i do think it's good that they are committed now to changing the culture of their restaurant. i only wish they could more fully and openly own what it was before and what their own part in it had been. without that step it risks turning into another form of self-aggrandizement.
I guess the context that I am trying to convey is that it doesn’t seem to me to be the case that they are avoiding these issues, Bon Appetite notwithstanding. I just heard them on the David Chang podcast and they spent some time talking about physically abusive and macho kitchens and their complacency in that. That didn’t make Bon Appetite either but they weren’t trying to hide the ball or self aggrandize on the show.
I don’t know if the environment at Joe Beef was better or worse than its contemporaries, but it does seem, when you look at the totality of it, they have been more open and honest about things than most, and realized what they represented, but also not made a show of atonement or apology (yes, the Bon Appetite piece on addiction, but there is a more charitable reading that opening up the piece to a discussion violence and sexual harassment would have veered towards excuse making).
It seems to me that they have handled it well - not perfectly - and have at least been relatively transparent (as far as we can tell at least) which means that you will know when you go there that it has not been a great work environment at times, but also it means that you know that, which is better than you can say for other places.