"We opened very softly three weeks ago, but somehow everyone found out, and we've been packed every night since," muses Micheline "Mimi" Hebert of Chez Mimi, now open in the Pacific Palisades. Just behind her, staff who have helped run her restaurants for the past decade welcome neighbors, old friends and a few very famous faces. Hebert leased the old Mogan's Cafe this past June, after taking a few months off when she lost her Brentwood lease to Villetta. Several months of construction later and an old favorite is back.
The old Mogan's space was completely gutted, refinished and refurbished. Now understated, yet elegant, the dining room is cream colored with soft lighting. French antiques grace the interior dining room, which boasts a fireplace and comfortable seating. Unfortunately, the patio is not yet complete. Hebert says she will start construction on the outside soon. It will be reminiscent of her old Brentwood patio, with lush climbing ivy, fruit trees and twinkly lights.
Hebert, a French Canadian, first introduced her lively French cuisine to Los Angeles in 1973. Chez Helene started out successfully on the then not-so-hip Abbot Kinney only to move to trendy downtown Beverly Hills in 1986. After buying out her partner, Helene, Hebert looked for a location she could call her own. The first Chez Mimi opened on 26th Street across from the Brentwood Country mart in 1999. The Pacific Palisades location, just "12 minutes" from Hebert's home, is its second home.
Fortunately for Mimi's long time fans, many old favorites grace the menu at the new Chez Mimi. There is the light but creamy tomato soup studded with plump, meaty mushrooms, an enormous bowl of fragrant moules frites, and a browned butter glazed trout amandine that would probably satisfy Julia Child. Servers are gracious, attentive and helpful at suggesting wine pairings. Desserts include Mimi's popular tarte tatin and lemon pie. With a new hot restaurant opening up every few days, it's nice to know that well-executed cuisine, charming service and fine but not frou-frou dining can still be found in Los Angeles.
·Chez Mimi May Resurface in the Palisades [~ELA~]
·All Chez Mimi Coverage [~ELA~]