Back in 2017, 42-year-old Jerry’s Deli quietly closed in Marina Del Rey to make way for a big new restaurant eventually to be called Stark’s. The follow-up restaurant opened on Tuesday, May 21 by way of owner and general manager Graham Arnold, who left the comfy confines of Montage Resorts and Hillstone Group to venture off on his own.
After helping out at the Rustic Canyon group of restaurants, Arnold partnered with Jerry’s Deli’s Guy Starkman to open a huge all-day place in the heart of Marina del Rey that takes strong cues from the Houston’s recipe. That means a diverse but familiar menu of classic American fare from chef Dave Northrup, who was previously chef at Rush Street and City Tavern. Think deviled eggs and crab cakes to start, roasted beet salad and tuna Nicoise for mid courses, and entrees like a double-cut pork chop, cedar plank salmon, and an Impossible burger. In the evenings, the kitchen turns out a raw bar of oysters, crudo, shrimp cocktail, and lobster tails to go along with a full cocktail menu, wine, and beer.
The space is polished, suave, and grown up, with design coming from John Sofio of Built. The leather booths are sizable, good for big groups and large families. The standalone building has an immensity of a chain restaurant with over 200 seats, but with various pockets and lounges for different experiences during the day. A wraparound bar sits toward the middle for cohesion while a semi-open kitchen spills out some energy into the dining room.
Basically, Stark’s is the everything restaurant that the neighborhood doesn’t quite have, but always needed (J Nichol’s is close, but only has beer and wine instead of a full bar). In the mornings, a smaller section of the building sports a cafe-style service of Groundworks coffee, teas, smoothies, and pastries to cater to early morning locals. Menus for lunch and dinner are essentially identical save for an expanded raw bar. Oh, and since this was Jerry’s Deli, there are two notable holdovers from that menu: a huge $8 cup of matzo ball soup and a hefty corned beef and Swiss cheese sandwich called the Rachel.
Stark’s is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday to Thursday, and until 11 p.m. on weekends. The cafe starts daily at 7 a.m. and runs to 3 p.m.
Stark’s. 13181 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292. 310-437-7600.