The New Spring Menu At West 4th Jane
West 4th Jane launched its new spring menu, and I popped into to check it out at a media preview event. A beautiful, cool evening in Santa Monica with crisp beer and hearty appetizers? I am never one to say no. West 4th Jane was a new name to me, and so, it was never on my radar. What a shame. Now, I’ve vowed to keep it in my social calendar’s rotation. And I have to blame it on the calamari.
One of my favorite dishes to order is calamari. It’s just a fact. But we’ll talk about that a bit later. The new spring menu at West 4th Jane is courtesy of Chef Ryan Turner. He brings gastropub gastronomy to Santa Monica with elevated bar food. I do find bar food to have a connotation of low brow selection, but we live in Los Angeles–it’s hard to find low brow food in most parts of the city. Would you consider crisp, fried calamari with a creamy yuzu sauce low brow? Oh yeah, I said we’d get back to that later.
Beer, wine and food. Those are the elements that comprise West 4th Jane. Something tells me that this is a Santa Monica spot people keep to themselves in order to keep folks like me out of there. If I had known, I would’ve been there a couple of years ago. There are 24 imported and local beers on tap from Europe and the States, including some of my favorite Belgium selections such as Chimay. There are so many selections that yell out for a meaty burger on the side. If that’s the kind of thing that makes you hungry, I would suggest the vension burger. It’s huge and topped with Gruyère, house made pickles and onions, Guinness tomato jam, worcestershire aioli, and of course, fries on the side.
Ooh, those calamari. Those calamari! They are honestly delicious. When I was younger, I detested and slightly feared full bodied calamari, but over the years, they have become my favorite. Unfortunately, West 4th Jane serves their calamari as thick, chunky sticks similar to French fries. We sampled mini versions of that dish, and lucky for me, I was nowhere near disappointed. It’s all about that sauce. The smooth, citrusy, fruity flavor against crunchy, slightly salty squid was perfect. I could eat three plates of that alone. For your information, I did not eat three plates that night. My second absolute favorite was the Sweet Potato Panna Cotta. The tiny serving spoon sample was just too small to satisfy me, but I managed to regrettably slurp only one. You want to know a third? The spaetzle mac and cheese! The spaetzle don’t have the texture of the pasta your German grandmother. They’re not as eggy or dense, but very creamy and light. I think that pairs well with the thick cheese sauce.
Here’s one more plus for you. West 4th Jane offers the following weekly specials that you will want to check out. There’s happy hour prices on food and drink every day from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm. On Monday, grab any burger and a beer for just $10. On Tuesdays, all beer flights are just $10! On Wednesdays, score a free pint glass with each and every draft beer you slosh down. If you’re a Sunday cocktail lover, grab mimosas and sangrias for $5 and order discounted pitchers of beer. Now you’re in the know!