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Aug 31, 2009 01:02 PM

Our visit to the new La Cachette bistro in SM

Thanks to CH, we read that La Cachette has re-opened in Santa Monica on Ocean, so we went on their "very second" night open. We used to really like "old" one on Little Santa Monica, but with all the street construction, no one wanted to venture out that way. So La Ccacahette packed up and moved to a more accessible location (an office building lobby -- not the same look or feel as the old one, sorry to say).

Our reservations were at 6 -- when they open. We were early and got to watch the staff get briefed. The main problems appeared to be with the computer system(!) Just like my office!! We had our pick of tables, since we were the only ones there, and even though it was MUCH cooler than the smoke-ridden SF valley (from which we hail), we still found the 'private room" which, while more charming, was also too warm.

The wait staff didn't know their menu fully yet -- but they seemed to know it a lot better than I'd expect. Our own waiter and the matre'd indidicated did not come from the "old" La Cacehette, but both were very friendly.

The music was good, but too loud. Later on, as the evening filled up a bit (and we were there for hours -- our choice), the music drowned out. It was eclecltic and fun music, by the way when it wasn't too loud. They also kept playing with the lighting -- up, down,up, down -- kind of a cataract experience.

All in all, we had a great time. We probably ate "too heavy" but it was so nice to NOT be in over-100 degree weather, so we ate foie gras (which I'd loved at the old spot and wa excellenthere too), steak tartar (seasoned beautifully), salads (no big deal), rack of lamb, a well-charred ooutside/red inside steak topped w/ melted blue cheese -- nothing a cardiologist would approve of, but it certainly tasted good.

The chef worked the room (except for us!) and I couldn't help but notice him dote on one table in particular -- personally handing out amuse bouches (that we didn't get), hand-serving their food and even pouring their gravy -- I hope it was his parents. But I'll be watching for someone to publish a "real" review soon.

I'd go again and I'll be curious to see how the rest of the menu fared. It did seem like a long menu to me, but I prefer less choice.

Looking forward to others' opinion!

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  1. Do you recall what the prices were like? I'm curious how the price points changed in the bistro format.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jwsel

      Entrees was from 16 to 28 or so. (I remember thinking it was very reasonable.) However, we added on so many extras (starter courses, salad, even a side spinach and cheese plate plus drinks) that it came out pricey. But it did not have to be!

    2. Thanks for the report, I'm eager to try it out soon. I love a good French bistro...can't wait for Bouchon to open in L.A. this Fall. Since it's now a bistro is it pretty casual?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Nicole

        Casual, yes -- typical LA. Of course I never dressed up at the last one!

      2. While never caring for the old one on little sm blvd., this one has more intrigue for me. Like bistro menus much more than the fussier French ones.
        Here is the one for the new place:

        2 Replies
        1. re: carter

          The old room had its charms. Is the new office building location invocative of Il Moro's settings?

          And how was the foie prepped, what were the accoutrements. What kind of salad? Ditto to the sauce for rack of lamb, etc. More deets would be great.

          1. re: TonyC

            Have not been, yet will be really soon.
            Never found the charm you refer to, as the food was always underwhelming.
            but with the new menu, new prices, and a still very competent chef in the kitchen, I have hope.
            Probably would not order rack of lamb as it is a staple at my place - I probably do it better than he does!!!

        2. Is there always music at the new location or was that because of the new opening? Annoying. The old place was one of the few without the contrived ambiance.

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