Saturday night a friend and I went to the newly relocated Chameau. They have been open at their Fairfax location for 7 weeks now, and although I wish they were still in Silverlake, the food is well worth traveling for. My friend described the new decor as early 70's groovy minimalism meets Moroccan influence. It's not quite as intimate as the old location, but I guess since the new space is at least twice the size of the old one, it's unavoidable. There are now 4 booths in addition to freestanding tables, and several tables against another wall which have banquette seating on one side and regular chairs on the other. All chairs are upholstered comfortably, and they swivel. Love the swivel! Apart from the coldly blue-lit silver bar area at the front of the room (they now have a liquor license, but you can still BYO for a $10 corkage fee), I found it to be a warm environment. When we arrived at 7:30, the restaurant was a little less than half full, but it completely filled up during the course of dinner.
For appetizers, we had the mushroom soup with fennel, almonds and parsley, and the duck bastilla with sweet almonds, honey and spices. The bastilla was as tasty as ever, though they are making it slightly differently with two phyllo-like wafers instead of phyllo itself. (Or maybe it *was* phyllo, I don't know- it just looks different, and the waitress said they were trying something new with it.) Looks like a moroccan tostada, tastes great. The soup was the best mushroom soup I've tasted, and surprisingly rich for not having any cream. My friend, not being very hungry, continued with 2 vegetable sides for the main course: fennel and potato tagine, and sauteed eggplant and spinach. The potatoes were good, but the spinach and eggplant was excellent. It didn't look like anything special until you put it in your mouth and then you knew. These guys know how to handle eggplant. I had the char-grilled lamb chops with zucchini tagine and black olives. It's hard to not order lamb when I go here- they do everything well, but I think they excel with their lamb dishes. I loved every bite of these succulent lamb chops. In addition to mint tea, dessert was watermelon wedges with minted yogurt and raspberries sprinkled with rosewater- I never would have chosen this myself, but I'm glad we did. Again, just to look at it, it didn't seem like anything special, but one taste of it proved to be refreshing, delicious and sublime. I might have to attempt to recreate this in the future for a dinner party dessert. We also ordered the cookie plate with chilled espresso and black pepper cream. This was the one disappointment of the evening (cream good, cookies not so good...) . But when the waiter asked us how we liked it and we truthfully answered that it wasn't nearly as good as any other dessert we've ever had there, he first offered to swap it for something else, and when we declined, he removed it from our bill. Not based on this example alone, the service was very friendly and attentive. We had been semi-regulars at the Silverlake location, and they were very glad to see us again.
We also had one glass of wine and one bottle of water. The total before tip was $75, and well worth it for a great meal at one of my favorite places.
339 N. Fairfax
Los Angeles, CA 90036