The West Loop is one of my favorite places to explore. There is no shortage of good restaurants and potential to discover a new favorite spot. When La Josie invited me in for a complimentary brunch, I was excited to add to that list. My friend Maggie and I headed down from Lakeview to try out this family-owned Mexican restaurant, making news for its 2020 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand Award.
La Josie’s motto, Hoy por tí. Mañana por mí is on the wall with neon letters. The idiom, translating to “today for you, tomorrow for me,” focuses on the sense of community and unity that cooking and dining together provides. La Josie opened in 2017 and has been developing a fan following for its yummy agave drinks, great happy hour deals, and tasty menu.
The brick interior is trendy and cozy. The restaurant also has a patio and rooftop. We decided to start with cocktails. The cocktail menu is impressively expansive. Maggie ordered the “yo soy para ti,” and I got the bright pink “la luchador.” Her cocktail had watermelon, lime, green tea, mezcal, and Ballast Point sculpin. It was fruit-forward, light, and delicious. La luchador was also fruity with ginger, raspberry, cilantro and lime. All the cocktails at La Josie are beautiful and flavorful, mixed expertly to play up the natural flavors of the liquor without tasting too strong.
If you’re brunching at La Josie, you are going to want to start with one of their amazing chips and dip options. To kick things off, we ordered the seasonal guacamole. We were immediately sold on it when told it came with roasted butternut squash. It also had pumpkin seeds and cinnamon. I wasn’t aware “fall guacamole” was a thing, but I’m in love with it. The cinnamon brought out the sweetness of the roasted squash. La Josie offers a trio of dips for $9, allowing you to pick and choose based on what you’re in the mood for.
We also decided to split an order of the chorizo queso fundido. The small cast iron came with a side of house-made tortillas, though I preferred to dip the chips from the guacamole into the cheese. The chorizo had a nice bite to it, but even if you’re not a fan of spicy foods, the cheese balanced it out so it wasn’t mouth-on-fire hot.
While we debated our main courses, we got another cocktail each, taking recommendations from the helpful staff. Maggie ordered the paloma, rimmed with hibiscus salt, which was not only a pretty pink, but also very tasty. I got the el guapo, a mezcal cocktail with jalapeño, cucumber, and aloe. It was smoky and not spicy which unfortunately was not for me. I love spicy drinks. We ended up switching, and I thoroughly enjoyed the paloma.
For our main meals, we again decided to go half and half in order to try out more dishes. This also gave us a nice mix of salty and sweet. Maggie ordered the eggs Benedict. This dish put a twist on the classic, stacking it on cornbread instead of an English muffin. The cornbread was denser and able to hold the runny yolk without getting soggy. It also had pico de gallo and smoked chile habanero hollandaise. We were both obsessed with this dish and it’s my favorite take on eggs Benedict in recent memory.
Another staff member recommended the dulce de leche toast, and spoke of it so fondly that we were both intrigued. It was a unique French toast made with condensed milk and Mexican sweet rolls. It came with fresh strawberries that brightened the flavors and prevented the meal from being cloyingly sweet. While I liked the eggs Benedict better, this was a knock out meal.
THE BITCHES SAY: Five Champagne Flutes
La Josie’s menu is full of flavorful cocktails and innovative brunch dishes. This is a tasty, intimate brunch spot that feeds your heart and soul.
La Josie serves brunch Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.