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Jan 9, 2001 12:58 PM

Good French bistro/restaurant for a group?

  • h

Hey...Can anyone recommend a French bistro or restaurant that is a good place for a small group (approx. 6-8), is open for lunch on Sundays AND is not terribly expensive? I'm in a book club that is looking for a French place to go to for our next meeting. Preferably somewhere in the city. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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  1. I ate at Mimosa on Beverley over the weekend. I don't know if they're open for Sunday Lunch.
    The Alsatian Tart, Salad Frisee and Cassulet were good. I can't say the same for the mussels (they had that tell tale post freezer texture) a pasta dish was uninspired and the Monkfish was not fabulous. It seems you could eat well if you order well. Maybe other hounds could recommend other menu items. I live in the Southwest and don't have a single Bistro option so... I was grateful to be there.

    3 Replies
    1. re: scottso

      Try Cafe Figaro on Hilhurst in Loz Felize. They are open on Sunday. The decor is tranporting, like you are in a little bistro/brassiere in paris. The service is usually excellent unless they get very busy during the day and do not have enough waiters on. The food is very good and the home baked breads are perfect. It is a neighborhood place where people go two to three times a week.Once they start to recognize you a customer becomes family.

      1. re: Sarah W

        Realized I gave wrong street for is on Vermont not Hillhurst. Sorry!

        1. re: Sarah W

          ``The decor is tranporting, like you are in a little bistro/brassiere in paris.''

          Wow! I too have been in a little brassiere in paris! One of the best days of my life!

      2. Have you tried Le Petit Bistro? I don't know if they are open for Sunday lunch/brunch, but their dinners are very reasonably priced. There's one on La Cienega and another on Ventura near Woodman. Beware though, of the service. Last time I went was a Wednesday night and it was pretty busy, but not so bad to excuse the ("Very French," my friend said) rudeness of our waiter. I hope it was an isolated incident.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Karen

          It was not an isolated event. Le Petit Bistro has many charmes but lesiusly service is not one of them. Their waiters act like they are on a Mission From God to turnover the tables. They don't serve brunch and it is always to noisy to have a conversation. They probably would resent hosting a book group.

          You might want to try their other place near Westwood, Le Zinc. It is calmer (the food isn't quite as good yet, better service) and I think, a better choice.

        2. s

          I think Mimosa is very good for the money. It's country French bistro fare mostly. Last time I was there the server was totally clueless yet polite, so we overlooked her total incompetence and numerous order mistakes. But the food overall is very good, if you don't expect very fussy french food with exotic ingredients. Best bet's are steak tartare, their charcuterie plate is very good too, and steak frites. Another appetizer which I once had there that was wonderful were the curried mussels. The curry sauce was tangy, slightly sweet and simply delicious. A welcome change from always just having mussles in white wine with garlic, or just a plain butter sauce.
          It's a shame that Silvio De Mori and Jean Pierre Bosc's other restaurant, Cafe Des Artistes, while having a beautiful outdoor seating area serves totally lackluster food. On one occasion, my dining companion had to return an entree of duck confit cbeause it was insanely salty. I thought she was being difficult but when I tried it I almost gagged cause of the saltiness. Actually everything I had at Cafe Des Artistes was largely mediocre from the seabass with too much lemon sauce to the horrible brioche bread pudding that tasted like a way too sweet, burnt creme brulee\pancake. As for the service, unlike Mimosa it can be very snooty. I can't beleive this is a sister restaurant of the very pleasent Mimosa. For a more upscale French restaunt that isn't much more expensive, but with a more complex menu and beautiful decor, I would strongly suggest Le Chardonnay on Melrose. Wonderful!

          1. I doubt it's a favorite of chow hounds, but I kind of like Cafe Maurice on La Cienega (near the already mentioned Petit Bistro) - the food is actually pretty typical of a typical (not great) Paris bistro (things like chicken marsala with frites) but it's not nearly as refined as a place like Mimosa. I think this place tends to be frantic at dinner (filled with the Eurocrowd), but when I've been there at lunch it's been almost empty and they have a nice patio (not quite sure if they are open for lunch on Sundays). I like the food, if you're looking for something simple - decent sauces and the frites are especially good [NOT made with frozen potatoes] - but don't look for any grand explorations into nouvelle cuisine. Assuming it's not too crowded, could be a good bet.

            1. Thank you all for your suggestions! They are all very helpful!

              Take care,