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Mar 13, 2008 08:18 PM

Looking for Authentic Belgian Food

Any recs out there?

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  1. I'm not sure if the French version is very different, but the steamed mussels in broth with pommes frites at Little Next Door are very good.

    1. Not to get off-topic...but what is authentic Belgian food? I have a few ideas but have never really had it broken down by an authority on the subject. Anyone care to provide a Belgian food primer?

      Sure like Belgian beer.....foods gotta be good too, right?

      2 Replies
      1. re: MadNachos

        well, there's a type of stew called "waterzooi", often with cooked endives but not always, some type of croquettes with tiny grey shrimp inside, fricadelles (not sure I know how to describe those), some stews cooked in beer (carbonnades), speculoos cookies (if you fly Delta, their "Biscoff" cookie is a large speculoos made by the Belgian company Lotus), moules frites are in fact typically Belgian, not French, and there are many ways to prepare the mussels. Endives are used in many Belgian dishes. Lots of preparations with sorrel, spinach, fish...
        This answer your question partly, but not the OP. I haven't personally encountered real Belgian food in Los Angeles. You can get moules frites in many places. A less pricey option than Little Door is La Dijonnaise in Culver City. Or Monsieur Marcel.
        I think someone on the board mentioned a Belgian waffle place has opened recently? Gauffres de Liege (which I always had with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream in Belgium) should be available there. Now you make me nostalgic... Food is very good in Belgium, let's hope someone is going to open a Belgian restaurant!

        1. re: bad nono

          Yes, there's a place to get Gaufres de Bruxelles and Gaufres de Liege -- it's called Eurostation and it has absolutely the worst, most God-awful service in the history of people paying to eat food prepared by others.

      2. Brussels Bistro

        Brussels Bistro
        222 Forest Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

        4 Replies
        1. re: JAB

          Thanks! now I have to get there. Can you tell us how good it is?

          1. re: JAB

            I've just looked up the menu and it looks very authentic, with a few California intrusions.
            Here's the link to their site

            And thanks again, you made my day.

            1. re: bad nono

              Have been there several times. Can't speak for authenticity level, as I don't really have a point of comparison. But quality in general is fairly high all around. And folks on the board here usually only have good things to say about it. Enjoy.

              1. re: bad nono

                This looks like an interesting find. I am putting it on my list to try. I love Belgian beer and moules marinieres!

            2. Wow, loads of Belgian food that we can;t get in LA. A rather small menu of belgian beers that several LA beer place easily beat by a mile.

              Goddamn it, why can;t the two ever be in the same place?

              1. Try Le Pain Quotidien. Good for Breakfast, and Lunch

                4 Replies
                1. re: 420 Reasons to eat

                  Love LPQ for breakfast and/or lunch as you say, and although the roots of the restaurant I think are from Belgium, I don't think anyone would consider this a Belgian restaurant. I don't believe they have any Belgian specialties on the menu...but they do have great bread, pastries, coffee, smoked salmon and other breakfast/lunch goodies!

                  1. re: josephnl

                    LPQ is all over Belgium. It isn't an "amercian version of a Belgian chain" it is an "American Branch of an established Belgian chain"

                    1. re: Diana

                      Yes, this a restaurant which is Belgian in ownership and origin, but I don't believe that they serve any typically Belgian food. When I think of the cuisine of Belgium, I think of mussels, frites, carbonnades, etc....not just good bread, pastries, sandwiches, and salads. I love LPQ for what it is, but it is not a typical Belgian restaurant which I think is what the OP wanted. Am I wrong?

                      1. re: josephnl

                        Nope! not wrong! Except the LPQ menu from the old belgian chain (Still going strong throughout Belgium) is pretty much the same one as here, and I think of food that belgians love and eat regularly as belgian.

                        I guess LPQ would sort of be like our Belgian import "starbucks" only the Belgians care a little more about looking good and thus deliver a better product.

                        But LPQ is so amazingly popular in both countries.