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Rouge - review

jacinthe | Jan 8, 2004 10:50 PM

Met my friend here for lunch today, as it is located across the street from her office. It's in the old Brasserie des Artistes space, at Wilshire and San Vicente.

I'd never been to Brasserie des Artistes, so I don't know how the interior differs. Not surprisingly, a dark red cololur predominates inside at Rouge. Makes the entire interior seem dark, even though it was brilliantly sunny today. There are two rooms - one sort of in front of the bar, one behind.

Drink orders were taken as soon as we were seated. A carafe of ice water and one of iced tea were brought to our table - wonderful! I drink so much water, that when refills aren't prompt, I get tetchy. A carafe makes things all better. A bowl of warmed bread was also laid out, with some little cold butter packets. Decent bread, nothing special.

Menu is not inventive, but rather plain and simple. Some dishes have a french influence (like the moules mariniere), other seem to be standard lunch fare, it mainly consisting of salads, soups and pastas.

I ordered a croque monsieur with french fries. It was really just a grilled ham and cheese sandwich on thin white bread and some bechamel sauce. Ah, you're in the US, you can't get a real croque monsieur. It was good, nonetheless. Slightly herbed fries were the skinny McDonald's type, although they definitely tasted better. My friend got the walnut and grape salad, with chicken. It was a substantial size, and the bite I had was good. She definitely enjoyed it.

For dessert, we got the profiteroles - they were all vanilla, liberally doused with a a fudgy sauce. There was something - perhaps the dough - that was a touch too salty, though.

Service was friendly, and the waitress didn't seem at all put out that we changed our mind and ordered dessert after she brought us our check. It came to just under $40 for the both of us, along with a glass of sauvignon blanc for me and sparkling wine for her.

Given its location, there were a lot of business-y/industry type people there. I don't know what the scene is like for dinner, though. (They apparently feature a DJ?) But for lunch, it is pleasant enough, especially in a part of town where there isn't terribly much within walking distance.

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