Little Door, Wilshire, Grace, Palate Food&Wine, or Josie?
I have been to four of the five choices you have up there -- Little Door, Grace, Palate and Josie.
Grace and Josie both have excellent food. The ambiance at Grace is more elegant and sedated. Josie also has a pleasant atmosphere, which is a little bit more relaxed in nature. Both of these would be a good choice for a nice dinner.
Little Door would be my choice if what I wanted was a romantic setting over food. It's a beautiful space, but personally I find the food there to be overpriced for the quality.
I just went to Palate last week for the first time, and I would have to recommend this over the other choices. Both the food and service were EXCELLENT, and it has a really great vibe going on. In terms of food options, it's a little less traditional -- it's mainly small plates akin to the menu at AOC. Although the price for each dish is fair, given that you end up ordering a number of different plates, it can be pricey -- we ended up spending $80 per person ($240 for 3 people, including tax/tip) -- we had 6 plates and a cheese plate, and 3 different kinds of wine, but I absolutely loved my meal there.
Putting to the side that there are five choices in your final four, and that I have only been to four of them, my recommendation from among those choices is Josie for the best food and the best combination of food and ambiance. Wilshire has a lovely ambiance if you eat outside but I am not as thrilled with the new chef and am sorely disappointed that the wonderful pastry/ice cream chef has moved on. Dining outside at Little Door offers a similar ambiance to Wilshire but just fair food. Grace is a restaurant I always want to love but somehow don't.
i can only comment on two - grace and little door.
little door's greatest aspect is its scenery and setting. highly romantic and a very chill variety of fine dining, it is a great great date spot. the food is great too. it is not particularly complex, but satisfying. it was not original, but rather very good classically french cooking.
grace, on the other hand, seemed to lack in each category. the food was good, not great. the service was lackadaisical. the setting and mood over-lit and stuffy. i would not classify it as a bad experience, but would not return again if it were going on my credit card. lastly, i went with my girlfriend and if it lacked one thing entirely it was romance.
and if i can make one suggestion; sona. it is slightly more expensive than little door, but not much more than grace. the service perfect, the food original and magnificent, the wine list deep and expansive and the mood romantic.
I can only comment on three: Wilshire, Grace & Josie. Haven't been to Josie in a while (1 1/2 yrs?) but we always have had a reliable meal there, and we love the room.
Wilshire is fun, sexy, and we've had really good food there, when Warren was the chef. Haven't been in 6 mos or so, but have heard they do a bbq night for the summer and are trying to be more casual. But it does have a great patio.
We went to Grace for my mother's day dinner for the first time this year. Been meaning to go for at least 3. Anyway, we liked the room but have seen better elsewhere, food was very good, but not outstanding or memorable. Service was a little, um distracted? Not sure if I'd go all the way back, when there's so many fun places out there.
Depends what you're looking for:
If you want drama and sexy fun, try Beso, Republic or Ortolan on 3rd in mid city (best food).
If you're a foodie and want an experience, do the tasting menu at Providence.
If you want to go to the trendy, do Osteria or Pizzeria Mozza.
If you want chic, upscale, beautiful people & really good food, try Whist at the Viceroy or Wilshire, to a lesser degree.
Any of the above places are fun!