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Santé! A Handy Guide to French Restaurants in LA

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2008_10_hasmaps.jpgBastille Day is the commemoration of France's forward progress into modernization, when the Bastille fortress-prison was stormed by revolutionaries. It's the day France holds its annual celebration as a nation. Cuisine as we know it would not be where it is without the influence of French cooking, its techniques and methods, thanks to generations of great chefs and restaurateurs. LA may no longer be rife with foie gras or stuffed with terrine as some other cities are, but there is a strong contingent of French restaurants around town that hold high the tricolore. Et voila! Eater presents A Handy Guide to French Restaurants in Los Angeles.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Bouchon

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235 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 271-9910
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Thomas Keller's instant classic in Beverly Hills is a massive ode to bistro cuisine, with fresh oysters, bubbling champagne, roast chicken, and more for a true experience of French cuisine in L.A.

2. Melisse

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1104 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 395-0881
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Josiah Citrin's white tablecloth establishment in Santa Monica might be one of the best fine dining restaurants in the city, with a multi-course menu that hits upon various flavors using French technique.

3. Patina

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141 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 972-3331
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Walt Disney Concert Hall wouldn't be complete without a world-class dining destination, and Patina fills the rolls quite nicely. Joachim Splichal's flagship has all the right elements for a high-end experience that's ingrained with French cuisine.

4. Gorge

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8917 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 657-6328
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Elia Aboumrad and Uyen Nguyen's simple charcuterie and wine bar in West Hollywood might be one of the most well-formed concepts in the city that hardly anyone is talking about. It's not fair because the house-made terrines, pates, and more are great, as is the stellar wine list.

5. Comme Ça

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8479 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(323) 782-1104
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David Myers' take on the classic French bistro comes in a well-designed package at this modern eatery in West Hollywood, where some argue the cocktail boom started in L.A. The oysters, steak frites, and iconic burger are the things to order.

6. Maison Giraud

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1032 Swarthmore Ave.
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
(310) 459-7561
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After swarthy chef Alain Giraud decamped from Santa Monica, he put together this charming French cafe in Pacific Palisades, where he makes great pastries and a full menu of tarts, salads, sandwiches and hot plates that would have no trouble fitting into Paris. How many people in L.A. are making duck a l'orange?

7. Cafe Pinot

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700 W 5th St
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 239-6500
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The Patina Group's Financial District mainstay is Cafe Pinot, where talented chef Sydney Hunter III is executing a solid menu of Californian and French dishes. Try the pork belly with green lentil salad, dijon-glazed roasted chicken, or the lobster risotto with crimini mushrooms out on the patio.

8. A Food Affair

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1513 South Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 557-9795
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Chef Christian Royere's seemingly underrated French restaurant on Robertson has simple French dishes at a reasonable price, including moules frites, duck confit with arugula and lentil salad, and an authentic Bouillabaisse de Marseille.

9. Kendall's Brasserie and Bar

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135 N Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 972-7322
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This French brasserie in Downtown's Theater section does traditional French cuisine in a charming space featuring true frisee salads with bacon lardons, housemade charcuterie, herb-crusted roasted seabass, and steak tartare.

10. Petrossian Paris

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321 N. Robertson Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90048
(310) 271-0576
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This charming cafe in West Hollywood is unparalleled in its selection of fine caviar, which is served with blinis, oysters, and more, but there's also some more substantial dishes for a refined French experience, like caviar pasta and a lamb porterhouse.

11. Papilles

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6221 Franklin Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 871-2026
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One of the true bistronomy restaurants in the city, this spot in Hollywood serves a simple, three-course dinner on a nightly basis, with picks like Striploin and seasonal vegetables, Alaskan halibut with black quinoa and other modern takes on old-school French dishes.

12. Church & State

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1850 Industrial St, Apt 100
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 405-1434
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Though there's been a bit of chef turnover, most of the menu at this restaurant that launched the Arts/Industrial District into the culnary scene has stayed the same. That means trout Meunière, escargots with garlic butter and puff pastry, and rack of lamb with cous cous in a rosemary jus.

13. Cafe Stella

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3932 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 666-0265
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This continually packed French restaurant in Silver Lake's Sunset Junction has all the bistro classics, albeit at a premium. There's beef tartare, French onion soup, steak frites, and braised short ribs in one of the most convivial places in the city.

14. The Little Door

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8164 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 951-1210
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Long considered one of the most romantic restaurants in L.A., this French eatery imbued with Moroccan flavors has predictable dishes like duck liver with port wine mousse, spicy mussels with has el hanout broth, and black tapenade encrusted rack of lamb.

15. Café Noir

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2518 Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 392-2509
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This charming French bistro on Santa Monica's Main Street has all the dishes you'd expect to see: steak frites, roasted chicken, Bouillabaise, and duck confit. For the price, not a shabby place to get some classic examples of French food.

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1. Bouchon

235 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Thomas Keller's instant classic in Beverly Hills is a massive ode to bistro cuisine, with fresh oysters, bubbling champagne, roast chicken, and more for a true experience of French cuisine in L.A.

235 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

2. Melisse

1104 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Josiah Citrin's white tablecloth establishment in Santa Monica might be one of the best fine dining restaurants in the city, with a multi-course menu that hits upon various flavors using French technique.

1104 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401

3. Patina

141 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Walt Disney Concert Hall wouldn't be complete without a world-class dining destination, and Patina fills the rolls quite nicely. Joachim Splichal's flagship has all the right elements for a high-end experience that's ingrained with French cuisine.

141 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012

4. Gorge

8917 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Elia Aboumrad and Uyen Nguyen's simple charcuterie and wine bar in West Hollywood might be one of the most well-formed concepts in the city that hardly anyone is talking about. It's not fair because the house-made terrines, pates, and more are great, as is the stellar wine list.

8917 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

5. Comme Ça

8479 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

David Myers' take on the classic French bistro comes in a well-designed package at this modern eatery in West Hollywood, where some argue the cocktail boom started in L.A. The oysters, steak frites, and iconic burger are the things to order.

8479 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069

6. Maison Giraud

1032 Swarthmore Ave., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

After swarthy chef Alain Giraud decamped from Santa Monica, he put together this charming French cafe in Pacific Palisades, where he makes great pastries and a full menu of tarts, salads, sandwiches and hot plates that would have no trouble fitting into Paris. How many people in L.A. are making duck a l'orange?

1032 Swarthmore Ave.
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

7. Cafe Pinot

700 W 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

The Patina Group's Financial District mainstay is Cafe Pinot, where talented chef Sydney Hunter III is executing a solid menu of Californian and French dishes. Try the pork belly with green lentil salad, dijon-glazed roasted chicken, or the lobster risotto with crimini mushrooms out on the patio.

700 W 5th St
Los Angeles, CA 90071

8. A Food Affair

1513 South Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035

Chef Christian Royere's seemingly underrated French restaurant on Robertson has simple French dishes at a reasonable price, including moules frites, duck confit with arugula and lentil salad, and an authentic Bouillabaisse de Marseille.

1513 South Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035

9. Kendall's Brasserie and Bar

135 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

This French brasserie in Downtown's Theater section does traditional French cuisine in a charming space featuring true frisee salads with bacon lardons, housemade charcuterie, herb-crusted roasted seabass, and steak tartare.

135 N Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012

10. Petrossian Paris

321 N. Robertson Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90048

This charming cafe in West Hollywood is unparalleled in its selection of fine caviar, which is served with blinis, oysters, and more, but there's also some more substantial dishes for a refined French experience, like caviar pasta and a lamb porterhouse.

321 N. Robertson Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90048

11. Papilles

6221 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

One of the true bistronomy restaurants in the city, this spot in Hollywood serves a simple, three-course dinner on a nightly basis, with picks like Striploin and seasonal vegetables, Alaskan halibut with black quinoa and other modern takes on old-school French dishes.

6221 Franklin Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028

12. Church & State

1850 Industrial St, Apt 100, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Though there's been a bit of chef turnover, most of the menu at this restaurant that launched the Arts/Industrial District into the culnary scene has stayed the same. That means trout Meunière, escargots with garlic butter and puff pastry, and rack of lamb with cous cous in a rosemary jus.

1850 Industrial St, Apt 100
Los Angeles, CA 90021

13. Cafe Stella

3932 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

This continually packed French restaurant in Silver Lake's Sunset Junction has all the bistro classics, albeit at a premium. There's beef tartare, French onion soup, steak frites, and braised short ribs in one of the most convivial places in the city.

3932 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029

14. The Little Door

8164 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Long considered one of the most romantic restaurants in L.A., this French eatery imbued with Moroccan flavors has predictable dishes like duck liver with port wine mousse, spicy mussels with has el hanout broth, and black tapenade encrusted rack of lamb.

8164 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

15. Café Noir

2518 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405

This charming French bistro on Santa Monica's Main Street has all the dishes you'd expect to see: steak frites, roasted chicken, Bouillabaise, and duck confit. For the price, not a shabby place to get some classic examples of French food.

2518 Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405

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