Went Friday night to Le Petit Jacques in Sherman Oaks (in the old August Chris space). And although the restaurant is now named after Jacques Lachkar of Le Petit Bistro, it's still serving much of the same as August Chris' (and previously Paul's) did. Our main reason for going was becuase we wanted someplace with cheap corkage and I'm happy to report that $5 corkage is still in effect here. Yay! On the other hand, the food and service was so sub-par that I'd forgo the cheap corkage and go somewhere else instead.
I started with the French Onion Soup ($5.95), which not only had melted mozarella on top, but the broth was slightly sour and the onions were crunchy! I guess the soup hadn't been simmering long enough by the time I ate at 7:30pm?! My sister's Soup du Jour was a very pleasing Chicken Noodle, although it came out luke-warm and had to be sent back to get re-heated. It was a hearty vegetarian based broth with bits of chicken and pasta. You can choose to add this for only $2 to your entree and it was a good deal. My friend chose to add a side salad for $2 and it looked rather plain. She didn't make any mention of it being bad or good.
For my entree I ordered Mushroom Ravioli, Shitake Mushroom and Cream Sauce ($12.95). First off, I didn't see shitake mushrooms anywhere on my plate. Secondly, the thin cream sauce had corn kernels and peas in it and completely overwhelmed any taste of mushroom. The textures too, of the soft raviolis and the crunchy corn, just did not come together. Ick. The other entrees around the table were the Duck in a Cabernet Sauce (~$17. Good as always. I thought this to be the best of the bunch), Pork Tenderloin (~$15. very dry) and Shrimp Stuff with Crab and Wrapped in Bacon ($18. Atkins anyone? Good presentation but I thought it also to be a little dry). We passed on dessert/coffee.
Service was nice, if a bit spacey. We brought a bottle of white and when we asked for a bucket of ice to chill it a bit longer, our server looked really confused. She then asked for our IDs (which seemed odd, since we brought it with us! oh well, I look young), so we chalked it off to her confusion of our age. The rest of the evening she didn't seem to be paying attention: we had to flag down a bus boy to reheat the soup and open the bottle of wine and the one time she checked on us was to ask how our food was even though our entire party hadn't been served yet. I didn't feel like there was attitude from her and that she was ignoring us on purpose, she just seemed a little bit out of it.
In the future, if I want cheap corkage in the valley, I'm sticking with Outtake Cafe.
Le Petit Jacques
13456 Ventura Blvd