We had a lovely time last night at Cafe Des Artistes. They have moved that bar into the front room, i believe making better space of that front right corner, and have turned the entire front patio into a lounge area . I love this arrangement and need to remember it as a good place for drinks! Now, onto dinner!
I started with an heirloom tomato, haricots verts and frisee salad in a balsamic vinaigrette. The yellow heirlooms were beautiful to look at and flavorful to eat, and the rest of the salad was dressed very lightly and sprinkled with nuts (maybe pistachios?)...delicious. My husband ordered the tuna tartare, it was above average. The tartare was well cute so there were not perceivable chunks of fish, and accompanied by nice greens. Both were great. One dining companion had the escargot, which I love and looked delicious. I did not try one, but they were literally covered in pureed herbs. Very nice rendition.
For mains, I ordered the roast barramundi with artichoke hearts and my husband ordered a steak. Both meats were cooked to perfection and both entrees were of very generous size. Our companions ordered the paella, not a true paella but one made with pearl shaped pasta. I am sure that makes the dish a little more fool-proof. It had a lovely saffron yellow color and a wide variety of seafood, again generously portioned.
For drinks we started with perfect martinis, then moved to a lovely bottle of syrah, and finished the meal with a chocolate mousse and a bread pudding, both very good.
All in all, it was a solidly good meal with very good service. I think they set achieved what they set out to do. A French bistro in a California setting. They do it well and was, as is always, just a lovely experience.
I have been a long time visiter to Cafe des Artistes from when it was a small simple white cottage. (I once went on a horrible date there during that incarnation.) I have always loved it and I still do. It is a great place to go on a summer night in Hollywood for an upscale casual meal.