Dinned at Josie (2424 Pico Blvd., (310) 581-9888) for the first time yesterday evening, and I now understand what all the fuss is about. Wonderful, wonderful food from start to finish.
Began with a mushroom and gruyere quiche amuse, which was delicious, followed by a salad of heirloom tomatoes, roasted beets, field greens and burata. Great quality ingredients which tasted as good as they sound. For my main, I got a medium rare bone-in Kansas city steak, cooked over charcoal (the menu said mesquite, but it looked like oak), which came with a salad of greens, gorgonzola and roasted garlic and tomato, and some really nice mashed potatoes. Honestly, one of the best steaks I've eaten, cooked exactly right, and the sides complimented the meat perfectly. Also got an order of truffle fries for the table to share; honestly, if not for health and nutritional concerns, I'm pretty sure I would want every meal to include these fries. Unbelievably good, and that smell! Had the chocolate bread soufflé for dessert, and it deserves it's reputation; had I not been in public, I would have scrapped the dish clean with my fingers. All in all, one of the better meals I can remember having. I will be back pretty much as soon as I can gin up an excuse.
Other stuff -- Got a 2000 Adelsheim pinot noir and a 2001 Joseph Phelps chardonnay for the table; I drank the pinot, which was decent. (I don't drink that vile white stuff, but fwiw, my dinning companions seemed to really enjoy it.) The room is nice; I like the open kitchen, the fireplace, and the fact that one can carry on a conversation without straining to hear or be heard. Service was impeccable -- expert and attentive without being fussy or intrusive. Also, it strikes me that, in addition to having really good food, this place is a solid value. Dinner for five, before wine and tip came in around $65 per person. Also kind of cool that everyone, from the person who took our reservation, to our waiter, etc., seemed to be familiar with, and have an affection for, this board. (Sort of a symbiotic relationship as far as I'm concerned.)