Place: Le Petit Bistro, La Cienega (near Melrose) Monday, 8/1/05 - 7:30 PM
Myself + 1 guest (male)
Ambiance - B-
Service - B-
Food (Taste) - C-
Food (Presentation) - C
Wine/Drinks - B-
Price - B-
Overall Experience - C+
The ambiance here is very, very French - smallish, charming, warm - nothing spectacular, but pleasant all the same. The service from the get-go was cordial and friendly, but not mind-blowing (that will be the theme of this review, methinks).
The bread DID arrive immediately - but with a really not-so-good liver pate and a trio of dips I got all excited about - but shouldn't have. There was an eggplant puree (way too sweet), a sundried tomato spread (just OK), and a garlic hummus (a little above OK).
Wine - We had a bottle of Logan pinot noir - I liked this very much, great grapey finish. The wine list, however, wasn't all that impressive - not that I'm an expert.
Course 1 - I had the Belgian endive salad with hearts of palm and walnuts in a light vinegarette - it was just OK. The endive was reallllly bitter, and there was no sweetness to contrast this - rather disappointing.
My companion had the house mixed green salad with feta - he said it was quite tasty.
Course 2 - I had the Wild King Salmon Tournedos on a bed of steamed spinach. It came with a creamy cilantro sauce that was really tasty, but there was only a very small dollup, which was decidedly not enough for the nice-sized salmon fillet. The salmon, too, had a breadcrumb coating with seasoning - also fine on the palette, but a little greasy for my taste. Overall, however, not a bad dish.
My companion had the Paella - a huge portion, brimming with shellfish and goodies - he loved it, very fragrant and fresh.
We opted to skip dessert - not sure what the tab came to, but the prices here were reasonable.
While I didn't dislike Le Petit Bistro, it's not a place I would rush out to experience again. Still, I wouldn't resist an invite either :)