Today Bastide bistro, the restaurant's fifth incarnation (slash Assouline bookstore), walks away with two and a half stars, a full star less than the restaurant's last review in 2008, half a star less than when Walter Manzke reigned, and a full star and a half less than when Alain Giraud claimed the kitchen. Anyway, SIV enjoys this casual iteration: "Bastide is no longer one of the last bastions of fine dining in the city. But why should we care? Because this Bastide has a wider appeal while still retaining most of its charms... the expansive wine list, and the excellent service, albeit with a much reduced staff. And while the menu is not as ambitious (or expensive) as it once was, chef Joseph Mahon turns out fresh and appealing California fare...This time around the food, wine, service and setting pull together to make something seamless...The menu never proposes more than half a dozen first courses, a handful of salads and six or so entrees, all à la carte, and priced relatively reasonably, especially compared with what they were before. Mahon is making all the right moves in terms of ingredients. You can taste the quality of each element...Dining at Bastide is civilized in the best sense...more relaxed and less ambitious, yes, but nevertheless one to enjoy." [LAT]
The Elsewhere: The Find treks south to House of Kabob, Food She Thoughts eats sushi in the desert at Kiyosaku, Eating LA drinks at Las Perlas, Gastronomy finds banh mi at Tip Top's Sandwiches, Exile Kiss enjoys the egg salad sandwich at Euro Pane Bakery, and Refined Palate dines at The Bazaar.