Liberté! Egalité! Fraternité! That’s the battle cry of the French Revolution, commemorated every year on Bastille Day, July 14. Nowhere is the connection between America and France more celebrated than here in Los Angeles (did you know Beverly Hills and Cannes were sister cities? They are!). Now of course, if I wanted to recommend the very best spots for Angelenos to celebrate France, I’d suggest a quick trip to Vegas for the restaurants of the best French chefs in the world—including Joel Robuchon, Guy Savoy, Alain Ducasse (Mix) and Pierre Gagnaire (Twist). But here in town, we do okay too. Here’s our Haute 5 spots:
There shouldn’t be much debate that Two-Michelin-Starred Melisse represents the ultimate expression of Cuisine Français en Los Angeles. And there couldn’t be a better time to celebrate that. For its own 11th Anniversary, Melisse is offering a remarkable four-course prix fixe for $65 throughout July. If you’ve never experienced Melisse, now is the time.
Mélisse is located at 1104 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, 310.395.0881
Not really a bistro at all, Chef-owner Laurent Quenioux’s elegant mid-city boite (in the former Mimosa space) offers ingredient-driven internationally-inspired French dishes (pictured at top) that are almost universally admired. They also feature a selection of two-three dozen carefully selected cheeses at all times.
Bistro LQ is located at 8009 Beverly Boulevard, 323.951.1088
Located on a quiet retail street in Pasadena’s tony San Marino neighborhood, Julienne is one of the few places I’d send anyone with confidence, for warm atmosphere and satisfying food to match. Everything a French country bistro aims to be, with a charming unique boutique grocery to browse afterward.
Julienne is located at 2649 Mission Street, San Marino, 626.441.2499
In an eclectically designed energetic room, this upscale brasserie concept from IDG (the people behind Sushi Roku and BOA) focuses on seafood, with huge raw bars and whole fish entrees, but also elegant pastas, like a deftly balanced mushroom ravioli dish and creative cocktails.
Delphine is located at the W Hollywood, 6250 Hollywood Boulevard, 323.798.1355
Salades De Provence
Casual but well-regarded, Salades de Provence—run by an actual Provencal family– offers organic salads, quiches, crepes and French cheeses that do not disappoint.
Salades de Provence is located at 1040 North La Cienega Boulevard, 310.657.9696