My fav fellow hound/foodie has as a French background, so he's weary of the LA-style bistro experience, and rightfully so. He mustered the courage and took me to Le Petit Bistro, on La Cienega, and let me tell ya - it was a trip to Paris sans the plane ticket. Read on for the delish details.
Place: Le Petit Bistro, Saturday, 10/22 - 8:30 PM
Myself + 1 guest
Ratings in brief:
Ambiance - B+ (tables a bit too close together)
Service - A- (perfect impatiently French waiter)
Food (Taste) - A-
Food (Presentation) - B (no frills, but not really needed)
Wine/Drinks - B+ (small but focused and satisfying wine list)
Price - B+
Overall Experience - A-
The place was slammin' (prime time on a weekend, so this was expected) - we tip-toed in and felt like we were swept up in a Parisian time machine. This place is *French*, in the best possible ways. Gorgeous and warm and homey and alive. The tables are stacked millimeters away from each other, but my friend and I are social, and the folks next to us were, of course, from France, so it added to our authentic experience. Without even looking at the menu, we were thrilled.
Service throughout the evening was awesome - we had a laser/focused French waiter who has charming in that "hurry up I'm busy" way - I loved him though; very professional and whip-smart/fast. We were well taken care of.
Started out with a dirty martini that was fierce. Gin, of course, and not quite as dirty as I like it, but top shelf and tasty.
My companion had a greyhound - they know how to pour a stiff drink :)
We also had a bottle of super-bold/complex red from France, but as usual, I don't have the details on that - I don't speak French, so it was lost on me. SO good though.
For dessert drinks, we had Poire - it wasn't on the menu, but when we asked if they had it, the waiter guffawed and said "But of course!" in that brilliant Frenchy accent. The Poire was out of this world, BTW - but of course.
Super crusty, warm and yummy bread with pate, sundried tomato, hummus, and eggplant spreads. Decisions!
Started with (what else) escargot - so buttery and smooth. I'm very picky about snails and these were DIVINE.
Also had a mixed organic greens salad with green apples, candided walnuts, blue cheese, and balsamic that was perfectly balanced.
All right folks, I decided to go all out - I ordered, for the first time in mi vida, DUCK (I've had duck, just never as my very-own-plate-o-goodness) - this was Crispy Duck with Polenta, Spinach, and Fig Sauce -which, if you don't know = orgasmic. The skin was crispy-fied and heavenly, the bird moist/fall-apart yummy. And the fig sauce - forgitaboutit.
My companion had the Steak Frites - I don't know how much crack they put in the sauce, but it HAD to be there - I couldn't stop asking for nibbles. Mmmm.
The only down point of the meal - they were out of Cassoulet. The French folks next to us said it was the best Cassoulet outside of France. That didn't lessen the sting . . .
What else would we have in a Parisian bistro? We had the Crepes Suzette. The texture of those paper-thin beauties was near-perfect, and the sauce was loaded with Grand Marnier goodness. A-maz-ing.
I didn't pay, but based on the prices, I believe dinner was about $200, tax/tip/beverages included. Not bad at all.
If you're looking for authentic French bistro delights, I believe you know where to go now . . .
Le Petit Bistro
631 N. La Cienega - cross street = Melrose
Ciao, hounds -