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No diss intended re Chez Jay

November 16, 2010 |  2:29 pm


Last week's review of the Yard in Santa Monica provoked a slew of testy comments -- not about the Yard, but regarding my comment that Chez Jay, one of Santa Monica's last surviving dives, just isn't the same. Not so, my correspondents e-mailed. "You're right the place has changed -- it's way better, thanks to Mike [Anderson] and his great staff," wrote one. "As a 25-year customer, I can attest to the fact that Chez Jay is still a great 'dive,'" another insisted, "and if it is not the same since Jay's death, as you point out, you should also mention it's undeniably better."  

Every dive should have such die-hard and loyal fans. Makes me want to go back again just to revel in the vibe of the 44-year-old-plus restaurant half a block south of the Santa Monica Pier. With its longtime crew, Chez Jay is Santa Monica's equivalent of the beloved neighborhood pub. Hope that wherever he is, the late Jay Fiondella is touched that Chez Jay holds such an affectionate place in his old customers' hearts. They're still hanging in there, enjoying their steak and beer. Wish he could do the same.

-- S. Irene Virbila

Photo: Owner Jay Fiondella at Chez Jay in 1984. Credit: Samuel Mircovich / Los Angeles Times