The hottest restaurant in town is invariably the newest. The reservations line was jammed even before the kitchen had a working stove. Such restaurants sizzle for a while--then, more often than not, they burn out. But others manage to endure after the hype ends. The truly great ones may even take a few years to reach their peak; they just keep turning out excellent food night after night, year in and year out, with or without the benefit of buzz. Here are the stories of a few of our favorite survivors.
Joe's (1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; 310-399-5811)
THEN Some chefs hire consultants to help them develop trendy menus. Others simply go about the business of cooking, the way Joe Miller did when he opened his unassuming place on funky Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice eight years ago: He just stayed in the kitchen--preparing the most sophisticated kind of comfort food.