Step into a little bit France in Downtown Los Angeles and take in this beautiful multi-level space complete with a lovely grand staircase. This restaurant feels decidedly French without trying to hard…just ignore the Eiffel Tower motifs. Despite the huge dining space, there is enough intimacy at each table appropriate for a date. velvet chairs at these small round tables–reminiscent of a lounge or café in Paris–and adorned with a single long-stemmed rose lit by candle light. The music was refreshingly not Edith Piaf–I love her, but it would have been too cliché. I wasn’t paying attention to the music at first, to be honest, but then I heard the wonderful piano melody from Yann Tiersen’s Comptine d`un autre ete – l`apres-midi. It pulled me away from the food and conversation and then I noticed the DJ responsible for the music selection. My mind was transported and just wanted to sit there and people watch.
If the music and space prove insufficient to transport you to France, I assure you the food will. Excited for the meal, I started with their Lanson Black Label N/V Champagne as they brought the amuse bouche. The next item were wild Burgundy escargots dressed in garlic, parsley, and butter. The texture of the escargot was great and the butter mixture was pure heaven. I couldn’t help but use the bread to soak up the remaining butter after all the escargots were gone. These were beautifully paired with a 2015 Domaine des Brousses Sancerre
With no more bread or buttery deliciousness left to soak up, it was time to order a a 2013 Jean Royer, Chateauneuf du Pape–a nice wine in expectation of what was to come. We ordered the roasted beef prime rib and bone marrow medium because my friend won’t indulge in my rare preferences; however, our prime rib was brought tableside to be sliced and it was delightfully undercooked (so French!). Our server took my friend’s portion back to the kitchen to cook it just a little longer, so it worked out for both of us. To accompany the meet, three sauces were brought out: pepper, bearnaise, and blue cheese. All were good, but I will always have a preference for anything pepper and this sauce was pure deliciousness. Potato gratin and green beans were served as sides.
Desserts were the molten chocolate lava cake with salted butter caramel sauce and the crepes Suzzette flambéd with Grand-Marnier. Both desserts were delicious, but if I had to pick one I would go for the flambéed crepes as they had the more unique and delicious flavor. The only drawback is that they were the least photogenic of the two.
After concluding our dinner we were invited to explore the upstairs areas. These areas are utilized for busier weekend nights and are also available for special occasions. All in all, this was a wonderful dinner experience and I hope to return soon to see what their menus and ambience are like during the earlier hours of the day. For now, I know were to find a little bit of Paris next time I suffer from a small case of wanderlust.