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Restaurants & Bars 12

Figaro Cafe on Vermont in Los Feliz

Megan | Sep 23, 200508:44 PM

I live nearby but had not gone to Figaro in a while. I had heard complaints on this board, and I had a mediocre dinner a year or two ago, but a good brunch once as well, so I considered it a toss up. I noticed while walking by last night how busy it was, so my SO and I decided to drop in today for a late lunch. The waiter informed us when handing us the menus that there had been "some changes" to the menu. I thought he meant some new dishes. Wrong.

We ordered a "Le Parisian" sandwich (ham and cheese on baguette) and something called "steak hache," which our waiter described as beef over a salad (it actually turned out to have a fried egg on top of the beef, but my SO was fine w/ that). We were there over an HOUR before we received our food. In the meantime, we received a basket of bread (after probably a half an hour) and realized that we should have read the menu more closely. Gone was the light, airy French bread. The bread basket now contained a somewhat edible baguette along with 2 other types of bread that were more akin to bricks than bread. Ugh.

We asked the waiter (during our interminable wait for what nearly became dinner) and he said the new chef was changing things and experimenting with healthier cooking, and upon reexamining the menu, we realized that this beautifully designed French restaurant was making many of its dishes vegan. Not only that (I'm sure if I were vegan I'd like the choices), but all of the bread was now yeast and oil free (pastries also are yeast, oil and sugar free). A dramatic change to say the least.

Our food was ok--I was prepared for worse--but the bill of $36 for a salad w/ a burger and egg on it and a sandwich was excessive (the extra cost was b/c my SO requested sparkling water, which cost $8 - wow). On top of that, I had wanted to order a glass of wine but thought that the prices were ridiculous - $10/glass was the cheapest white. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I never thought of Figaro as a high end restaurant, yet between the wine prices and the fact that many of the lunch entrees were priced in the $30 range, it is certainly trying to place itself in that category.

Next time I will stick to my usual haunts. Today's $40 (with tip) 90-minute lunch is not one I care to repeat.

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