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Looking for a lively dining experience with great food.

Likes: Diverse menus with a good mix of meat & seafood entrees. Strong appetizers, often in place of entrees if they are good enough. Good wines by the glass & bottle.

Good experiences at: Luques, Animal, Tasca, Wilson, Jiraffe, Hungry Cat

Did not enjoy: Fraiche, AOC, Providence, Melisse, Beacon

Thanks for the tips.

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    1. Sorry to add to the confusion - I always enjoy Josie. (1 to 1 tie so far!)

      1. Josie ranks in the top three of my favorite restaurants in LA. The service is spot-on and the food is amazing.

        You mentioned that you want "a lively dining experience" and I don't think of Josie in that way. To me, it's more romantic, slightly formal and mellow.

        I'm also a huge fan of Hatfield's. Creative menu and definitely more "lively" than Josie so that's my rec.

        1. Perhaps you could provide some more information -- A bit strange that you would like Lucques but dislike AOC -- same owner/chef. Did you order a la carte or tasting menu at Providence and Melisse? Was it the food or portions or prices that disappointed? Have you tried/do you like Spago, Campanile, Wilshire, Rustic Canyon, or even Nook?

          1. by your terms, i'd suggest hatfields.
            that said. i love josie too.

            i understand liking lucques over a.o.c.
            its my opinion that lucques is far better too.

            1 Reply
            1. re: modernist

              i also like lucques much better than a.o.c.

            2. i would suggest hatfield's. just was at josie. it was good, not great but definitely not lively.

              4 Replies
                1. re: vinosnob

                  had lobster bisque and the jidori chicken. my husband had th buffalo burger with foie and loved it.

                  1. re: woofer

                    Hmm, I can't imagine the lobster bisque wasn't good. The jidori chicken, as chicken dishes go, is good, but definitely the weakest entree on the menu.

                    That burger rules.

                    My favorite entree is the tagine of short ribs; insanely good.

                    1. re: vinosnob

                      I keep meaning to try the short ribs, but always end up with the Venison. Insanely good as well!

              1. Agree that Josie and Hatfield's both serve excellent food, but Hatfield's is more "lively" and innovative. (But I like restaurants on both your lists, so it's hard to get a feel of your taste based on that.)

                1 Reply
                1. re: Nicole

                  really had great meal at hatfield's. one of the best service we ever had.

                2. I like Hatfields over Josie as well. It seemed much more creative to me and tasted right on par with the better meals that I had in LA. It was last year though and I had a 3 course tasting menu if I recall correctly.. Mrs Hatfield picked out a few glasses of wine for me as my dining companion did not drink so I went with a few glasses. I would ask to sit in the main room as the patio seemed to have a distant feel. At Josie I had some game perhpas Buffalo and was not that impressed with the room nor food. I love Lucques and see your point over AOC as well. I just dont do the Sunday Supper as its a mad house there..

                  1. Both great choices but I would not consider either one to be particularly "lively." The ambience at Josie is a tad more comfortable/nicer. More choices at Josie than Hatfield's but the quality of the food is equally excellent, and the wine lists at both are good.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: New Trial

                      Really fair, accurate summary. If I was a wine collector I might make a reservation at Josie for their "corkage free" Monday sometime.

                    2. Hatfield's, hands down. Every time we've gone we've had amazing meals there.

                      1. I can see that our taste profiles might be different ( I liked Fraiche and Melisse although I totally agree about AOC from a food standpoint) but I found Josie's, although nicely executed dishes, was nothing special and borderline boring.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: rachel12

                          I completely agree with this. I last ate at Josie's at least 2 years ago, but people seem to be commenting on the same dishes I had then, so I guess the menu hasn't really changed (short ribs, burger w/ foie, jidori chicken). It was good, but not exciting then.

                        2. Thanks for the replys all! Hatfield's it is!

                          Bazaar tomorrow night, on an expense account nontheless, so I'll report back on that.