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Pinot Provence Procures 1.5 Stars

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In today's weekly restaurant rant, SIV brings us down to Pinot Provence in Costa Mesa. Right off the bat she complains that the 11-year old restaurant has fallen off the map due to standard food, but since new chef Laurent "Lulu" De Rouen is on board, she's willing to give it another bite. SIV is disappointed that:

"there's still nothing too forward-looking or exotic on the menu, just basic French cooking with the addition of some contemporary and North African accents...But De Rouen is doing a great job executing it; while the food itself may seem limited in ambition and lacking a personal stamp, almost every dish...has had a bright polish."
Again, in this critique, not too much by way of negative criticism, especially for a 1.5 star review. "Perfect" foie gras, escargots are a "revelation," but salads..."could they be more boring?" Shortly thereafter, "other entrees, especially the tomato-basil soup, halibut and rotisserie chicken are not so special," so those are what not to order. The full wine list gets the thumbs up, desserts are mixed, and while Pinot Provence "doesn't outshine Marché Moderne across the street, De Rouen shows her stuff with a well-executed bistro menu." [LAT]

Elsewhere Around The Blogosphere: My Last Bite finally tries Petrossian, Refined Palate does dinner at Drago, E*star LA brunches at Tavern, ShopEatSleep tries another type of froyo at 21 Choices, Alli411 noshes on The Salad Pizza at Abbot's Pizza Co., QuarryGirl dines vegan at Street, and LAmag checks out Josiah Citrin's Cache.

Pinot Provence

686 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA