This restaurant fills the bill for a true Frenchy feeling - just like a place round the corner from my cousin's loft near the Bastille (only cleaner). Tile floors, high ceilings, busy bar and lots of busy wait persons plus a welcoming and continuously involved host marshalling all the help to an utterly successful evening.
That said, the food was great. Mushroom soup without dairy - just a puree of a variety of mushrooms that was velvety to the taste and eagerly spooned up by the other guests who were all eating THEIR French onion soup. Mme Zoe has some expertise in Fr.onion soup and prounced this the best she has ever had - no small compliment. We split the grilled halibut on a bed of spinach and mashed potatoes (more than enough to split - big halibut steak); friends split the fresh salmon which was another chunk and also had a salad - just plain green, which they said was excellent. We all shared the strawberry shortcake which was a squashy combo of whipped cream, strawberries and sponge cake - plus coffee and tea to go round. No one drank wine although the bottles were flowing around us.
I really wanted to order the sweetbreads, fried crispy or the steak tartare (if I was still eating beef) but did 'the right thing' and ordered fish - well its Lent and it is close to the liquid diet.
We closed the place and still the host was around cosseting his guests and extending a real warmth that a well run restaurant can give. Bill was $116 for the four before tip - very good value. Not a particularly young crowd but not a particularly old crowd either - just a lot of people (and the place was full) enjoying good food. Thanks to Carter and others for this rec.
Noise level was pretty high but not impossible.
13422 Ventura Blvd