No. 51: Josie

Santa Monica

Dried cornstalks in vases, randomly hung prints on walls the color of camel hair—at Josie you might think you’re in someone’s very civilized dining room, but it’s the setting for Josie Le Balch’s evolved California-bistro fare. The fresh snap of Kentucky Blue Lake green beans charges the “campfire” trout; the scent of preserved lemon drifts across the room from a Moroccan tagine. In dishes such as baked pear and Stilton salad, wood-roasted bacon-wrapped quail, and Brittany salt-crusted chicken breast, Le Balch doesn’t so much rediscover the classics as she reenergizes them.  

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