Jar is a restaurant that feels lost in time. And we don’t mean that in the essential, Old Hollywood everybody-needs-to-eat-here-at-least-once kind of way either. We mean it in the sense that Jar feels outdated, stuck in its 2001 glory days when maybe a really solid pot roast was enough to fill a dining room in this town. Now, is that pot roast still fine? Yes. Is the waitstaff lovely and attentive? Absolutely. But neither of those things answer the most important question - why go here over anywhere else?
Jar’s biggest issue starts with its vibe - there isn’t one. We’re not knocking the place for looking like the top-deck restaurant you go to on the last night of a 5-day cruise to Bermuda. We’re knocking it because that setting makes it basically indistinguishable from everywhere else. No one’s going to tell you their main dining room isn’t nice, but it feels like that restaurant your parents forced you to go once a year after Easter services as a kid. Everyone’s in work suits with airtight hair buns, chatting quietly at distant tables, and closed-mouth laughing at things like interest rates. It’s dated and uninteresting and unfortunately, that trickles down to the food as well.
The menu at Jar is entirely fine. The pot roast is their signature dish (because of course it is), and if you’re eating here, you might as well order it. They have decent sides for the table like the purple yams and a wedge salad that everyone will eat because it’s literally just iceberg lettuce and dressing. The best thing on the menu, though, is the thing that seems most out of place - the duck fried rice. It’s rich and salty and for $11, it’s a complete steal. But with a menu that’s otherwise full of things like deviled eggs and lobster cocktails and lemongrass chicken, Jar doesn’t feel traditional - it feels uninspired. Nothing is bad, but nothing is going to make you want to get up and party like it’s 1999 either.
It wouldn’t be inappropriate to take your parents here or a client who looks like they could get down with chicken cordon bleu a couple times a week, but the problem is that there are a dozen places within 10 minutes of Jar we’d still rather go for those kinds of things. Or anything. Even on Easter.
This is the best thing on the menu. We have no idea how it’s so good, but you should order one for the table and then one for yourself.
This is the worst thing on the menu simply because Jar is a place that should get mashed potatoes very right. But they don’t. These guys are way too whipped and shockingly void of taste.
You’re basically looking at a head of iceburg lettuce split into four quarters and doused with either blue cheese or thousand island dressing. If that’s what you’re in the mood for, then you will not be disappointed.
It’s their signature dish for a reason - it’s quite good. We could do without the giant cooked carrot draped on top of it, but there’s no denying the roast itself is fantastic and no knife is required.
A sweet potato isn’t exactly the most shareable item in the world, but these guys are big enough (and good enough) for the whole table to enjoy.