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Downtown’s New Southern Dinner Spot Crafts a Coastal American Tale

Joyce, from former Preux & Proper chef Sammy Monsour, promises seafood towers, hushpuppies, and a sense of the breezy bays and inlets of the American South

A top-down look at an icey platter of seafood and shellfish, with caviar, from a new restaurant named Joyce in Los Angeles.
A seafood platter from Joyce in Downtown Los Angeles.
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Downtown’s newest restaurant arrives today, Friday, August 11, promising a seafood-focused look at America’s coastal South. Joyce, helmed by chef Sammy Monsour (Preux & Proper), arrives with a punch of spice and a whole lot of butter, settling in nicely just up the street from Whole Foods at 770 S. Grand Avenue, formerly the home of Red Herring.

Monsour — who splits time between LA and Charleston, South Carolina — is well known to Downtown diners, having spent years earning recognition (including a Michelin bib gourmand) at his jazzy former restaurant Preux & Proper, where the eclectic chef channeled the deep flavors of New Orleans. He’s got an eye for that same Southern complexity with the new Joyce, with the kitchen shelling out dishes like crawfish hushpuppies, Nashville hot catfish, and a hickory-smoked tomahawk pork chop.

The dining room star will certainly be the raw bar platters, tipping and pitching through the room loaded with crab claws, shrimp, and lobster. There will be caviar and roe for those looking to splash some cash, and Low Country-inspired black tiger prawn and oyster perloo for those in the know. Squares of golden cornbread will hit nearly every table (arriving with the requisite amount of butter), and beverage director and co-owner Kassady Wiggins will drop cocktails and natural wine all night long. Wiggins’s menu is meant to be zero-waste, and will also include a variety of non-alcoholic drinks to boot. The opening menus are below.

A light blue and green sunny daytime interior with house plants at new LA restaurant Joyce.
The new dining room at Joyce.
Light blue walls and dark brown banquette seating at a new restaurant Joyce.
A trio of portraits by local artist Shannon Scates of Unparalleled Art.
A light tan and grey run of tables and chairs at a new restaurant in Los Angeles named Joyce.
Long banquettes and floral seats.
A light blue dining room with tan and dark brown seats inside a new restaurant Joyce in Los Angeles.
Art Deco touches and booths.

As for the space, co-owners Prince Riley and Athena Riley (along with Lauren Waters Design) have overhauled the open dining room to maximize sunlight and coastal luxury. That means woven seagrass on the walls and lots of light blonde woods and rattan finishes, with soft cloth and neutral tones throughout. There are lush touches like houseplants and printed chairs, and the Art Deco-ish design is made to give customers a relaxing, breezy feel.

The arrival of Joyce marks a welcome return for Monsour, and comes as Downtown continues to wind back from the darkest days of the pandemic. New hotels and restaurants are coming online all the time, while elsewhere in Los Angeles both Southern food and seafood at large have begun to see even more shine than usual. The famous Found Oyster team has its own Charleston-inspired restaurant in Queen St., while others like Loreto in Frogtown and the roving Little Anchor truck put their own LA spins on ceviches and lobster rolls, respectively. The new Joyce opens today at 770 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90017, with daily hours from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., extending to midnight on Friday and Saturday. Reservations can be made via OpenTable.

Large circular booths with wooden tables and tall windows at daytime.
A vertical close up shot of a couch-style seating with plush accents at new restaurant Joyce.
Tan and light blue seats with wooden tables at a new restaurant named Joyce in Los Angeles.
A wide shot of a bar and lounge area with slate floors at new restaurant Joyce in LA at daytime.

A small lounge area near the bar seats.

Red tile, yellow walls, and steel kitchen touches inside a new restaurant in Los Angeles named Joyce.
The large L-shaped bar.
Off-white marble tables and peach seats at a new daytime patio restaurant named Joyce in Los Angeles.
Patio seating out front.
Tall wooden sticks showing names of raw seafood items, backed by a kitchen, at new restaurant Joyce.
An ice container with a carafe of martini and side accoutrement plus caviar on a white spoon at the new Joyce.
Mother of Pearl martini with roasted oyster shell Grey Goose and a caviar bump and an oyster.
A two-tier black ice tray filled with seafood and side fried items on a wooden plate at new restaurant Joyce.
The Gator Wiggins platter with oysters, shrimp cocktail, crab claws, lobster tails, mussels, caviar, and more.
A toasted square of orange-yellow cornbread on a white and pink plate against a wooden table at new restaurant Joyce.
Edisto Island cornbread with whipped sorghum butter and hickory-smoked salt.
A rectangle of raw fish over fruit on a round white plate and wooden table at new restaurant Joyce.
Cobia crudo with peaches, buttermilk, pecans, and basil.
A foamy dark blue drink on the corner of a wooden table at new restaurant Joyce.
Hootie Hoo with Tequila, passionfruit, lime, and blue algae.
A light yellow cocktail with red cubes shown close up on a wooden table corner at new restaurant Joyce in LA.
Punk Evans with gin, lemongrass ginger syrup, lime, and watermelon ice cubes.
Shavings of cured meat on a round plate with toppings, a side of burrata cheese, and bread at new restaurant Joyce.
House-aged Cajun coppa with burrata, muffuletta relish, and grilled baguette.
Wide slices of pork chop in a brown sauce with green tomato chow chow at new restaurant Joyce in LA.
A 20-ounce hickory-smoked pork chop with grits, green tomato chow chow, and redeye pork neck jus.
Four people, co-owners of a restaurant, stand side by side with smiles at the opening of Joyce in LA.
Sammy Monsour, Kassady Wiggins, Athena Riley, Prince Riley.


770 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90017 Visit Website
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