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Bask in French Decadence at Lincoln Carson’s New Hollywood Restaurant

Mes Amis opens in LA’s hottest neighborhood on May 27

A two-tier system of trays at a seafood restaurant on a marble table.
Seafood platters at the new Mes Amis
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

There’s a glow inside Hollywood’s new Mes Amis that feels kind of otherworldly. The Wilcox Avenue restaurant is indeed anachronous to the outside, a throwback space for muted jewel tones, big ceilings, and the kinds of burnished brass and patinated marble touches that in lesser hands might feel kitschy, but here feels deep and well-loved. Make no mistake, this dinnertime brasserie from chef Lincoln Carson and the Ten Five Hospitality group is brand new — in fact, it opens Friday, May 27 — but the energy of the room is pulled from a different moment entirely.

The design of this restaurant is not only purposeful, recreating the old Hollywood touch and charm that has become so in vogue in Los Angeles of late, it’s personal for Lincoln, a celebrated lifelong hospitality veteran who has been a part of dozens of openings over the decades. At Mes Amis, he honors the past but isn’t haunted by the closure of his previous French restaurant Bon Temps in the Arts District. Despite national acclaim, Carson and his team were unable to weather the pandemic. Now, there is this project, a place for Carson (and some former Bon Temps staffers) to push toward a new goal in the heart of the hottest dining scene in the city. It is a place to honor their history, and the history of Hollywood — while still throwing one heck of a modern party.

In discussing Mes Amis, Carson talks about “the vibrancy of French cafe culture” and “celebrations of the joy of food,” a nod to the upbeat evenings expected inside the fine French restaurant. Spread across 6,000 square feet of mostly open indoor dining space (save for a leafy drop front patio and private dining room), the Martin Brudnizki Design Studio/Bernadette Blanc-built establishment is ideal for summer gatherings across long banquettes or clustered inside a sweeping booth. Bistro-style chairs are tufted with wide cushions, and the room is overhung by large, low-lit pendant lights, as well as vintage black and white photos of LA parties gone by. A wide selection of celebratory sparkling wines and a roving nightly champagne cart should also help to liven things up.

A golden-toned new dining room at a restaurant with granite tabletops.
Upscale bistro vibes and lots of greenery

The bar is sure to be its own scene, a place for groups to grab bites together beneath the soaring bottles. There will be cocktails, of course, touching on gins and Lillet blanc and more bracing glasses of rye whiskey, French aperitifs, and herbs de Provence. As for the food, Carson’s team at Mes Amis will move diners through a concerto of courses, from seafood starters like raw bar towers with dayboat scallops and prawns to richer dishes like a duck pate en croute or a savory vegetable galette. Traditional brasserie mains like steak au poivre, whole poached lobster with charred onions, and large-format lamb Wellington will also make an appearance. The opening menu is below.

As of Friday, diners can find Mes Amis cooking at 1541 Wilcox Avenue in Hollywood, steps from Mother Wolf, Ka’Teen, and the rest of the Ten Five Hospitality compound. Carson will be there in his chef’s whites, undoubtedly eyeing the room from the semi-open kitchen at the back of the building. He’s not hiding — not with food like this, in a place like this — but he is ready to once again return to the LA party. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 5:30 to 10 p.m., with brunch to come in the following months; reservations can be made on Resy.

A top down look at a slice of pate en croute on a white plate.
Duck pate en croute
A round savory pastry on a white plate with greens.
A savory vegetable galette
A tilted close shot of the crusty edges of savory pastry.
A close overhead shot of lobster and burned onions at a restaurant.
A close up side shot of cooked lobster with roasted onions at a new restaurant.
Poached whole Maine lobster
A close up shot of a seafood platter, including oysters and shrimp.
A close up of the grand shellfish plateau
An overhead shot of a cast iron pan filled with roast chicken and vegetables on a marble table.
Roast chicken and sides
Asparagus and morel mushrooms in a small cast iron pot.
A tilted side shot of a marble table with a roasted chicken and greens and vegetable sides.
A dim gold hued dining room with a dark ceiling at a new restaurant.
Long banquettes and marble two-tops
A tilted dim restaurant ready for service at ngiht.
Throwback pictures and multiple seating levels
A tall restaurant set for service at dinner with wooden floors and jewel tones.
A long banquette and golden lighting at a tan restaurant at dinner time.
A long dining room with golden touches and palm fronds at night.
A private dining area with a fully retractable wall
A hand pours a semi-clear liquid in a glass bowl into the center of a canale.
Baba au Rhum
A tilted photo of a canele with sitting in liquid at a new French restaurant.
A triangle cut of a chocolate French pastry with small rounds of puffed pastry on top at a new restaurant.
A take on a gateau St. Honore
A close up shot of a puffed pastry with shattered sugar rounds for dessert at a restaurant.
Walnuts and soft chocolate dessert at a new restaurant.
A wide dim shot of a nighttime bar surrounded by palm fronds at a new restaurant.
The low glow of the bar
A side shot of a tall restaurant bar with glowing underlighting illuminating the bottles.
A shiny green leather seat at a new bar surrounded by black tile.
A wide leather booth with marble table and old hollywood images at a new restaurant.
A semi-hidden booth just off the bar.
A glowing wall at a new restaurant illuminates a black and white photo of an old Hollywood party.
Vintage looks at the host stand
A strawberry split and held atop a coupe cocktail glass with light pink touches.
A light yellow coupe glass with froth on top and sprig of lavender.
A light purple cocktail in a tall glass with crushed ice.
Low lighting and marble tables and green cushions at a dark restaurant.
A gold dining room with marble tables and orange banquettes.
A wide room looking at round marble tabletops and banquettes and green house plants.
Rustic mirrors and light jewel tones
A tiled patio with green chairs and tall palm fronds shown at night.
The leafy patio right out front

Mes Amis

1541 Wilcox Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028
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