Next Door by Josie


Photograph by Jessica Boone

Thank goodness, we can now munch Josie Le Balch’s acclaimed California cuisine in our blue jeans. The flickering flat screens above the bar make it easy to distinguish the chef’s pubby spot from Josie, her adjacent fine-dining establishment. The menu is divided into small snacks, bigger snacks, soups and sandwiches, and entrées, with American charcuterie and cheese offerings somewhere in the middle. Deviled eggs get a crown of crispy duck skin and pickled beets, and just about every table sports a bucket of beer-and-bacon caramel corn. Wild game chili comes with house-made “Fritos” or an all-beef gourmet hot dog. The fillings in the farmers’ market vegetable potpie will change with the season; we hope the white cheddar crust does not. Beer and cocktails receive as much attention as wine—the full Josie list is available on request. We see ourselves settling onto the bar stools here often. » 2420 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica (310-581-4201 or L Tue.-Fri.; D Tue.-Sun. Full bar. New American  $$