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Joe's or Josie??

Coming to west LA from Alaska over my birthday weekend, looking forward to one sensational meal out. Looking for outstanding, innovative, interesting food with an emphasis on the fresh or seasonal, and top notch service. Atmosphere is a distant but still important third. Oh yeah and there's the wine. After reviewing menus until crosseyed, I'm leaning toward either Joe's or Josie. What's your vote? Any place you'd recommend more highly than either in the MDR/SM/Venice area?

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  1. Joe's. I've found attitude at Josie's and the menu is a bit precious/fussy for my taste. Joe's is fresh, fresh, fresh - highly recommended. Ask for an outdoor table (even though atmosphere is a low priority.)

    1. Joe's. Josie isn't particularly innovative, outstanding or interesting, imo.

      1. Couldn't disagree more with other posts. I've yet to have a great dining experience at Joe's i.e. memorable food, great service, but Josie's nails it every time.

        The fact that Josie's is true fine dining (quiet, not a LA "scene", more formal attire, focus 100% on food and service) doesn't make it stuffy, a refreshing change compared to the majority of LA restaurants that are just for show...

        1 Reply
        1. re: vinosnob

          I agree. Josie hands down. Never have had a bad meal there. Like money in the bank.

        2. I agree with everyone's responses, sort of. Honestly I don't think you can go wrong with either place. Both serve relatively unfussy California cuisine with an emphasis on fantastic farmer's market produce. Joe's is little more casual (but still definitely worthy of a special occasion), and also a little less expensive if cost is a consideration. Josie is a bit more formal in terms of the setting and service, more grown up if you will. Let me put it this way - I have wandered into Joe's on the spur of the moment on a Sunday evening, wearing a sundress and flipflops, and felt perfectly welcomed and comfortable. I wouldn't do that at Josie.

          1. If you want to blow it out bigtime money-wise, but have a top-notch experience nonetheless with great wine, might I throw in Melisse on, I believe it's 11th and Wilshire in Santa Monica. It's a big, light, almost European looking dining room, amazing fresh food, a cheese cart to die for. I'd say on the fancy scale, I agree with everyone here, Joes' would be the most casual, Josie a little more upmarket and then Melisse more than that. I like Joe's and Josie both, I'm just thinking if you wanted to do something really memorable, I don't know, for me, if either one of them would blow your mind as an entire experience.

            1 Reply
            1. re: PinotPlease

              Melisse is way toooooo starchy for most people from anywhere and especially Alaska, yet the food is good, very expensive, but to me not worth the $$$.
              Never, ever, had anything less than a very good meal at Joe's, and Josie has served me well on several occasions.
              I just feel more comfortable at Joe's.

            2. Josie. All day. Every day. Request a booth. Tell them you're coming all the way from Alaska when you make the reservation. They'll do it right. And be sure to order a side of truffle french fries.

              1. I much prefer Josie to Joe's for a special occasion meal. I actually just ate at Josie last night, and it is definitely still excellent. I only go to Joe's for brunch/lunch, which is a good value (good food for around $15 for 2 courses), and it's nice to sit outside on their lovely patio at lunchtime. But in my opinion, the quality isn't worth the price for dinner...
                food is good but not great or exciting. And I say this even though it's a little less expensive than Josie...Josie is just that much better. So my vote is, go to Josie for your big meal out, and then visit Joe's for a casual lunch on the patio while you're in town. The best of both worlds!

                1. OK. This has to be the easiest question of all time. The answer is JOSIE. Joe's is fun and quirky and all, but nowhere near the mastery and pride of Josie.

                  Joe's might be a bit more reasonably priced, but the few extra dollars is worth going to Josie.

                  I don't consider Joe's in the same league as Josie. Now... if you asked which I prefer JiRaffe or Josie? That's a tough question. Check out Jiraffe in Santa Monica.