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Restaurants & Bars 5

NEXT DOOR by JOSIE - Santa Monica

falkfood | Mar 23, 201211:21 AM

Dined there last night with my wife. Although 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.). Don't we all get enough screen time? And if you want to follow March Madness, The Daily Pint is two blocks away.

We arrived at 7:15p, and it was packed. No rezzies, so we were told it would be a 25 minute wait. Grabbed a drink at the bar (bar tender was a bit overwhelmed), and were seated within 10 minutes, but who's counting.

We had a lot of little plates. The highlights were the deviled egg with duck "cracklings" and the duck confit version of a Banh mi sandwich. Delicious. Seasonal veggies in a broth and baby kale salad were ho hum (still trying to find the perfect kale salad), the "booze-cured" salmon had not even a whiff of its curing. Basically lox, capers, cream cheese. Flavorful and satisfying, but if you're going to provide a dish description with a big wink like "booze cured" you had better deliver something memorable. We had three cheeses, all cow. Presentation (with fig, a single date, toasts) pretty standard, as were the cheeses.

Decor is better than average. A bit loud, but table spacing is good (a big pet peeve with me), and by 8:30 the place was starting to empty (ah, LA) and it got much quieter. If you can stand to wait until 8:30 or 9 to eat, it's the perfect time at Next Door.

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