Whenever I go to Per Se I come away comparing it to all the other top-rated restaurants I’ve been too. Although I think the staff is wonderful, and the restaurant is beautiful and beautifully situated, I can’t convince myself that the food lives up to expectations. It’s all beautiful, but there are no home runs.
In its favor, it has perhaps the best selection of half bottles of wine I’ve seen anywhere, so you can put together an amazing tasting to match your meal. But I think you’ll find that the food doesn’t live up to the wines.
On this latest visit, the best course was the quail, and the most forgettable was a completely mundane lamb chop.
The desserts were the best. Usually when a restaurant fills the table with a half dozen small desserts, many of them are misses; but at Per Se each dessert deserved to be there, and provided a lovely variety to end the meal.
If you’re looking for a sophisticated experience with great service and a beautiful view, and if cost is no object, the Per Se is a great choice. If you’re looking for the best food in the city, this is not it.
l’Atelier is one of my favorite restaurants around the world, so I always try to visit when I’m in a city that has one. However on this Monday night only Le Grill was open, so we decided to try it, and we were glad we did.
Le Grill offers a relaxed environment, a reasonably priced and very interesting menu, and an excellent wine list. Service is as perfect as at all of Joel Robuchon’s restaurants, professional, yet never stuffy. It’s wonderful to have such an excellent meal experience without it having to be a production number.
Sorry, there’s only one rib left for you. We fell on the rest like hungry wolves.
Trio of ice creams and bombe
**** (4 stars)
This popular cafe serves good food with a bit of a French influence to some dishes.
We started with four appetizers. The one we absolutely loved was the Sticky Asian Pork Ribs, which were coated in a wonderful soy-infused teriyaki sauce. Popcorn Cauliflower was also very good, especially dipped in the leftover rib sauce! Warm Brussels Sprout Caesar and Roasted Broccoli and Grilled (cold) Shrimp were both just okay.
Everyone also liked their entrees, which included the Steak Frites, Salmon, and a Cheeseburger.
For dessert we had a housemade ice cream trio and a Chocolate Bombe, both of which were also good.
The wine list is a bit obscure, but we found some interesting selections, and prices are reasonable.
It’s sad that so few of the old school restaurants are left in Los Angeles. Taix is one of those great holdouts that harken back to the days of traditional French recipes in comfortably posh surroundings.
The restaurant is divided into a number of rooms, from a dark, clubby bar to an elegant high-ceilinged dining room.
Recipes are traditional and represent excellent examples of classic French cuisine: country style pate, escargot, tarragon cream sauce on your fish.
The highlight for me is the wine list, which offers a nice selection of domestic and international wines at the lowest prices in town. Most are at or near retail. What other restaurant offers a half bottle for $14? That’s less than the price of a glass at most places. If for nothing else this is a great reason to visit Taix!
The bar here offers a delightful intimate atmosphere, with live piano music in the evenings, and a nice outside dining area with heaters. The menu is arranged from tinest to largest “small plates” with a wide variety of nibbles to something enough for a full dinner.
There is a small assortment of wines by the glass, and a lot of spirits.
There are three Bouchons at this location and Google maps, for one, is very confused about that. The Bouchon Bakery is a counter serve and Bar Bouchon offers downstairs patio seating on the park. But the real Bouchon is upstairs, and offers a brasserie-like atmosphere plus outdoor balcony seating.
The menu is similar to Las Vegas, but not to Santa Barbara. A bouchon is a cafe typical in Lyon that focuses on meat-based dishes, and that is the case here. The French classics are all exceptionally well prepared, from mussels to onion soup, pate to salade Lyonnaise.
As is typical in France, the meal begins with bread served on the paper table covering. Be sure to order something to use the wonderful pot of mustard on; there’s nothing like pate and genuine Dijon on fresh crusty French bread.
Service is professional yet friendly.
This is actually one of my favorite of Keller’s restaurants. I even like it better than Per Se. The only negative is that the room has no acoustic treatment at all, and even when half empty it is very loud.