We had the most delightful Christmas lunch here. The place was packed, and I can see why–If we lived nearby it would become out Christmas tradition.
This is an absolutely authentic French bistro, right down to the jars of mustard on the table, and the basket of wonderfully fresh and crusty baguette slices.
We started with the Sturgeon caviar, which was served with all the proper accompaniments, including blinis, and the duck liver mousse, which was smooth and creamy, and perfect with the spicy mustard.
Both the lobster bisque and French onion soup were excellent. The bisque was a bit thinner style than usual, but just as flavorful without being so rich as to seem like a sauce. The French onion soup was one of the best I’ve had, with the perfect amount of cheese seared onto the top, and a balanced, flavorful base.
My wife enjoyed her smoked salmon carpaccio. The smoked trout wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, begin more like smoke salmon, so just keep that in mind if you are expecting a more traditional dried preparation.
Our waiter encouraged us to try his favorite creme brulee, and it was good advice. There is a layer of chocolate mousse somehow sandwiched between the nicely burnt sugar crust and the creamy creme brulee. I have no idea how they did that!
The wine list is excellent, and even more impressive is the backside of the menu, with many, many wines offered in 4 different pour sizes.
We sat outside in the patio, which was closed in and heated for the winter, and it was lovely, and quieter than the bustling interior.
All the wait staff were very efficient and friendly. Definitely a great choice for our Christmas celebration!
In addition to a nice selection of authentic pastries. The French Cafe offers crepes and sandwiches. By Alpine crepe was very generously stuffed with meats and potatoes. My companion’s tuna sandwich was served on a huge croissant, and accompanied by fries.
They also have the usual assortment of hot and cold coffees, which are well prepared and served in nice glassware.
Although you order at a counter, they bring the food to your table. There is also a nice outside eating area.
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.