THINGS I ATE: Steak Frites at L’Assiette

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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! Continue reading

Keeping It Cute at Mignon

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The Downtown Los Angeles renaissance continues (minus the occasional corpse found in a water tower), and nowhere is that more apparent than at the corner of 6th and Main where a variety of bars and restaurants have sprung up over the years. Between Artisan House, Cole’s, The Varnish, The Association, Las Perlas, and the new Black Sheep. Slightly hidden behind all these spots is the cute, grab-your-date-and-go French wine bar, Mignon. Of course, I’m loath to call Mignon cute because, well, that’s so literal (the name truly means “cute” in French), but the truth is that Mignon is just so damn… CUTE.

A former dry cleaners-turned-watering hole (look for the chandeliers formed from hangers dangling above), Mignon is first and foremost a wine spot. It’s helmed by Santos Uy, who curates an extensive wine list (keep an eye out for an Austrian wine night on April 11th, call for details: 213-489-0131) and features bistro food designed by Chef Tim Carey of Papilles in Hollywood. Recently I was fortunate to enjoy a media-comped dinner at Mignon where I was able to sample many of the dishes magically conjured up behind the bar (there is no kitchen). After the jump, check out pic of the meal…

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Papilles Brings French Bistro Fun To Hollywood

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I’ve long complained that Los Angeles lacks two significant dining scenes: seafood and French. I’m not going to get into my seafood bitching here (the long and the short of it is that for a city perched on the ocean, we have very few options — both in terms of dining and buying), but I will talk about French food because that’s really what this post is about. We have no French. Okay, there are a few bistros here and there, but in a town that runs from butter and carbs like the plague, French food just never seems to catch on. It’s a shame really because French food can be so damn good. Unhealthy, yes, but worth the indulgence once in a while.

That being said, the Hollywood area has lately seen some blips on the French radar. Café Des Artistes may have shuttered, but we now have Delphine, Palihouse Brasserie, Maison Richard, and Little Next Door, to name a few. Add to that growing list Papilles, a super cute little bistro that has taken over a former Raffallo’s Pizza restaurant on the corner of Argyle and Franklin. For merely reducing the Raffallo’s empire by one, I am grateful. I was invited to enjoy a media-comped meal at Papilles recently, and I can assure you the meal definitely took me to a happy place.

Headed up by Chef Tim Carey (Patina) and wine director Santos Uy (Mignon), Papilles offers up a unique dining experience for Hollywood. The menu is always prix fixe (around $33-$35) for a three course meal: appetizer, main, and dessert. Chef Carey builds a new menu once a week (usually on Wednesdays) from ingredients he finds at the market, and people wishing to eat at the restaurant can check out Papille’s website (papillesla.com) to see what’s being served any given day. It’s also a good idea to glance at the site’s FAQ section, especially if you’re vegetarian, as the restaurant does come with its own set of “rules” to follow. Don’t be intimidated though: it’s a pretty painless dining experience and based on what I ate, delicious too. Photos of the food after the jump…

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Bastille Day? More Like Bast-DEAL Day!

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Bonjour, mes amis! Today is Bastille Day, which means it’s your duty to grab a beret and mime your way over to the nearest quiche or croque monsieur. Failing that, you can go to L’Épicerie in Culver City and enjoy French cocktails and small plates for $4 a pop. Ce n’est pas mauvais!

I’m not sure I’ll make it to Culver City, but I will try to find something French to eat. Hmmm… could an Adventure in Domesticity be on the horizon? Zut alors!

L’Épicerie Market
9900 Culver Boulevard, Culver City, CA