I met a friend for lunch today at Saint Amour. I was looking forward to it, having always loved Angelique Cafe in downtown back when the people who run the new Culver City restaurant ran that.
The place is very nicely put together, comfortable - if rather loud when crowded for an easy conversation. The prices are quite reasonable by French bistro standards.
I had salade nicoise and it was very good. It might have been a wee bit overdressed and could have used just a bit more potato, olive and green beans, but I liked it. I especially liked the white anchovies, which most places don't use. The tuna was good, cooked rare like I like it, and neither too little or too much.
My friend ordered a chicken salad sandwich. We were a little concerned that it might come on the same bread as was in the bread basket on the table. It wasn't that it tasted bad, it was good bread. But, it was incredibly tough and chewy - almost tooth breaking tough and chewy.
Of course, that's the bread her sandwich came on. She valiantly tried to eat the first half, but every time she'd manage to wrestle a bite out of the sandwich, a bunch of the chicken salad would squirt out the other end. She gave up on the second half and scraped the chicken salad out of the sandwich and ate it with a fork. The chicken salad itself was tasty, though with rather too much mint for my liking.
I'm in my 50s and my teeth are, admittedly, somewhat worn down. My friend, however, is 30 and has sharp, efficient, strong young teeth.
I'll gladly return to Saint Amour, but I'm not going to order a sandwich unless it comes on some other bread.