There are so many better writers on this board that I usually feel I don't ahve much to contribute to the discussion. However, I have to say that I really loved Bistro De La Gare in South Pasadena, across the street from Firefly. Thanks to Will Owen (I think) for letting us know about it.
The portions are huge and food is really well-priced. Baguette slices were brought out. Chewy crust and light center. Wonderful. I started with the pate plate. According to the waiter, it was "small", I think he must have thought I was used to eating at the Cheesecake Factory because it was four 1/2" slices of very good rough, not smooth pate with a nice bed of greens in the center and four toasted, butter baguette slices. I was rather full just from the starter. P started with 1/2 dozen snails. In my opinion, there's nothing not to like about a stick of butter and a head of garlic.
I ordered the Loup De Mer, which was well done, if a bit salty and a huge portion I couldn't finish. The highlight of our meal, though, was P's entrecote. The best entrecote we ever had was a small bistro in Montreal. The steak was beefy and exactly medium-rare. The sauce was amazing but a bit parsimoniously dribbled out. We asked for extra sauce, which they accomodated and that kicked up the dish to once a week must have rather than once a month must have.
Dessert was the apple tart. I was too full to have more than a few bites, not that P would let me eat much anyway but the pastry was perfectly crisp and buttery.
By the way, there is no corkage from now until 1/1/06, at which time they said they would reconsider their policy. Total came to approx. $77, with gassy water, 2 apps, 2 entrees, and 1 dessert.
Bistro de la Gare
921 Meridian Avenue
South Pasadena, CA 91030.
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