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Josie or Grace

There will be 6 people for dinner to celebrate a special occasion. I think I've narrowed down the choice to either Josie or Grace, but would love help deciding which to go to. My husband and I look for great food, with an interesting menu (the kind where it's tough deciding what to order), and top service. Atmosphere is also important. We don't get a chance to go out to this type of meal that often, so I want to make a great choice where the food can't miss. The other couples are family. One couple could be described as "foodie" or "gourmet" and enjoy eating at top restaurants around the world. They enjoy 4-5 hour tasting menus and fine wines. The other couple is more basic food choice type people, not very adventurous. I am selecting the restaurant. The more conservative food people will be paying for the meal. These restaurants are probably the top dollar amount I can go in selecting a restaurant. A few other places had interesting menus and great ratings for food, but seem to trendy, crowded, or loud for this group.

Thank you for your input!

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  1. Food-wise, I give the edge to Josie; on atmosphere, Grace pulls slightly ahead. Me, I generally let the better food be my guide. That having been said, Josie offers a fair bit of game on the menu (one of the things I love about it) so that might affect the conservative couple's perception. Jar and Lucques are also worth considering for your purposes, though Jar can get noisy.

    1. I am trying to pick someplace I haven't been, which eliminates both Lucques and Jar. Any other votes as to Grace or Josie?

      1 Reply
      1. re: jeanbert

        Hatfields might be another option, yet it is a smallish place, white walls, done in SF bistro kind of way, with food that is wonderful, yet the menu is also smallish, so you might look on the link to see if it might be of interest. It is just a couple of blocks from Grace.
        www.hatfieldsrestaurant.com

      2. You really can't go wrong with either...both are excellent. But I would actually give the edge to Grace, both on food and atmosphere. And Grace tends to have game as well (the wild boar is excellent), so I think conservativeness is a wash. But since both are great choices, you might just look at both of their menus online and pick whichever appeals to you more.

        1. Both are great options, but if given the choice, I'd always pick Josie.

          1. I've been to Grace twice and Josie once and would pick Grace. I found Josie to be very good, but less than amazing. I was really impressed with Grace.

            1. If you can schedule your dinner for Wednesday, I would go to Grace. If I remember correctly, that is when they have their special donuts. They are made fresh and are amazing.

              Don't be put off by their strange flavors like White Chocolate and Olive Oil. The donuts are AMAZING.

              1. You may want to call Grace, drove by a couple nights ago and it looked like maybe it was closed for redecorating.

                2 Replies
                1. re: PinotPlease

                  they're closed for leakage repairs, but supposed to reopen tomorrow [jan 15th].

                  http://la.eater.com/archives/2008/01/...

                  i've never been to grace, but josie is one of my all-time favorite places. you can never go wrong with a special occasion meal there. i recently took a friend for her birthday, and we were agonizing over what to order because there were too many things we wanted.

                  1. re: PinotPlease

                    Isn't "redecorating" a euphemism for a bad health grade? My guess is that the "redecorating" project takes about 2 -4 days.

                  2. both are great choices but I think Grace by a nose. I think the food is a bit better and it's more elegant. I find Josie homey, which is nice but for this dinner elegant sounds like a more apt option. And as many wise Chowhounds have already pointed out - do NOT miss those donuts!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: cheesenun

                      "Homey"?! That's definitely not the word I would use to describe Josie. "Homey" sounds like a mom-and-pop, casual diner.

                      Josie's room is classically elegant, yet understated and represents fine dining all the way.

                      1. re: vinosnob

                        I didn't mean to lead anyone in the wrong direction with my use of "homey"...I find homey to be comforting, warm, reminding me of my home or childhood home which I do think of when I'm at Josie. It's not like I said homely and if I wanted to say mom and pop (which can be quite fantastic if appropriate) I would have. Clearly Snob...I mean Vinosnob...and I are from very different places

                    2. The night is a Saturday, so it won't be Wednesday donut night. It seems the chow hounds are fairly split on this one. Not helping make my decision any easier. I have reservations at Grace at 7:30 and at Josie at 8:15, so perhaps I'll just base the decision on better time. Although it seems wrong to pick for that reason. I really appreciate all the input. Any other input on these two places is welcome, of course.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: jeanbert

                        maybe i can help nudge you in favor of josie. they have a great wine list...and a lovely fireplace - ask if you can be seated nearby.

                        1. re: jeanbert

                          I love both. I'd say that if the more conservative couple is paying, maybe go with Josie -- the food and atmosphere are slightly more conservative (but by no means boring -- you'll all have a wonderful meal).

                        2. Josie, Josie, Josie!!!

                          1. I find the layout at Josie to be rotten. You step in and you are ON TOP of diners, the kitchen and the hostess station at once! Then they send you alllll the way back past all the diners to this lovely little room to wait for your table, then alllll the way back into the dining room - the best room in the place is the back - but that's the bar area... the location is also odd - it could be a Dry Cleaners from the look of the outside of the place. THAT SAID - the food is very good and the service is as well - they should flip the rooms, though - that first impression at the front ruined it for me.