Tag Archives: french

Brunch at Bouchon

brunch - dessert - restaurant

It’s Dine LA Restaurant Week!!! Technically, 2 weeks: October 3rd – 8th and 10th – 15th. It’s an opportunity to experience specially priced 3-course menus from the city’s best restaurants.

Been wanting to go to Bouchon since it opened in Beverly Hills last fall.

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Very similar to the one in Vegas (where we had dinner last summer).

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It was a gorgeous day so we opted to sit outdoors – better food photography lighting too!

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After making my selections from the Dine LA prix fixe menu ($28) I noshed on a piece of their fabulous bread…

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…and then I heard the 4 greatest words ever:

“Compliments of the Chef.”

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HOLY MACKAREL! Usually you get a little amuse bouche on the house, but this was a gift from the heavens. Not just any bakery basket, BOUCHON BAKERY.

And they were still warm.

I restrained myself from doing a happy dance on the patio and had a sample of each –

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With homemade jam on the lightest, flakiest crossaint I’ve ever eaten.

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I split the Champignons à la Grecque appetizer with Abe.

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Marinated forest mushrooms with sweet carrots, radish, frisee:

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Then the main course, Tartine de Thon Niçoise – an open-faced sandwich with fresh tuna salad, hard-boiled egg, and nicoise olives. Comes with french fries but I ordered it with mixed greens.

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Abe got the “Omelette aux Champagne” from their regular brunch menu.

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He also asked for a side of potatoes, which came with mushrooms and caramelized onions.

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I had a bite of both. Seriously the best omelette I’ve ever had – light, fluffy, with fresh forest mushrooms and Gruyere cheese.

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I couldn’t believe all this food we got for less than $35/person – tax and tip included!!!

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And the freebies didn’t stop there…in addition to the sorbet that came with my prix-fixe lunch, they brought out MORE things, “Compliments of the Chef!”

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Don’t remember the name of this, but it was a Peanut butter and jelly-like custard…

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…I spread a dollop on the cinnamon toast it came with:

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Also tried a small bite of the lemon tart:

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All beyond delicious.  Sorry, doctor.  I know it’s not the best for my cholesterol or blood sugar, but I had to do it.

The only thing we polished off (and by “we” I mean mostly “me”) was the sorbet (a scoop of pineapple and strawberry)…

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…since EVERYTHING ELSE we didn’t finish (leftover bread and jam included) got packaged to go…

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…and immediately placed in the freezer, so we can experience Bouchon all month:

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An amazing brunch experience – not just the incredible food, but the enviornment and service as well. It was almost like a two-hour vacation, and I am still flabergasted at the amount of freebies we got. Honestly, I don’t know why – maybe because they saw me taking a ton of pictures – or maybe they do this for everyone?! Whatever the reason, I felt very special and grateful.

Merci beaucoup, Bouchon!!!

What’s the best thing you’ve gotten, “Compliments of the Chef?”

Bouchon Bistro on Urbanspoon

In the Heights

coupon - los angeles area interests - restaurant - soup/stew - theatre

Finally went to go see a show last night that we’ve been waiting forever to see –

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“In the Heights” was created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and started off in its earliest stages at Wesleyan, the college Abe and I attended. He was a few years younger than us, but we’re good friends/friends of friends of some of the people who directed/produced the musical (more Wesleyan!) and have watched from afar as it developed and exploded into the raging success it is today.

I used to see musicals all the time, growing up around/living in NYC but this was my first one in Los Angeles. The Pantages is a beautiful old theatre in the heart of Hollywood. We got great discount orchestra seats via Goldstar but climbed up to the balcony to snap a few photos of the majestic lobby:

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There’s a concessions stand that sells mostly overpriced sweets – big boxes of candy and packaged pastries for about $4 – $6. You can bring them in with you to your seat (but not your camera!)

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I wasn’t hungry enough for a meal before we left so I packed my own snacks – an organic yellow plum (that I ate before the show began) and a Spirulina Ginseng Nut Butter Ball during the 15-minute intermission.

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The show was seriously amazing – the best musical I’ve seen in a decades. Totally inspiring to witness people from our school achieve this level of artistic greatness, and the fact that they’re recognized for their incredible talents is emotional and uplifting. We got nostalgic for NYC and Washington Heights too, even the heat waves and the black outs!

Go, Wes!

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After the show we headed across the street to the new W hotel/residences

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Abe wanted to show me the rooftop bar that he went to a few weeks ago, but there was a long line to get in. Not really our scene. Plus, I wanted food. So we went to one of the hotel’s restaurants, Delphine, instead.

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Unlike the rest of the hotel, the bistro wasn’t busy. It was gorgeous, and the service was terrific – very friendly and laid back.

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It was already 11pm and I wanted to get dessert, but nothing on the menu sounded appealing so I ordered the Onion Soup Gratinee instead.

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They brought us a basket of bread

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One was multigrain, and one was cheese-flavored. Both were incredible. I had double of what was on this plate:

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And a bite of Abe’s fries (perfectly seasoned and crisp)

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My soup totally hit the spot – cheese-y, bread-y, and broth-y.

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I ate the whole thing, but gave Abe half of the cheese layer so he could make his fries fancy.

The couple at the next table noticed I kept taking photos of my food and asked if we wanted to have one of us together. How sweet is that?

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A really fun date night – totally out of our “norm.”

What’s your favorite musical? I am obsessed with old-school ones like “Guys and Dolls,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” and all the Rodgers and Hammerstein shows but “In the Heights” is changing my mind about the modern musical!

Delphine on Urbanspoon

The Mercantile

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