December 9, 2021 Your Source for Brentwood News

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

Activists Respond to Potential Tree Removal at Palisades Recreation Center.

December 7, 2021

December 7, 2021

Resilient Palisades president comments on the potential removal of two mature eucalyptus tress from the Palisades Recreation Center. Video brought...

Person Attacked During Possible Robbery Outside Brentwood Hotel

December 6, 2021

December 6, 2021

Monday morning incident remains under investigation By Sam Catanzaro Police are investigating an attack outside a Brentwood hotel which left...

LA City Clerk Confirms Bonin Recall Petition Headed to Verification Stage

December 6, 2021

December 6, 2021

City Clerk has until January 2, 2022 to verify signatures  By Sam Catanzaro The Los Angeles City Clerk has confirmed...

LAUSD Parents Protest Vaccine Mandate: Brentwood Beat – December 6, 2021

December 6, 2021

December 6, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 Minutes.* LAUSD Parents Protest Vaccine Mandate* Increased Security After Unfounded Social Media Threats...

Holiday Festivities at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

December 4, 2021

December 4, 2021

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel brings the magic of the season to life with festivities for the entire family, from...

Developer Donates $1 Million to Support Housing Development at the West Los Angeles VA Campus

December 3, 2021

December 3, 2021

Pledge includes a $500,000 monetary donation and $500,000 in pro bono work By Staff Writer Hudson Pacific Properties, Inc. has...

Craig Greiwe Announces Run for Mayor

December 3, 2021

December 3, 2021

In recent months, Craig Greiwe, a public relations and strategy executive, has been building a grassroots movement called RiseTogether.LA. Rise...

Wardrobe Stylist Partners With Vince. To Deliver Free Holiday Styling Event for Men

December 2, 2021

December 2, 2021

Dress to impress this season with a custom look from Brandi Titkos x Vince. By Susan Payne Menswear wardrobe consultant...

Enforcement of COVID Vaccine Mandate Begins for Los Angeles Business Owners

December 2, 2021

December 2, 2021

Fines of up to $5,000 now in effect By Dolores Quintana Enforcement of the SafePass Ordinance in Los Angeles began...

Brentwood-area Sushi Restaurant Closed for Good

December 1, 2021

December 1, 2021

Westside Dining Scene December 2, 2021 By Dolores Quintana Kimuya Sushi and Sports Bar in Santa Monica is no more...

LAFD Rescue Mountain Biker in Remote Section of Mandeville Canyon

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

LAFD crews hoisted a mountain biker to safety in a remote section of Mandeville Canyon over the weekend.  According to...

Karen Bass Comes to Brentwood

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

By Jeff Hall Tom Safran held another one of his fabulous backyard fundraising get-togethers recently for Congresswoman Karen Bass. Bass...

Anti-Semetic Flyers Appear In Beverly Hills Neighborhood: Brentwood Beat – November 30, 2021

November 29, 2021

November 29, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 Minutes.* Anti-Semetic Flyers Appear In Beverly Hills Neighborhood* Will Broxton Avenue Become A...

Acclaimed Brentwood Restaurant Will Soon Offer Brunch

November 23, 2021

November 23, 2021

A.O.C. to offer brunch menu soon By Dolores Quintana A popular Brentwood restaurant will soon be offering a brunch menu. ...