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Restaurants & Bars 2

Aimee's Bistro in Redondo (long)

critical | May 15, 200501:07 PM

My husband and I were in Redondo Beach Friday night (after an epic visit at Fry's electronics) and wanted a nice, not too pricey place for a tasty dinner. Everywhere we looked, there seemed to be lots of decent Mexican Grill type restaurants, but we weren't in the mood to compete with the boistrous Jimmy Buffet type crowd (no offence to fans).

We drove by Aimee's Bistro and would've overlooked it entirely since it was nestled in an utterly unremarkable location in a bland looking strip mall.

But the easy parking lured us in and before we knew it, we entered Aimee's charming restaurant to the sound of live accordian music and Aimee herself to welcome us to her restaurant.

The French accents from the staff were so thick, we were sure the restaurant was an entire ruse for LA method actors.

We started with Mussels in white wine and tarragon. I was surprised by the cream in the sauce, but was also amazed at how light it all tasted. The fresh tarragon really brought out the meaty briniess of the small but plump orange bi-valve.
We happily sopped up the sauce with crusty french bread.

My husband ordered halibut crusted with macadamia nuts, and I got the pork tenderloin stuffed with pine nuts and roquefort with red cabbage, polenta and a fig/balsamic sauce. For $16 dollars, I wasn't expecting very much. I even started to worry that I ordered the one thing on the menu that could easily be overcooked. When the dish arrived, I sank my knife into the beautifully presented pork, and could barely believe how tender, succulent, and perfectly cooked it was. The polenta was fluffy, the cabbage was crisp and tangy and the sauce rocked my world.

My husband had been pretty quiet - I looked up to see him chewing silently, nodding in amazement. I sampled his fish and found myself nodding silently too...the halibut was so flakey, the macadamia nuts crushed to a proper size and didn't compete with the fish.

We cleaned our plates and were so satisfied, decided to pass on the desserts (which all looked pretty standard: creme brulee, flourless chocolate cake, etc.).

The accordian player was amazing, the service was decent (1 waiter for the entire restaurant...but it was late and there were only 5 tables of guests left) and the atmosphere charming.

The only negative thing I have to say about Aimee's is that the wine by the glass was mediocre and the coffee was weak. Considering our entire bill was less than a pound of steamed fresh shrimp at Ocean Seafood, the meal was superb.

While leaving Aimee's, I noticed an ad for a four course wine tasting menu coming up in the next month. I'm going to try and go, but may be out of town. If anyone does go, please post a review - I'd love to know if its worth trying!

Aimee's Bistro
800 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo

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