Friday night. No plans. Lets go someplace new. How about one of those places in Eagle Rock. Okay.
So, driving north on the 2 freeway, we got off on Eagle Rock Blvd. and headed north to Colorado. We turned right, and found Café Beaujolais. There were 6 tables outside on the sidewalk, and no parking. We finally found a place to park, and decided to look inside before committing to the smoking section on the sidewalk.
The inside was fine much larger than it appears from the outside. It was about 80% full at 7:30 pm. We were seated in the back room and given menus and a wine list.
The menu is very simple. Beef, chicken, fish, pasta, the normal stuff. We were immediately given water, and both the waiter and the busboy were very attentive throughout the evening. We heard about the specials, and we ordered.
I ordered the lamb special, which was a grilled rack of lamb with a red wine reduction sauce, and the endive, walnut and Roquefort salad, along with a glass of Beaujolais. My stunning dinner companion ordered the whitefish with a white wine and garlic sauce and the special carrot and ginger soup. Bread for the table and my wine were brought immediately after we ordered.
My salad was delicious. It was large and well presented, with endive cut crossways into pieces about 1/3 inch tall. The walnuts were mixed into the endive, as was a generous amount of chunks of Roquefort cheese, and just the right amount of dressing. There were also 4 tomato slices and 4 whole endive leaves surrounding the salad, which was in the middle of the plate, and a slice of orange on top. A wonderful salad. If it was bigger, I would order this as my main course.
The carrot and ginger soup was good, albeit small, but nothing special.
When dinner arrived, my grilled rack of lamb turned out to be a braised slice of leg of lamb, and instead of a red wine reduction sauce, there was a bean (fava?) sauce in which the slice of lamb swimming. The lamb was a little fattier than I would have liked, but the flavor was okay. And the beans were pretty good. I guess my real complaint was that it wasnt what I was expecting. I was informed after we left (by my mate) that I must have misunderstood the waiter, as his accent was very deep. Im pretty good with accents, though, and I just dont believe it. If I really didnt like it I would have sent it back. It was fine, just not what I was expecting. I ordered another glass of Beaujolais.
The whitefish on the other hand was both expected, and wonderful. The fish was very light, and the sauce was perfect. It had the tanginess of the wine, and the garlic gave it body and a certain bite. It was very good.
For dessert although we were both full, we had to try the crème brulee. It was okay. Good in that it was crème brulee, but not as good as Café Stella, my favorite.
Which brings me to the difference between Café Beaujolais and Café Stella. The food at CS is, in my opinion, better than CB. However the crowd at CB is much more to my liking. There were no PIBs. Just local neighborhood people having a nice dinner. I think this is a better than average local place. By the time we left it was pretty full. Dinner, wine and dessert for two was about $60 before tip
In summary, Café Beaujolais is not necessarily a destination, but if youre anywhere north of Silverlake, it warrants a meal.