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French in SGV

  • m

Any ideas for a charming French restaurant in the SGV where 8 non-foodie seniors would receive old world service? Their go-to French favorite was Parisienne in Monrovia which is closed. This is a birthday so La Vie wouldn't be special occasion enough. Is Cheval Blanc in Old Town Pasadena too hipster?

Desperate for advice. Merci beaucoup.

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La Vie
2547 San Gabriel Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

Cheval Blanc
41 S De Lacey Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

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  1. Bashan in Montrose

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    Bashan
    3459 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208

    1 Reply
    1. re: miwine

      Glendale (or aka Montrose) is in LA County, not the SGV.

    2. The closest thing nowadays to Parisienne in the SGV is probably Maison Akira.

      A bit more expensive, but the food is probably a bit better, than Parisienne. Definitely not "too hipster" for seniors looking for "old world service".

      Joyeux anniversaire!

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      Maison Akira Restaurant
      713 E. Green St., Pasadena, CA 91101

      6 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        My in-laws loved Maison Akira, though Pops always rolled his eyes at the bill. We all went there twice, and enjoyed the food and the peaceful atmosphere very much. Yes, good old-fashioned service, and just enough of a Japanese accent to the basically quite traditional food. The desserts are spectacular to look at, and quite delicious.

        I was a bit put off by Cheval Blanc. Liked it enough on the first visit to request it as my birthday dinner last year, but the staff's lockstep adherence to the Smith brothers' operating formula was annoying this time. The worst example was the bus-person's immediate removal of any dish he assumed I'd finished with, including the escargot plate whose sauce I was getting ready to attack with some bread. I protested, but he ignored me completely. My entrée, the lapin à la moutarde, was tasty enough but clearly prepared with an eye to easy production rather than adherence to tradition. I understand full well that a restaurant exists for the benefit of its owners, not for that of its customers, but under no circumstances should that ever be allowed to become obvious. It was just too obvious here.

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        Maison Akira Restaurant
        713 E. Green St., Pasadena, CA 91101

        Cheval Blanc
        41 S De Lacey Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

        1. re: Will Owen

          Thanks for everyone's good advice. Montrose not too far but am thinking Bashan might not be schmantzy enough for this group. Maison Akira a good idea - I haven't been in forever. They might do a bit more fawning than we'd get at Cheval Blanc.

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          Bashan
          3459 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208

          Maison Akira Restaurant
          713 E. Green St., Pasadena, CA 91101

          Cheval Blanc
          41 S De Lacey Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

          1. re: Peripatetic

            Not that I am aware of, but then I haven't returned either.

            The OP's point of reference is Parisienne. Even during Maison Akira's darkest days, it outshines Parisienne.

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            Maison Akira Restaurant
            713 E. Green St., Pasadena, CA 91101

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Truth. Not saying that's anywhere I went w/enthusiasm, but it's all about finding a place this group will be comfortable.

          2. There's a little French place in Monrovia called Cafe Massilia
            http://www.cafemassiliala.com/

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            Cafe Massilia
            110 east lemon avenue, Monrovia, CA 91016

            1 Reply
            1. re: crystaw

              I really like that place, but (1) it's only one notch fancier than La Vie, and (2) my late Pa-in-law hated the escargot, because they're served nude instead of stuffed in shells. For what THAT'S worth …

              For a proper Sense of Occasion, gonna be hard to beat Akira. Cheval Blanc will fawn like crazy, but they don't mean it. The woman at Maison Akira (if you're lucky and she's on that night) will NOT fawn, but she's both genuinely polite and hilariously funny.