Just like mom used to make — if mom were a gourmet cook who baked fresh bread every morning and made jam from wild local strawberries she had foraged herself. “Mom,” in this case, is Joan's on Third, the gourmet café popular with celebrities, local novelists and residents of the “cafe corridor,” a stretch of 3rd Street near La Cienega, where the appetite for weekend brunch spots is unappeasable.

Joan's On Third: PBJ

A gourmet PBJ is either the height of absurdity or the apotheosis of gentrified comfort food. In this case, it's both.

The soft white bread is toasted to a medium brown, spread with a light, floral berry jam and crunchy peanut butter that's studded with small nuts. As with everything at Joan's, the ingredients are deployed in the perfect amount and to the perfect degree. Even the crusts have even been cut off.

Should you shell out $6.50 for a PB&J? Up to you. Joan's version of this sandwich combines salty, crunchy, chewy and sweet, allowing even the most harried of adults to rediscover, and possibly fall back in love with, the simplest of childhood culinary pleasures.


Elina Shatkin is a staff writer at LA Weekly. Follow her at @elinashatkin or contact her at eshatkin@laweekly.com.

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