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French 75 in Century City

c
cvc Sep 5, 2006 10:36 PM

Oh, to have Vert with its original menu in this location. It is nice to see another major eatery in the shopping center but this one doesn't begin to compete with either Houston's or its sibling Gulf Stream. If looks were everything this David Wilhelm concept might sparkle, indeed, but the food was surprisingly, no shockingly, unsatisfying. A coq au vin for $17.95 had the rubbery texture of overcooked portabello mushrooms and the mac 'n cheese was watery and bland. Mussels for $15.95 were small and tasteless and the obligatory frites were sprinkled on top of them not as a side which didn't help. An heirloom tomato with onion, bleu cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette for $10.95 was fine but the classic Lyonnaise salad lacked the traditional lardons and the waiter was quick to point out that the dressing is a smoked bacon version which, however, lacked the taste of bacon. A friend's salmon was cooked properly and served with mashed potatoes and asparagus for $25.95. Good selection of familiar wines and service is friendly and prompt.

  1. s
    spaniel27 Nov 13, 2007 02:47 PM

    French 75 is godawful.

    They were out of mussels (on a Saturday night) so I had coq au vin. It was assorted raw (!) or barely cooked green beans, onions (crunchy--yum) and carrots (raw) with pieces of boneless chicken thigh simmered for a second in a thin, salty muck. The mashed potatoes accompanying it were cold and gummy. The wine was $14/glass for a meager pour of average wine. The people at the table next to me sent their salads back twice. The servers were dispirited by presenting such food: they did the drop-and-run and never returned to ask how the meal was. The people to my right poked at their dessert then left without finishing it. All the money went into the fake brasserie decor. In Century City mall ANY other place is better, but I would choose Gulfstream if I was looking to drop a bunch of money. Better yet, shop at CC then go for dinner to La Cachette, a fine French restaurant up the street at Beverly Glen and Little Santa Monica. You will spend more money and have a very memorable meal.

    French 75 is easily the worst meal I've had in LA outside of the Delta food court of LAX.

    1 Reply
    1. re: spaniel27
      w
      writergirl Nov 13, 2007 06:09 PM

      Oh Spaniel, if only you had seen my post! We had the same horrible meal (I was trying to figure out which was worse, the disgusting coq au vin, or the from-a-box mashed potatoes.) I noticed in your other anti-French 75 post, you put "stay far away." I had similar sentiments of "run away, run away!" But just to prove the adage "to each his own" some folks seemed to take it personally that I didn't care for it.

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/324878

    2. h
      holybull Mar 18, 2007 09:14 AM

      I just tried this place last week and was really disappointed. I was really surprised at the prices on the menu considering the level of service. Places that have 40 dollar steaks on the menu usually have at least good service.

      We each started with the Field Greens salad, then I had the striped bass and my SO had the tuna, both were just salty, not any other flavors.

      One thing that came to my mind after the meal was that I could have cooked a better meal, and that obviously is not a good thing.

      1. emily Sep 6, 2006 04:24 PM

        I can't stand their champagne-based cocktails. I think they must use a crappy champagne.

        Sliders are pretty good, though. And the blue cheese-stuffed olives in the martini are excellent.

        Everytime I've gone for the free appetizers during happy hour, I've only seen one dish brought around. So, free appetizer ended up = one slider. Could have been timing, though...

        1. c
          cvc Sep 6, 2006 02:56 PM

          Ahhhhh, and after that lovely review of Hatfield's. No way. Not based on Monday's visit.

          1. EliseT Sep 6, 2006 11:53 AM

            Those pommes frites just got a "best french fries" nod from Los Angeles magazine.

            1. Pei Sep 6, 2006 08:15 AM

              Yet another place to not go eat. Too bad.

              http://www.culinaryadventures.com/res...

              Bubbly Hour sounds promising: half off champagne cocktails, wines by the carafe for glass prices, and free appetizers.

              Do you remember some of the wines by the glass they were offering? Any interesting reds?

              1. bassbiz Sep 6, 2006 02:57 AM

                Ive been to the Burbank location for their bubbly hour, half off on the champagne cocktails! Couldnt resist ordering some pommes frites and sliders to go along with those bubbly, sparkling drinks. Not sure if those items are part of the regular menu but it was a tasty enough preview to sell me on wanting to try their entrees. Or at least keep me going back to their happy hour!

                1. c
                  cvc Sep 6, 2006 12:51 AM

                  We didn't try the cocktails but the list like the menu is presented impressively. We avoided desserts but a peek at the menu revealed items like Vanilla Creme Brulee. As Carter points out DW is the prodigious entrepreneur of many different concepts, i.e. the sleek modern Bistro 201 that was originally in Irvine and that Mexican place that became Stepp's and then Nic 'n Stef's. But as MC Michael points out there's a goofy disconnect here between image and execution as if Bruce Marder's design crew met up with Marie Callendar's kitchen. And it's not cheap. The lounge pianist certainly plays with gusto.

                  1. m
                    mc michael Sep 5, 2006 11:40 PM

                    Sadly this is just a French themed chain. I couldn't believe it when I asked at one branch for some Dijon mustard on the side and all they could give me was a Dijon/mayo mix.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: mc michael
                      c
                      carter Sep 6, 2006 12:06 AM

                      Yes, French 75 is part of David Wilhelm's Orange Co.-based Culinary Adventures, which includes Chat Noir, Savannah Chop House, Sorrento Grill, and of course the 5 or so French 75s, originated in Laguna Beach.
                      He formerly had other restaurants in the Bowers Museum, Wells Fargo Center downtown LA, etc., and seems to be emulating Joaquim in trying to be many things to many people.

                      http://www.culinaryadventures.com/res...

                      1. re: carter
                        w
                        writergirl Sep 6, 2006 02:46 AM

                        "...seems to be emulating Joaqim..." well there's a phrase that will strike fear in the hearts of diners everywhere! Like one's not enough?

                        1. re: writergirl
                          j
                          JudiAU Sep 6, 2006 02:27 PM

                          Maybe they will open Chez Swill Hut next.

                    2. w
                      writergirl Sep 5, 2006 10:49 PM

                      I was hoping against hope this place would be good, but I had my doubts. I'll probably give it a try this weekend (hubby really wants to go.) Tell me, did you have their signature cocktail? I like French 75's, but rarely order them because they often aren't made well.

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