Bouchon Beverly Hills has been all the rage since noted Chef Thomas Keller opened the doors to his third classic French country-style restaurant in November of last year.
Like his French Laundry, in Yountville, word got around that one couldn’t get a reservation sooner than three weeks in advance, maybe longer—a mystique that just drove foodies—and people who just have to be seen at the hottest spots in town–go wild with anticipation.
Your LA Travel Diva Examine just learned what all the hype was about. The food’s sensational.
My friend Vicky took me there for my birthday this week (which is actually March 19). Although hardly strangers to French cooking (we’ve both spent a lot of time in France), we weren’t quite prepared for Keller’s Plats Principaux menu. It sounded much too heavy for a warm SoCal day (it was delightfully in the 80s). So we opted for salmon tartare and an asparagus salad. Both were truly exceptional, like the best I’ve ever tasted—so I can just imagine what the heavier entrees taste like.
The choices on this day’s carte was Gigot d’Agneau (lamb in case you didn’t know) for $32.50; Steak Frites for $34.50; Poulet Roti (roasted chicken) for $25.75; herb roasted duck breast for $36, mussels for $28.5, a Gnocchi for $25.75 and a Croque Madame(grilled ham and cheese on a brioche with fried egg and Mornay sauce) for$17.95. While some of that sounds great for dinner, it’s just too much for a girls lunch out. However Chef sent over so outrageously delicious pommes frites which we did pick at, but only a few.
I only wish we had room for dessert. The selection sounded divine: Mousse au Chocolat Noir (dark chocolate mousse), Ile Flottante (meringue with vanilla crème anglaise, almond and caramel), Crème Caramel; Tarte au Citron and Profiteroles—priced from $5.50 to 9.50. Maybe next time.
There’s also an impressive cheese selection for $9.75 or $25.25 for three pieces.
There’s some nice wines by the glass selections ($10 and up)—but hardly the extensive choices promoted—but plenty by the bottle ($40 plus).
Since this was my first visit to Bouchon I hadn’t realized there was also a “Bar Bouchon” offering lighter fare downstairs on an outdoor patio or I might have opted to be seated there.
But I was happy to check out the upstairs dining area—which is quite elegant, very European or New York. There’s also a touch of French attitude. I arrived before my friend and was comfortably seated for 10 minutes. Unbenounced to me Vicky had also gotten there about the same time as I but was told there was no reservation in either of our names and that I hadn’t been seated. Vicky said it was handled rudely. When Vicky was more than 10 minutes late I dialed her cell and that’s when we realized we were both in the restaurant. C’est la vie, but it did put a bad taste in our mouths.
The design, by Adam D. Tihany, is highlighted by a French pewter bar, mosaic floors, antique light fixtures, and an expansive mural by French artist Paulin Paris.
Bouchon is named for a style of café that existed in the province of Lyon for centuries, the cuisine is rooted in Keller’s philosophy of combining the finest, seasonal ingredients with an unfailing attention to detail in presentation.
Classic bistro favorites include: Roasted chicken , Leg of Lamb, Quiche Lorraine and Trout Amandine. There’s signature raw bar where you can order oysters on the half-shell from both the west and east coasts; wo tiers of oysters, cold poached Maine lobster, sweet gulf white shrimp, tiny Bouchot mussels, littleneck clams and Dungeness crab.
Bouchon in Beverly Hills, 235 North Cañon Drive, one block east of Rodeo Drive, open seven days for lunch and dinner from 11:30am-11:00pm.
Reservations: (310) 271-9910 or online at www.opentable.com .
Bar Bouchon is open from 11:30pm until 12:00am daily. Reservations are not taken; seating is on a first-come first-serve basis.
For more information about Bouchon, please visit www.bouchonbistro.com