The Mercantile

June 30, 2010

in restaurant

Bonjour!

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

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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.

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

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

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

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…and the wine drinking begins!

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

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

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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:

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I loved this place!  I definitely want to come back for lunch/brunch sometime and check out those menus.  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!

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

Kid size:

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A bite of Abe’s gelato – Cappuccino Vanilla

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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 comments }

1 Lauren June 30, 2010 at 9:35 am

Haha I hate when I can’t pronounce menu items. I feel like such a nerd!

2 Evelyn @ cheers2healthy June 30, 2010 at 9:37 am

Wow The Mercantile looks AWESOME!! I love the ambiance – open, casual, organic. And I’m obsessed with wine bars that serve casual gourmet style food. Great find!

3 Cindy June 30, 2010 at 9:38 am

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.

4 lequan@luvtoeat June 30, 2010 at 9:47 am

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 être and avoir. No, not the actual verbs themselves, just that there were two called être 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!

5 Megan @ Healthy Hoggin June 30, 2010 at 9:55 am

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…

6 Kim June 30, 2010 at 9:58 am

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.

7 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) June 30, 2010 at 9:58 am

That sandwich looks amazing! I took Spanish and did quite well at it…can’t remember most of it now. So sad! I have a horrible memory!

8 Jos June 30, 2010 at 10:18 am

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. :)

9 Anna June 30, 2010 at 10:44 am

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

10 Evan Thomas June 30, 2010 at 10:47 am

I’ve taken 7 years of Latin and 2 years of Greek, and I have at least another 5 years of schooling in those languages to go. Haha, Oi veh

11 anutritionisteats June 30, 2010 at 10:58 am

I think I would love that restaurant :)

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!)

12 serena June 30, 2010 at 11:40 am

American sign language for me, and Spanish

13 Nicole @ Making Good Choices June 30, 2010 at 12:13 pm

That sandwich makes me want sunny side up eggs for dinner. I studied french, but like you, retained nothing beside Je suis Nicole. haha

14 Lynn at The Actors Diet June 30, 2010 at 12:57 pm

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

15 Leah @ Why Deprive? June 30, 2010 at 1:00 pm

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.

16 MarathonVal June 30, 2010 at 1:51 pm

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….

17 squigglefloey June 30, 2010 at 4:47 pm

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…

Floey

18 Lynn at The Actors Diet June 30, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Spanish tortilla/fritatta?!

19 aletheiazoe June 30, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Dear Lynn,

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

OMFG!!!!!1

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. :-)

Je gagne (I win)!

xo Aletheia

20 maxinthegym June 30, 2010 at 6:06 pm

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

Love that sandwich! I want to replicate it at home :D

21 Blessedhi5ive June 30, 2010 at 6:53 pm

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!

22 Janice/down the veggie road June 30, 2010 at 7:27 pm

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

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! ;) blessings
Janice

23 MizzJ June 30, 2010 at 8:40 pm

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

24 wendy lee July 1, 2010 at 5:37 am

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!!!!

25 vanillasugar July 1, 2010 at 6:18 am

love the cheese plate…that’s what i’d have.

26 Lexa July 1, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Glad to hear it was good for dinner, too!

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