A driving force in the Los Angeles culinary scene, Suzanne Tracht has built JAR into one of the most beloved and successful restaurants in Los Angeles. Drawing inspiration from classic American comfort cuisine, JAR is a pilgrimage for passionate eaters and wine lovers from across the country. Opening in 2001 with the help of her longtime Chef de Cuisine Preech Narkthong, Tracht's modern American chophouse continues to receive acclaim for its atmospheric setting and exceptional steaks, braises, and seasonal sides—including her sumptuous signature pot roast, which along with her char siu pork has been cited by culinary heavyweights on the Food Network’s popular series The Best Thing I Ever Ate as worthy of the show’s title.
With its retro-modern décor, and evoking the aura of a timeless supper club, JAR has become an indelible part of the city’s culture, even starring as a memorable location in the Academy Award-winning classic La La Land during a pivotal dramatic moment. Utilizing the finest local ingredients, Chef Tracht delights in taking classic chophouse dishes—deviled eggs, blue cheese wedge salad, and prime steaks—and updating them with a California sensibility. “Steakhouses typically don’t base their menus on the season, but the backbone of our dishes at JAR is that we source everything,” says Tracht. The season-driven menu offers appetizers and salads, with an emphasis on braises, grilled meats, and seafood, supplemented by an array of sides and traditional sauces. During the holidays, JAR’s beloved Passover Seder and Thanksgiving dinners have earned ritual status among faithful patrons.
Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Tracht apprenticed under mentor Chef Siegbert Wendler at the historic Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa before relocating to Southern California to work in the kitchen of the prestigious Hotel Bel-Air. In 1992, she became chef de cuisine at Nancy Silverton and Mark Peel’s famed Campanile, then embarked on her first solo venture as executive chef at the Cal-Asian restaurant Jozu, which ranked number two for “L.A.’s Best New Restaurants” in Los Angeles magazine. Soon after she branched out on her own with the steakhouse concept JAR, Food & Wine named her among its Best New Chefs.
The widespread praise for JAR over the years includes acclaim from the late Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly restaurant critic Jonathan Gold, who gave JAR a coveted spot on his “101 Best Restaurants in LA” list every year since its inception. “Tracht’s gift lies in her ability to reproduce the old tastes within a modern context,” wrote Mr. Gold, “so that the sautéed pea tendrils with garlic make as much sense as the creamed spinach, the duck-fried rice as the mashed potatoes, and the char siu-style pork chop as the prime filet mignon.” Other accolades include Los Angeles Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Bon Appétit, Saveur, Food & Wine, Gourmet, Los Angeles Confidential, Angeleno, Haute Living, Elle, InStyle, Zagat, and Eater.
Chef Tracht, whose many television appearances include Top Chef Masters, Hell’s Kitchen, Today, Entertainment Tonight and countless cooking shows, continually donates her time to charitable organizations and events. Her generosity of spirit has been recognized by some of the region’s most prominent organizations, including SOVA (a community food and resources program of Jewish Family Service of LA), C-Cap (Careers Through Culinary Arts Program), LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade, Project Angel Food, No Kid Hungry, and Cedars-Sinai Women’s Heart Center. Suzanne has received peer recognition for her work, participated in Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women Summit, and has cooked multiple times at the prestigious James Beard House.