Josie Restaurant, a high-end Chowhound favorite, has branched out with a slightly chiller venue called Next Door by Josie. “The flat screens above the bar earned an eye roll from the missus (and although I love sports, this is not even remotely a sports bar, so I have to agree),” says falkfood.

There are small plates aplenty, and the current verdict is mixed, ranging from pretty good to absolutely delicious. Deviled egg with duck “cracklings” is one highlight, says falkfood, as is the “delicious” banh mi sandwich with duck confit. The wild game chili (served with house-made “fritos”) and the pork sandwich are also quite good, New Trial says.

Other dishes include a merely ho-hum baby kale salad and a “pretty standard” cheese plate. The “booze-cured” salmon is flavorful and satisfying, but doesn’t have “even a whiff of its curing,” says falkfood. “Basically lox, capers, cream cheese. But if you’re going to provide a dish description with a big wink like ‘booze cured’ you had better deliver something memorable.”

The space is a little loud, but the tables are spaced to allow for comfortable conversation. The restaurant is packed during dinner, but starts to empty around 8:30. “If you can stand to wait until 8:30 or 9 to eat, it’s the perfect time at Next Door,” falkfood says.

Next Door by Josie [Westside – Beaches]
2420 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica

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