The Mercantile


Last night (hier soir) dinner took place at a (relatively) new place in Hollywood, The Mercantile.


Opened last November by restaurateur George Abou-Daoud (The Bowery, Delancey, Mission Cantina, District, Tamarind Ave. Deli – all within a mile of each other on the same street) – this is his French cafe/wine bar/gourmet market.

If you arrive at exactly 7pm like I did, it’s simple to find free street parking at all the meters. But after that, it’s $5 for valet.


I got there a few minutes before Paula and snapped some pictures of the tres chic interior.



Apparently, the lunch vibe is very different from the dinner one. The menu totally changes …


… I didn’t witness anyone picking up to-go items from their stocked pantry and deli cases…



…and the wine drinking begins!


I was in a sandwich mood so I ordered one of the three that made it over to the dinner switch – The Croque Madame:


Ham and Gruyere Cheese melted between two pieces of Country Bread, topped with Bechamel sauce and an ooey gooey Sunnyside Up Egg.


In Junior High School, I practiced ordering this sandwich many times (my favorite part of French class was always discussing the food) but I never actually had one before.

The verdict – OUI.

Gorgeous and simple presentation on Paula’s order – just small bites of lovely, rich food:


I loved this place! ย I definitely want to come back for lunch/brunch sometime and check out those menus. ย I guess I got so caught up in eating/conversing that I totally forgot my camera! When I got home I called the restaurant, then headed back up to retrieve it (luckily I don’t live too far).

And well…since I was already out and about, I stopped by Scoops as well.

Such a sad state of gelato – almost everything was sold out, with not one vegan soy-based option left!


I was pretty weighed down from my creamy dinner so I got the Mango/Pineapple sorbet, which they still had plenty of.

Kid size:


A bite of Abe’s gelato – Cappuccino Vanilla


What foreign language did you study in school?

I learned French from 7th – 11th grade, and as you can see from this post, retained nada (<— woops….and I didn’t even take Spanish).

The Mercantile on Urbanspoon


26 thoughts on “The Mercantile

  1. Cindy

    I had to laugh a little when I saw you, who doesn’t drink and is a bit lactose intolerant, went to a wine and cheese bar. Glad you enjoyed your lunch.

    A croque monsieur (Same thing you had minus the egg) is one of my favorite things!! They are VERY easy to make, which reminds me that I am long overdue. Add a nice little salad, a good dry white wine and you are all set for a serious comfort food dinner.

    I didn’t study any languages in high school or college. I’ve done some Spanish and Mandarin studies since. It wouldn’t take much to gain fluency in Spanish, but I have a LONG way to go in Mandarin.

  2. lequan@luvtoeat

    I’m glad the restaurant still had your camera!

    I took French from grade 7-11 as well. Don’t know what I took in grade 12 though, probably opted for a spare instead haha.

    All I remember are the verbs รชtre and avoir. No, not the actual verbs themselves, just that there were two called รชtre and avoir. When I graduated from University I got offered a job teaching French, you can guess how quickly I turned and Tazmanian Deviled the other way
    :-D. Have a great day!

  3. Megan @ Healthy Hoggin

    Wow, that looks like an awesome restaurant! I love Croque Monsieurs, so I’d be in heaven there! I really need to check out more restaurants in the Hollywood area… that Trader Joe’s looks cool, too!

    I studied French in high school and some of college, but I don’t remember that much of it! My husband and I honeymooned in Paris last year, and I knew ENOUGH to get by… but that was it! And my accent is embarrassing…

  4. Kim

    I can’t do sunny-side-up eggs, but the restaurant looks really good nonetheless!

    I took Spanish from 7th grade through senior year, then a year in college (I was a freshman in a junior class, which was scary). I was fluent. I regret to say I’ve lost most of my knowledge.

  5. Jos

    I’ve never been to French restaurant and would love to try it. I lived in Asia when in HS, so the only foreign language I learned was…English!! haha..but in college I took some Japanese classes. I always want to learn French but it’s so hard! Btw I’m from So Cal as well..currently live in OC area. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Anna

    Oh my gosh, that is SO my kind of restaurant. Yum! I love, love, love croque madames…and croques monsieurs, too!

  7. anutritionisteats

    I think I would love that restaurant ๐Ÿ™‚

    I studied French in 7th grade and making food for holidays was definitley my favorite! Buche de Noel?

    Then I switched to spanish. (And enjoyed those food days just as much!)

    1. Lynn at The Actors Diet Post author

      Nicole was one of my french names! Also celine and of course Lynne.

  8. Leah @ Why Deprive?

    That sandwich sounds amazing!!

    I took French in high school, and my understanding of the language is just pathetic. I can attempt to make sense of it in writing, but not out loud. After 10 years of French classes you’d think I’d be a little better at it.

  9. MarathonVal

    Haha, I’m sure you are not surprised (since you know my history with food and children’s books) also loved talking about food in Spanish, too! If only I remembered any of it! Now that my hubby’s Greek, of course the only Greek words I know are food words….

  10. squigglefloey

    I love that you addressed foreign languages here! As my blog indicates in a very annoyingly complain-y fashion– I’m taking espanol. Unfortunately we need 6quarters here for undergrad. Ugghh.
    I’m all for learning a foreign language, I just don’t like that the class is so intensive, everyday, and there’s always tons of homework. I feel like it should be worth more than 4 credits.
    I don’t have a spanish name, last quarter I was “Florencia”, but my teacher over the summer didn’t name us yet.
    Also, I’ve had to research some spanish food for our final, which is a 15min speech is spanish, and my partner wanted to do spanish food (oye). Has anyone heard of any popular spanish breakfast items?
    All I can think of are churros…


  11. aletheiazoe

    Dear Lynn,

    I rarely use expletives but when I saw your croque-madame, I thought:


    Only in acronym form, naturally.

    Croque-Monsieurs are the <333333333333333333 Montmartre and Paris. <33333333.

    You may be surprised to learn that I speak French at the same competency as I speak English. Ah oui, c'est vrai! I'm actually minoring in French Studies right now in University, which ultimately means that I can out-grammarize any native Parisian. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Je gagne (I win)!

    xo Aletheia

  12. maxinthegym

    I took Chinese up until 10th grade and am currently learning Espanol!

    Love that sandwich! I want to replicate it at home ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. Blessedhi5ive

    I wonder if The Mercantile has children version of the croque. I would call it “croque les enfants” sadly I am not sure if that is a correct term. SoCal has all kinds of interesting restaurants to enjoy. I like being able to speak different languages but it gets harder as one gets older. I like the language translator in my phone!

  14. Janice/down the veggie road

    Oh my gosh that croque Madame looks awesome (minus the ham for me) and what an amazing little foodie place ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I took 2 yrs of Spanish in high school and my boyfriend was Hispanic and all I can remember are bad words and casual greetings.. How are you? Your name is? Have a great day etc ! Ha!
    ๐Ÿ˜‰ blessings

  15. MizzJ

    Mmm that looks delish! I would never have thought to pair something like that with wine haha.

    I took Spanish in high school and everyone in Canada learns French until gr. 8 at least. Sadly, I don’t remember much of either! lol

  16. wendy lee

    I studied two years of French in high school and one semester in college. Also many years of German which I majored in… Now I practice only food words in French and that’s all I need!
    The Croque Monsieur is one of the first things I ordered and at during my first trip alone to Paris when I was just 17. I felt SO sophisticated!!!!

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