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French 75 in Century City

  • c

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.

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  1. 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.

    1. 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

        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

          "...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

            Maybe they will open Chez Swill Hut next.

      2. 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. 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. 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?