Fresh off her premier LA Weekly look at Tintorera, guest critic Karen Palmer reviewed Journeymen, the California-inspired/gratuity-free restaurant from David Wilcox and Guy Tabibian. Journeymen burst out of the gates several months ago, after taking over Atwater Village favorite Canele. In this week’s review, Palmer takes the former Gjelina and Gjusta alumni to task, citing both confusion and excitement, at “a neighborhood spot that's striving for more.”
Palmer clearly roots for Journeymen’s business model, but has some issues with the execution. Journeymen has an all hands on deck service model, with employees participating in food preparation and/or service. Palmer favors the non-tipping, tax-included pricing, but finds the ballot-style check unnecessary.
Palmer admires Journeymen’s effort, acknowledging “the amount of consideration that's gone into creating the Journeymen vision. And everyone there looks as if they're having a good time, whether tucked into a banquette or gazing out the window at the characters walking by on Glendale.”
When looking at the menu, Palmer eagerly went for the house-made bread, “served charred with a caponata-esque eggplant relish with plump golden raisins and crème fraîche–consistency Liwa goat cheese or on its own with cultured butter, it's a testament to how much care and effort Journeymen can exert.”
This is a mixed, but hopeful review. Palmer ends with a bit of advice, “Ambition is a good thing, especially for a well-meaning neighborhood restaurant. But Journeymen might want to take a couple of things off.” Journeymen earns two stars out of five.