Soleil vs Le Saigon
I know I can't really compare the two, one being French and the other being Vietnamese (albeit colonized by the French), however after having such a great lunch at Le Saigon , it was terrible to come crashing down at dinner at Soleil on Westwood. (see "Saigon in Westside" posting for ordering suggestions).
Soleil certainly had a nice atmosphere and alarmingly attentive service (the chef comes out of the kitchen and displays the cuts of steak and milk-fed veal stuffed w/goat cheese - other strange men in ties paraded by as well, clasping their hands and asking how everything was), but the food was just terrible. The coq au vin was little more than a chicken quarter boiled in cheap red wine - the sides of overcooked broccoli and cauliflower had no seasoning. We also ordered their special duck salad - what a mistake. Maybe the restaurant is conspiring with the nearby cosmetic dentist - the duck was so tough, we nearly chipped our teeth trying to gnaw through the fibrous meat (the duck was also unceremoniously deep fried). Maybe we ordered poorly, but this is the worst restaurant I've been to since moving here to LA.
After getting the $55 bill (food only), I couldn't help but think of my lunch earlier at Le Saigon which was half the cost and tasted 100 times better.