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Jul 24, 2007 10:19 PM

Hole-in-the-wall French place?

Is there such a thing in LA?

When we folks here talk about hole-in-the-wall finds or discoveries, they're usually ethnic dives of Asian (e.g. Chinese, Korean, SE Asian), Mexican or Central American persuasion.

Or they even might be the good ol' American hole-in-the-wall joint. Like that (formerly) undiscovered hot dog stand, or a BBQ shack serving their secret sauce on the tri-tip sandwiches.

But, is there a FRENCH hole-in-the-wall joint out there? A sort of hidden, no-frills nook that offers up well-made French onion soup or a properly prepared salad niçoise served with a nice crusty bread.

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  1. I'm not sure if you'd call La Vie hole-in-the-wall but it's tucked in a strip mall with no ambience, but the food is solid traditional, and the price is excellent--less than $20, salad & soup included. If you're craving French onion soup, escargot in garlic butter, duck l'orangerie, chocolate souffle...La Vie is the place!

    La Vie
    2547 San Gabriel Blvd
    Rosemead, CA
    Phone: (626) 571-1180

    1 Reply
    1. re: fdb

      I second that... I saw the thread title and immediately thought of La Vie. For French food, it is about as hole-in-the-wall as you can get, I'd say. In fact we were just thinking of going there this weekend! Your description is very accurate.

    2. 1. Le Chef in South Gate, off Firestone Blvd in the El Paseo shopping center. Go for lunch: Beef Bourginone for under $10.00
      2. Frenchy's Bistro in Long Beach on Anaheim Blvd. More formal than Le Chef, I don't know if it actually qualifies as a hole in the wall, but, they do everything very well.

      1. I ate at a place a couple of years ago on Garfield Ave. in Monterey Park. It was maybe a half mile north of Shaka's on the West side of the street. I don't remember the name of the place, but it is fairly small. IIRC, a 3 course meal was ~$20, and was surprisingly good.

        1. couldn't get more hole in the wall than this place

          great ambiance and super attentive waiters.

          3 Replies
          1. re: summerteeth

            Cafe Marguerite
            123 Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90292-5153 (Venice)
            Tel: (310) 822-5379

            As hole-in-the-wall as it gets.
            Treat you like dirt.
            Excellent bread.
            Get their escargots, steak frites, carré d'agneau.
            With a glass of rosé de Provence, bien sure!

            Place systematically ignored by this board, which probably means it's good!

              1. re: waterisgood

                Not too sure what's your idea of "whole-in-the-wall" prices.
                Prices like Arturo's Tacos in Avalon & Gage? Certainly not.
                Dino's? Nope.
                El Parian? Getting closer.

          2. I don't know if Le Marmiton on Montana counts as "hole-in-the-wall," but it certainly is a tiny place with a cute little sidewalk patio service...

            Solar de Cahuenga is kind of easy to miss at Cahuenga and Franklin, but really good IMO.

            I like Cafe Marly, but again not necessarily hole in a wall...