A few weeks ago, Los Angeles endured a brutal heat wave with temperatures reaching 100 degrees or more. It was the sort of weather that left me listless and sweating; although, to be fair, most temperatures leave me listless and sweating. When the heat goes up, most people gravitate towards light fare — salads, cold soups, shellfish — but as luck would have it, I had a media-comped meal scheduled at L’Assiette Steak Frites, a new restaurant on Melrose Avenue that serves one thing and one thing only: steak frites. Hence, the name. I can’t say a heavy meal of meat and potatoes was exactly what I was in the mood for during that steamy period of Los Angeles weather, but I am a proud soldier of the blogosphere. I will brave the difficulties of this job for you, the dear reader, even if it means I must eat cold weather food IN WARM WEATHER.
You’re welcome, people. Please, no applause. Stay in your seats. An ovation is not necessary!
The exterior of L’Assiette, taken at night when my camera phone could be removed from my pocket without risk of it instantly melting in the sun.
The restaurant, which took over the former Colonial Wine Bar space, features a perfectly lovely patio that faces the always interesting foot traffic on Melrose Avenue.
Thankfully, the restauranteurs saved Colonial Wine Bar’s excellent marble bar, the perfect place to cozy up to on a romantic date. (You can thank me later if you seal the deal).
The whole thing with L’Assiette is that the only item on the menu is (are?) steak frites. But don’t worry, that’s actually not the total truth. Diners can start with a delicious bowl of sorrel soup. It was a bit heavy for a 100 degree evening, but that didn’t stop me from scooping up every last drop. Just wait until a frigid, rainy 57 degree night in December — then it will be perfect. It should be noted that diners can also start with a little gem salad, but that’s not as fun.
And now the main event: the steak frites. In an effort to present the best possible steak frites experience, the restaurant serves the dish in halves. Here is the first half. The meat is cooked nicely, and the fries are lovely. The brown house sauce is good, but I might order it on the side next time. It’s rich and heavy, and again, on a hot night, it may have been a bit too intense for me. Of course, that didn’t stop me from liberally swirling my steak all up in it.
Here comes part two. I’d like to point out that the only thing rising higher than the temperature was my cholesterol.
Now, if you visit L’Assiette later in the evening, you can partake in the restaurant’s late night menu, which features such items as this poutine dish — you know, if you’re in the mood for something lighter (rimshot). It was fine, but at this point, I was pretty full and perhaps sweating. I really just could not open my heart to poutine at that moment.
We also received this steak sandwich with raclette, I believe. Now, I know this restaurant specializes in steak frites, but if you ask me, this was the superior dish. I was a big fan of this sandwich. BIG. I was originally going to have merely one bite, and I think I ate the whole thing. Or most of it.
Finally, something to combat the blazing temperatures: profiteroles with ice cream! No complaints here.
Clearly this dish was no match for us (or the heat).
L’Assiette Steak Frites
7166 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Open 7 days | 5:30 – Midnight