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BOUCHON IN LA

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foodiemahoodie Jul 18, 2008 12:59 AM

I wish I could be more excited. And maybe I will.

Thing is I've tried Bouchon in Las Vegas three times. Twice they lost my reservation, but I got seated nevertheless and though all three meals were good, they could have been, should have been better than good.

Anisette - I've been there at least 1/2 dozen times, maybe more. Anisette doesn't disappoint. Moules Frites - oddly sour tasting at the Bouchon in LV, but perfect at Anisette. Even my date - non-moule eater - was singing it's praises.

I've never dined at the Bouchon in Napa and maybe it's better, after all Mr. Trotter's proximity must have some kind of effect.

So here's a question. Has anyone dined at both Bouchons? Is the Napa venue the better of the two?

Those who have done some double dipping - tell me - what do you think we expect from Bouchon?

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  1. notmartha RE: foodiemahoodie Jul 18, 2008 07:05 PM

    I went to the LV one many years ago, and based on the experience I actually didn't even bother to try the Bouchon at Napa (but did go to the bakery and it was killer). We went to Adhoc instead and it was good, so I suspect proximity to Keller helped a great deal.

    I am not too optimistic about a remotely managed restaurant. The only 'celebrity chef chain restaurant' that didn't disappoint so far was Craft.

    So please tell me that they will have a bakery at the BH location too. I would like to get my hands on some TKO without driving to Napa or LV.

    2 Replies
    1. re: notmartha
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      brunello RE: notmartha Jul 18, 2008 08:08 PM

      There will be a Bouchon Bakery with the Bev Hills outpost. Already part of the announcement.

      1. re: notmartha
        n
        ns1 RE: notmartha Apr 28, 2009 10:09 AM

        FWIW, I loved my breakfast @Bouchon LV

        I was "severely disappointed" at my meal @Craftsteak LV

      2. r
        radman123 RE: foodiemahoodie Jul 20, 2008 10:09 AM

        I've been to Napa Bouchon -- it's good (the least exciting between French Luandry and Ad Hoc) -- I agree-- I should be more excited about a Keller restaurant but it's kind of whatever.
        Comme Ca was better

        3 Replies
        1. re: radman123
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          Adsvino RE: radman123 Jul 20, 2008 10:28 AM

          Plus this one will be filled with agents and Beverly Hills wannabes.

          1. re: Adsvino
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            david t. RE: Adsvino Jul 21, 2008 01:11 AM

            Beverly hills is just not a location for me to be excited about. And LA is having this wave of french bistros with very good homegrown chef/owners (and with Anisette recently) that it's hard to get excited about a bistro that's somewhat of a chain from someone who probably won't frequent the place much. Places like Craft and BLT steak really haven't caused much of a stir in LA, and these are very good places to eat. I think it's because despite our reputation, we tend to be extremely loyal and genuinely excited about our own homegrown chefs.

            But I'm pretty excited about the bakery. We could always have more places to buy bread and pastries.

          2. re: radman123
            j
            josephnl RE: radman123 Nov 2, 2009 02:38 PM

            I've eaten at both Yountville and Las Vegas. Both are good, but not great. I've had very mixed service in Yountville, and both times I've been to the LV restaurant, I've had very good service. I definitely will give the new BH restaurant a try, but based on past experiences with Bouchon, I will only expect good to very good, but not great. Sure hope my expectations are exceeded!

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            Bouchon
            9 W Victoria St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

            Las Vegas Bar
            2343 S Bristol St, Santa Ana, CA 92704

          3. f
            foodiemahoodie RE: foodiemahoodie Apr 28, 2009 09:43 AM

            Trotter? Did I say Trotter? I DID say Trotter. I meant KELLER!

            Sorry y'all!

            1 Reply
            1. re: foodiemahoodie
              Phurstluv RE: foodiemahoodie Apr 28, 2009 01:27 PM

              That did leave me a bit confused!!! I was like, what did Trotter start up there that I don't know about?!

              Good to hear the comments re: Keller's extra-cirricular activities. I guess I'm not too surprised - there will never be another French Laundry. But I was looking forward to the burger & red wine bar-type idea. Not really interested in a bakery - prefer my calories to be of the savory-type.

              What did you order at Bouchon/ Ad Hoc/Per Se and what didn't you like about it? Just curious....

            2. peppermonkey RE: foodiemahoodie Apr 28, 2009 10:06 AM

              keller's food is kinda meh...the only meal I found worth it so far was at ad hoc. per se was disappointing and bouchon was just bad...anisette>comme ca>bouchon

              1 Reply
              1. re: peppermonkey
                The Chowhound Team RE: peppermonkey Oct 28, 2009 10:58 AM

                Just a brief interruption here, folks. If there's further discussion of Per Se, please post it on the Manhattan board, with a note here, so it'll be easy to find. Thanks so much!

              2. a
                attran99 RE: foodiemahoodie Oct 28, 2009 10:23 AM

                Bouchon is scheduled to open on Wednesday, November 18th. I would love to get a reservation for that opening weekend, but the website is down and there are no phone numbers available. Please let me know if you have luck scoring a reservation.

                Thanks!

                2 Replies
                1. re: attran99
                  wilafur RE: attran99 Oct 28, 2009 10:40 AM

                  per the website:

                  Bouchon Beverly Hills will be open daily beginning November 18, 2009 and will serve lunch and dinner from 11:30am to 12:30am.

                  The restaurant will begin taking reservations on November 2nd. Reservations can be made by calling 310.271.9910 between the hours of 11:00am and midnight.

                  Reservations can also be made online beginning November 2nd through OpenTable.com.

                  1. re: wilafur
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                    attran99 RE: wilafur Oct 28, 2009 01:08 PM

                    Thanks, wilafur! I couldn't get to their website earlier today.

                2. orythedog RE: foodiemahoodie Oct 28, 2009 12:40 PM

                  I went to brunch with two friends at Bouchon Vegas September 08' and was very happy. The service was good and the food tasty. Of the standouts I remember something they actually called a beignet which was more like a cream puff. I also enjoyed the veal sausage (boudin blanc) with eggs. I'm excited they are coming to BH.

                  1. c
                    carter RE: cinzia Oct 29, 2009 07:02 PM

                    Thomas Keller's career really started here in LA when he was the chef at the Checkers Hotel downtown LA even before the Hilton nameplate was added.
                    So I cannot imagine his first restaurant not being of prime importance in as many details as he has under his control, and knowing his reputation, that should encompass about every possible detail, with food at the top of the list.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: carter
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                      FED RE: carter Nov 2, 2009 03:42 PM

                      hmm, well, that's a bit of wild overstatement. Keller had already been a major star in new york before the restaurant went broke and he ended up at Checkers, a period he regards as a low point in his career. he took the job on hope, then the hotel got sold and he stayed because he needed the money until he quit. then spent a couple of years before he could get TFL started. That said, he is a complete perfectionist and wants all of his restaurants to be the best they can be. A wish that, if you'll read the comments above, is not always realized. I don't expect him to have any more grand hopes for this one than he does for vegas. And probably less than Yountville.
                      You can't overstate enough that Bouchon is not the French Laundry. If you go in expecting that, you're going to be really disappointed. It's bistro food, along the lines of Anisette or Comme Ca. Hopefully it will be well-executed, but every restaurant has bad nights (particularly new ones).
                      go in for a good time. have some oysters, maybe the salt-cod beignets, some charcuterie and a roast chicken or steak frites. you'll probably be pretty happy.

                      1. re: FED
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                        Ernie RE: FED Nov 2, 2009 04:15 PM

                        After trying the raw oysters at Keller's Bouchon booth at the recent American Food & Wine Festival, I am looking forward to Bouchon in BH. I usually can't eat raw oysters but his were pristine, fresh, and delicious.

                        1. re: FED
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                          josephnl RE: FED Nov 2, 2009 05:34 PM

                          Sorry...I am not a huge fan of Bouchon (I've been multiple times to both Yountville and L.V. locations)...but compared to Anisette or Comme Ca, it's head and shoulders above both, for food, service and ambiance. I don't know of any restaurant in southern CA that has less comfortable seating than Anisette...and the food at Comme Ca is very variable...ranging from excellent to very mediocre. At least Bouchon is dependably good to very good...not great but at least good, at both locations (I like Las Vegas better).

                          1. re: josephnl
                            a213b RE: josephnl Nov 3, 2009 07:17 AM

                            Just to point out there's also a Bouchon in NYC at the Time Warner Center.

                            With respect to Anisette and Comme Ca, I feel quite the opposite ... the meals I've had at both have far surpassed what I have had (in terms of savory items) from any of the three Bouchons.

                            1. re: a213b
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                              FED RE: a213b Nov 3, 2009 08:49 AM

                              i'm pretty sure that's a bakery only.

                              1. re: FED
                                wilafur RE: FED Nov 3, 2009 09:46 AM

                                yep bakery/cafe.

                                1. re: wilafur
                                  Senor Popusa RE: wilafur Nov 4, 2009 08:54 PM

                                  The cafe is sizeable and has legit food. The foie terrine is outstanding. Menu here: http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

                                  Still I think folks who here Thomas Keller is opening a place here in LA and think that Bouchon is fine dining are sorely mistaken (not that it isn't good, its just bistro cooking). On the Bay Area board I frequently see questions about subbing Ad Hoc or Bouchon when they can't get a TFL res. Apples and oranges.

                                  I do think that Comme Ca can produce better food than Bouchon (having tried the Yountville and in NYC) but that Bouchon here will likely be good for what it is.... Per Se it is not.

                                  -----
                                  Bouchon
                                  9 W Victoria St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

                            2. re: josephnl
                              f
                              FED RE: josephnl Nov 3, 2009 08:51 AM

                              just curious: what bistro-style restaurants have you been to that you rank above Bouchon? not arguing that they aren't there, I'd just like to try them.

                              -----
                              Bouchon
                              9 W Victoria St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

                        2. l
                          lizziee RE: foodiemahoodie Nov 3, 2009 01:06 PM

                          I disagree about the comments re Bouchon. We have eaten at Bouchon many times and the food far surpasses both Anisette and Comme Ca. Church and State downtown is the closest to a real French bistro.

                          What we have enjoyed at Bouchon:

                          Oysters on the half Shell

                          Big Eye Tuna, Cornichons, Capers, Nicoise Olives, Haricot Vertes, Fingerling Potatoes, Hard Boiled Egg, Arugula, Gribiche sauce

                          Lamb’s tongue salad with frisee.

                          Croque Madame

                          Quiche of the day

                          Boudin Noir with poached apples, potato puree and brown butter –

                          Roasted leg of lamb with merquez sausage, couscous, sweet peppers, English cucumbers and mint lamb jus

                          Pics here:

                          http://lizziee.wordpress.com/category...

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: lizziee
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                            josephnl RE: lizziee Nov 3, 2009 02:51 PM

                            Not everyone disagreed with you! If you see my comments above, I totally agree with you that Bouchon is, to quote myself, "head and shoulders" better than either Anisette or Comme Ca.

                            1. re: josephnl
                              l
                              lizziee RE: josephnl Nov 3, 2009 03:03 PM

                              Sorry!

                            2. re: lizziee
                              h
                              hlv2eat RE: lizziee Nov 4, 2009 11:04 AM

                              Thanks for the pics. I look forward to going to Bouchon (first time anywhere) in BH on Nov 18. The quiche is top on my to-try list since i have a tough time finding good quiche in Los Angeles most are not thick and light in texture enough, imho, your pic looks good. Currently i only like the vegetable quiche from Le Pain Quotidien, but this also depends on the location, sometime it's not hot enough. In the Bouchon cookbook Mr Keller also mentioned that here in the States people doesn't know how to do quiche. The egg yolk from the croque madame pic is not orange ( a sign of good egg :-) ), was it flavoful? The charcuterie plate looks like beef (or steak) tartare to me. The boudin noir dish looks great! I also like to try the foie gras appetizer :-)

                              -----
                              Bouchon
                              9 W Victoria St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

                            3. wilafur RE: foodiemahoodie Nov 4, 2009 02:17 PM

                              question........

                              how baby friendly is bouchon in general?

                              1. n
                                Nicole RE: foodiemahoodie Nov 5, 2009 03:40 PM

                                I agree with joseph and lizzie that Bouchon (LV) is leagues above Anisette and Comme Ca. Anisette is solid, good but not great. Comme Ca is mediocre. I'll also add La Cachette Bistro to the french bistro mix--not nearly as good as Bouchon, but way better than Comme Ca.
                                Bouchon > La Cachette Bistro = Anisette > Comme Ca

                                -----
                                La Cachette
                                Little Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90067

                                Bouchon
                                9 W Victoria St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Nicole
                                  j
                                  josephnl RE: Nicole Nov 5, 2009 09:40 PM

                                  I've not been to La Cachette Bistro. I really dislike Anisette, not so much for the food which is ok, but because the seating is so uncomfortable (I've never seen smaller tables...even in Paris), and find the service there incredibly variable. Is LaC Bistro more comfortable than Anisette?

                                  -----
                                  La Cachette
                                  Little Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90067

                                  1. re: josephnl
                                    n
                                    Nicole RE: josephnl Nov 6, 2009 06:37 PM

                                    Yes, La Cachette Bistro is definitely more comfortable, with good service.

                                    -----
                                    La Cachette
                                    Little Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90067

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