, Swedish, Serbian and eastern European food scented the air.

“Since I was a kid, food around me was always very different, but it was always really good. I was never stuck in one culture’s food. When I came to California, I fell in love with Mexican and Latin food,” he said.

Johnson’s journey to “try other people’s food” led him on a career path that accommodated that lifestyle, traveling and cooking for celebrity clients, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Gisele Bundchen. He’s also had the pleasure of cooking for Mick Jagger, Al Pacino, Tobey Maguire, Clint Eastwood, Tarantino and Steven Spielberg, to name a few.

“That’s the main reason I wanted to travel. I wanted to eat other people’s food and be inspired. I don’t eat at hotel restaurants, I want to eat what the people are eating the entire time,” Johnson said.

Jonah’s Kitchen, a culmination of his experience cooking and traveling, offers a unique menu, crafted for locals and LA visitors alike. 

Here are a few picks: 

  • K-Town Chicken
  • Ribs “Argentina Parilla” STYLE 
  • Crispy Potatoes
  • Steamed (Koshihikari) Rice
  • Gochujang Shrimp Tacos
  • Vegan King Tacos
  • Rice Pilaf with Grilled Vegetables
  • Porterhouse Steak (for groups)

“We cook everything from scratch. When you have fresh vegetables, coupled with beautiful pork ribs from sustainable, high-quality farms and Japanese steamed rice, and nothing processed, you feel the difference.” Johnson said.

Jonah’s Kitchen is located at 2518 Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica, open Tuesday through Saturday 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Lunch hours are 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and dinner is 5 p.m. to 10. The restaurant is closed daily from 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Related Posts

Coffee + Bike Shop Opening Venice Location

May 11, 2022

May 11, 2022

Super Domestic coming to Main Street in Venice  By Dolores Quintana Super Domestic Coffee and bicycles will be opening a...

Hurry Curry Reopens in Santa Monica

May 11, 2022

May 11, 2022

Longtime Sawtelle restaurant back in business By Dolores Quintana Westside favorite Hurry Curry has opened officially in Santa Monica at...

Team Behind Dear John’s Opening Seafood Spot in Marina del Rey

May 11, 2022

May 11, 2022

Dear Jane’s coming to former Charthouse space By Dolores Quintana Marina del Rey’s burgeoning waterfront is getting yet another restaurant...

Popular Playa Vista Cafe Expanding to Hollywood

May 11, 2022

May 11, 2022

Santa Monica and Playa Vista restaurant Cafe Ruisseau opening on Selma Avenue By Dolores QUitana Cafe Ruisseau will be expanding...

A Westwood Restaurant Serves 94,500 Individual Meals to Local Seniors During the Pandemic. But They Aren’t Stopping There

May 4, 2022

May 4, 2022

Delphi Greek celebrates 36 years in business with more to come By Susan Payne  A “welcome” sign in Greek letters...

Vegan Burger Joint Now Open in Venice

May 4, 2022

May 4, 2022

Honeybee Burger up and running on Lincoln Boulevard By Dolores Quintana Honeybee Burger is now officially open at 326 Lincoln...

Japanese Seafood Market Planned for Mar Vista

April 27, 2022

April 27, 2022

Yama Seafood coming to 1709 W. National Blvd By Dolores Quintana Yama Seafood, the San Gabriel based seafood market and...

California Lawmakers Pass Bill to Streamline Permitting for Street Vendors

April 27, 2022

April 27, 2022

Senate Bill 972 passes California State Legislature By Dolores Quintana Despite the fact that the California Safe Sidewalk Vending Act...

LA IPA Fest Returns to Brennan’s

April 20, 2022

April 20, 2022

60 beers from across California coming to Brennan’s in Marina del Rey By Dolores Quintana LA IPA Festival is returning...

PLANTA Opening First LA Restaurant in Marina del Rey

April 14, 2022

April 14, 2022

100% plant based restaurant opening in coming weeks By Dolores Quintana PLANTA, the 100% plant based restaurant that is dedicated...

LA County Takes Steps Towards Banning Single-use Plastics

April 13, 2022

April 13, 2022

Board of Supervisors approve ordinance along 4-1 vote, final vote still needed By Dolores Quintana An ordinance that would ban...

Venice Mexican Restaurant Expands to Silver Lake

April 6, 2022

April 6, 2022

De Buena Planta crew opens restaurant in Silver Lake By Dolores Quintana Venice’s De Buena Planta restaurant has already opened...

LA Designer Madame Weathersby Releases Bullet Detailed, Renegade-Inspired Luxury Purse Collection

April 5, 2022

April 5, 2022

By Susan Payne 1836 was the year of the Texas revolution. For designer Rachel Weathersby, 1836 is the artisanship and...

Palms Vietnamese Restaurant Burglarized

March 31, 2022

March 31, 2022

Phorage suffers break in over weekend By Dolores Quintana Phorage LA, the locally sourced Vietnamese restaurant at 3300 Overland Boulevard...

Venice Chef Creates Oscar Party Menu

March 30, 2022

March 30, 2022

Felix’s Evan Funke joins the ranks of Thomas Keller, Wolfgang Puck and more in honor By Dolores Quintana Chef Evan...