March 21, 2009

Josie Restaurant, Santa Monica

2424 Pico Blvd. SM was all that was scribbled on the piece of paper I received for the dinner meet up. For the first time, I did not know anything about the restaurant I was headed to.

Drinks

Hemingway - 15

The drink arrived in a martini glass with sugar around the rim. Expecting a sweeter taste based on the description, the drink had more of a sour taste than expected, which could have been offset had the sugar not been encrusted on the martini glass. Not a drink I would order again.

Chamomile Tea – 3.75

Coffee – 3.50

Food

Citrus and Burrata Salad
wild arugula, Garcia Farms' Oro Blanco grapefruit, Cara Cara orange, and blood orange
18

Based on a small taste of the salad, I can say that the freshness of the arugula really stood out and the blood orange was a wonderful accompaniment. However, there was nothing special about the salad that would make me order it.

Quiche
mushroom and gruyere cheese
Complimentary

The half inch slice of quiche arrived on a bread plate as compliments of the kitchen. The quiche was light and flavorful with a nice balance of mushrooms and cheese. There was no wow factor about the quiche. I almost felt like the restaurant provided the quiche to make the diners feel better about the mediocre meal that was being served.

Truffle Fries
9

The pile of fries arrived in a dish lined with a triangular cut out of parchment paper and topped with Parmesan cheese. The fries were cooked perfectly and the ones on the top of the pile had a nice hint of truffle. However, the fries under the top layer lacked truffle flavoring. The rest tasted like ordinary fries one would find along side a burger at a chain restaurant.

Buffalo Burger and Truffle Fries
ground buffalo sirloin stuffed with Gruyère, caramelized onions and mushrooms and foie grois
28

The burger arrived in the middle of a large dish surrounded by truffle fries and two slices of tomato resting on top of some greens. When I picked up the burger, the bottom bun was extremely soggy and all I could imagine was the sogginess in my mouth. After a bite of the burger and getting the combination of the buffalo meat and foie grois, i went to burger heaven for a brief second. All the flavors complimented each other very well and the foie grois was very good and not overwhelming. Half way through the burger, I discovered the remaining of my burger was extremely under cooked. I am still trying to figure out how half of my burger can be perfectly cooked and the other half under cooked. Needless to say, the burger left a bad taste in my mouth. The Truffle fries that came with the burgers tasted much better than the side order we ordered. There is definitely an issue of consistency with the kitchen.

Pork chop
sweet potato pure, yellow carrots, cauliflower, fried rapini, quamquate (should be "Kumquate" misspelled on the online menu) and cherry sauce
36

The one inch thick slice of pork chop arrived on a square plate with all its accompaniments. The pork was our favorite dish of the night. Not only was it a good portion, but the pork was extremely juicy, perfectly cooked and with the right amount of fat. The sherry sauce was delicate and really enhanced the flavor of the pork. Everything else on the plate worked well with the pork with the exception of the kumquates which were too sour and took away from the flavors of the dish. The chef was trying to do too much with the dish and the kumquates should have been left off the plate. Great dish but not worth $36.

Molten chocolate mousse cake
with peanut butter crust, vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce and candied pralines
10

The chocolate mouse arrived in the middle of a square plate with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream to one corner and coco powder dusted on opposite edges of the plate. The only thing missing on the plate was the caramel sauce that was part of the dish, which would have tied together the ice cream and the cake. Plating mistakes like this shouldn't happen at restaurants charging these kind of prices. I would rename the dessert to chocolate mouse cake, because there was nothing molten about it. The dessert definitely had great flavor and the saltiness of the peanut butter crust was a perfect balance to the sweetness of the cake and the ice cream. I did miss the caramel sauce that was suppose to accompany this dessert. It was a tasty dessert, but not something I would go back to the restaurant for as I can find a better substitute elsewhere.

Service

The service was not up to par for the type of fine dining the restaurant it is striving to be. From the moment we stepped foot in the restaurant we were met with poor service from the hostess. When we sat down, the wait staff did not offer to take any of our coats as they had offered for other costumers. Our waiter was off in another world. He often lurked around our tabel waiting for us to decide and took off running through the dining room at one point. He had very erratic behaviors, poor manners and continually tried to upsell us even after we had said no. There was a lack of attention to detail from our waiter, the kitchen and the general staff (little things such as giving us menus stained with wine and they even gave us a dessert menu with items on it that the kitchen had pulled - this was an old copy). However, the rest of the wait staff was on point in clearing our table, providing proper silverware and serving everyone the correct dish.

Overall, I found the food to be mediocre at best for the amount of money charged and the service took away from what we did enjoy. It would take a lot for me to give this place another try. A great restaurant is really in the details and Josie fell short. There is a lot of work to be done to get this restaurant running like an actual fine dining establishment and to be able to charge the prices they do. I would take the money and spend it elsewhere.


2 out of 5 Stars

Josie
2424 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 581-9888

Parking

There is metered parking on Pico and Valet is available in the back.

Josie on Urbanspoon

4 comments:

burumun said...

I haven't been back to Josie in a long time, based on your review I wonder if it's gone downhill. When I went the food was good though not spectacular but now it seems inconsistent. Wonder if I should go back and try it again or avoid ...

Pinkfoodie said...

Hi burumun,

I would avoid. The money you'd spend at Josie could be better spent on other restaurants with consistently better food and service. Thanks for reading my blog. Means a lot!

Anonymous said...

I happen to love Josie....never had an experience like yours...

Pinkfoodie said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for reading. I'm glad you never had an experience like mine. :)