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Jul 24, 2009 10:26 PM

french food in san diego?

looking for french cuisine in san diego. doesnt necessarily need to be fancy, in fact, french country cooking that is affordable would be ideal.

anybody know a good place?

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  1. Three excellent places:

    Tapenade in La Jolla -- rather upscale bistro, really serious fine food

    Cavaillon in Rancho Santa Luz (wheerdat? been there, it's up there in the boonies) -- a protegee of the major chef at Tapenade, comfy country setting, also fab food.

    BerhardO's in Rancho Bernardo -- another superb chef from the Tapenade stable, very pretty bistro.

    Farmhouse - here in town in University Heights, charming little place, excellent food, more affordable than any of the above. Probably the one you're looking for.

    La Bonne Boeuf in Encinitas -- very old-fashioned menu of America's favorite French foods, but I hear they're done well.

    We also have a lot of places that do the sort of le-fake-French bistro menu you find sometimes in Paris in restaurants that put all the Americans into a separate room and give them their own menu of the French foods they think Americans like. You can tell which places I mean because when you look at their menus, you'll find a recipe for every single dish in Julia Child Volume I. And Julia's recipes are often better than these restaurants' if you're willing to DIY, since you have quality control over ingredients when you do the cooking.

    4 Replies
    1. re: naomiwise

      Welcome Naomi. It's a pleasure having you here.

        1. re: naomiwise

          It's actually "La Bonne Bouffe". The first time I went there I noticed a card on the table stating that cassoulet is always available. This was after we had ordered our meals and it was too late to change, so I asked if I could have a small sample (I love cassoulet). The waiter returned with a full portion, compliments of the chef. I enjoyed it.

          1. re: naomiwise

            Although I used to be a big fan of Tapenade, I am no longer overwhelmed with this place. The service seems overly pretentious, the prices are high, and the food although generally good, is not terrific.

            For my buck, Cavaillon is a better deal. The service is warm and friendly, the food is very good, and the overall feel is more comfortable and homey than Tapenade. It is also less expensive.

          2. Vincent's in Escondido.

            1. I second Cavaillon, always had a great meal there. Also try Bistro Le Bouchon in Escondido.

              1. Tapenade, and Cavaillon are my top two picks. Both have excellent food, in a medium upscale environment. I have photos and descriptions of many of the menu items from both restaurants on my blog if you are interested.


                1. Cafe' Chloe, located just a couple of blocks South of Gaslamp area