Next Door By Josie
2420 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, 90405
Follow NDBJ on Facebook
Type: Bar, Restaurant
Category: Lunch, Dinner, Bar food
Company: Friends, Dates, Co-Workers, Business
Cost: Snacks start at $4, Charcuterie at $5, Sandwiches at $9, and Big Plates at $18
Quickie: Open for Lunch Tues-Fri and Dinner Tues-Sunday. Like Bay Cities Deli, closed on Mondays!
OTC Tip: The stools at the charcuterie bar are the best in the house.
So your parents are in town and you want to take them to a place that demonstrates the SoCal highlight toward small plates, seasonally pivoted menus, easy yet classy decor, and in typical "parentally hip" fashion - without loud music so everyone can hear themselves think (and each other talk) - then this is the place for y'all.
OTC Tip: NDBJ doesn't take reservations - but just coming down from recently summiting the hype and buzz of inception, we had no problem snagging seats at the bar upon a 7:15pm arrival on a Friday night.
Without hesitation, we ordered drinks (a dirty dirty martini for me) and a charcuterie/cheese plate (goat's milk cheese, cheddar, and a brie along with two salumi whose names escape me). Accompanied with little toasts (raisin walnut, brioche, and french), dabs of honey, kumquat, fig and dates - we were set to meander through the rest of the menu.
|Beer & Bacon Caramel Corn|
OTC Tip: The best part about the style of NDBJ's menu is that it gives you (and your party) the option to truly design your own meal adventure. Want the traditional "appetizer-main-dessert" route? Feeling a combination of small plates? Or, perhaps, a few snacks and mains to share? Have at it - at NDBJ there is a culinary trail for every size, taste, and appetite. My next meal at NDJB is going to be the pork belly rillettes, the baby kale, and maybe that hot dog smothered in game chili.
For dinner, we shared the Beer & Bacon Caramel Corn ("yes, it's that good") followed by the 'Remi' Goat Cheese and Tomato Brulee and the Sloppy Roast Pork Sandwich (with extra aioli for me). Dessert was the Peach Cobbler topped with Vanilla Ice Cream. Highlights were, of course, the Caramel corn ("are those little bits of bacon in that crunchy caramel??") and the Sloppy Roast Pork Sandwich (porky, melty, and garlicky-rich. The edge, of course, is occupied by the fried rapini - "never say 'no' to fried rapini!").
|Sloppy Roast Pork Sandwich|
As expected, NDBJ was nearly empty by the time we slid from our chairs (around 9:30) which totally thrilled me. Since it's my favorite time of the dance - when just a few patrons remain and you can actually see the decor, feel the ambiance, and watch the chefs and staff take off their hats and relax in to finishing off another night's service - I soaked up the moment. And if you need any more reason to "close" a restaurant, I've found that most memorable happenings take place at this hour - and this whirl around we (shhh) got to taste the house-made fritos. Cheers! Thanks for a great night.