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Inexpensive French fare?

We're still blue about the demise of Cafe du Village on Larchmont where you could bring in your own wine. Can anyone recommend a low key French place? I never ate at fancy places when I lived there and miss the simple cafe fare. Any direction appreciated!

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  1. Some folks on this board may disagree. I have always enjoyed Taix at 1911 Sunset. Extremely reasonable prices, very decent food and excellent service all in an LA landmark. They have a huge separate bar and a complete wine program. The dining room is old school french, quite formal with comfortable booths. Last time I was there for lunch I had the best trout and clam chowder that I had in a long time. I wish it were closer - its one of my favorites. I will stop in next time I'm in their neighborhood. Here is their website.
    http://www.taixfrench.com

    4 Replies
    1. re: Baron

      I join in Baron's observations. I was going to Taix which the menu used to say is to be pronounced "Tex". Guess they got tired of teaching French to the Los Angelenos, since in was no more than 5 years old or 62 years ago when they were on Commercial Street in Downtown. I have their website on my favorites list and check in now and then for specials. I was there about a year ago and based on that visit can still give it a high recommendation.

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      Taix French Restaurant
      1911 W Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026

      1. re: Hughlipton

        I eat at Taix fairly regularly for pre-Disney Hall dinner, and the food is very good, very fairly priced, and their special wine list the best in town. Nightly specials at around $18.95 including soup or salad, with veggies accompanying entrees.
        Sit in the bar area for a bit more warmth, unless the Lakers are in action nearby, as the TVs will be going and their fans will be yelling!

      2. re: Baron

        Another vote for Taix. I've been a regular there for 30 years, Enjoy going there on a Friday afternoon to decompress from a week at work. Always enjoy their onion soup, especially on a cold winter day!

        1. re: Baron

          Today, Groupon is offering a $40 certificate for Taix for $20.

        2. It would probably be worth your time (given your desire as stated) to comb through this recent prior thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/764626 for some good ideas. While some of these will be too frou frou for you, others should be spot on. Bon Voyage!

          1. Have you tried Le Peiti Cafe in Santa Monica?

            Le Petit Cafe
            2842 Colorado Ave
            Santa Monica
            310 829-6792
            http://www.lepetitcafebonjour.com/

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            Le Petit Cafe
            2842 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404

            2 Replies
            1. re: Norm Man

              Le Petit Cafe sounds wonderful. Thanks. I'm going to try it this coming week.

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              Le Petit Cafe
              2842 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404

              1. re: maudies5

                Thank you for the ideas. Went to Taix MANY years ago so the memory is fuzzy but i don't remember feeling like returning. But perhaps it's worth a repeat. Le Petit Cafe looks charming as well if I happen to be on the westside. I remember fondly Cafe Maurice as well that bit the dust years ago.

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                Le Petit Cafe
                2842 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404

            2. Brasserie Pascal (Newport Beach) has good inexpensive deals

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              Brasserie Pascal
              327 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660

              1. I love Le Petit Cafe; it's one of the reasons that whenever I have to be in Santa Monica I try really hard to make it around lunchtime! Nighttime is good, too. I believe the owner is Alsatian; there's quite a bit of Alsatian stuff on the dinner menu. Lunch has more "California" fare mixed in.

                If you somehow find yourself wanting something French out in the eastern territories, La Vie on San Gabriel Blvd. in Rosemead is very classic French, by a properly-trained Vietnamese chef, at remarkably low prices. When my pa-in-law was alive this was the family's default special-occasion restaurant. There have been several reports about it on this board.

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                La Vie
                2547 San Gabriel Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

                13 Replies
                1. re: Will Owen

                  I don't recall seeing any recent report on Angelique Cafe? Will, seeing as how it isn't so far from the Pasadena area maybe you could take one for the team? ;-D>

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                  Angelique Cafe
                  840 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

                  1. re: Servorg

                    I haven't been since M. Commereuc and his wife sold it to the Café Beajolais owner. I'm told it's just not the same (and neither, I can tell you, is Café Beaujolais). As for the ex-Angeliquer, he now has Le Saint-Amour in Culver City, where I have enjoyed two lunches so far, though it's gotten mixed reviews here. I can tell you that his duck confit, which was quite adequate downtown, is now stunningly good. You get TWO whole legs on a bed of extremely skinny, crisp frites, and though I'm told it's a bit pricier now than it was two years ago it has to be worth it.

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      Will, I have eaten at Saint Amour probably 5 times, and it is wonderful for dinner. Never in that area for lunch, but I will drive from Sherman Oaks to eat there for dinner. As you state, the duck is sensational.
                      Highly recommended for French bistro food, not meant to be compared to Melisse for fussy French food.
                      Moules Frites is also a very good option. Wish the dessert menu varied more often. I generally bring my own wine, as corkage is fair.

                      1. re: carter

                        What is their corkage? I think it'd be wonderful to bring a bottle of the namesake wine along, though I'm assuming they keep some in the cellar! I should probably wait until the rail connection is finished, though; that stuff is probably the most alcoholic of all the Beaujolais. Had a small glass at a tasting room in Saint-Amour, and the proprietor insisted on pouring me another; I was SO glad someone else was driving!

                      2. re: Will Owen

                        Another thumbs up for Saint Amour. We've only been there for dinner, never lunch. We used to love Angelique Cafe.

                        I just checked the website and the duck confit is now up to $23. It used to be under $20. Although the description on the site now says ala orange and says duck leg, singular. I don't see the regular confit description at all.

                        1. re: Jase

                          Yes, it was $18-something, a figure I remember almost as well as the meal. For me at the time that was right on the line between Buy it and Don't … as $20 is about my self-imposed limit for lunch. I may have to adjust that, except that now it's the $4+ gas and the trek from Pasadena that are the real barriers. Just dying for them to get that damn train running!

                          1. re: Will Owen

                            If it's one duck leg for $23, that certainly drastically skews the value ratio. La Petite Creperie in Mar Vista, just down the street on Venice/Grandview, serves one confit duck leg for $14. The skin needed to be crispier the one time I had it. I've been meaning to go back and try them again. The food was good and we liked the overall mood and service. But they're only open for dinner Thursday and Fridays.

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                            La Petite Creperie
                            3809 Grand View Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                            1. re: Jase

                              Well, I just looked at the currently-posted menu and the confit is gone! Probably killed off by its own popularity. The lunchtime steak-frites would appear to be an excellent deal at $16, about what Bistro de la Gare in SoPas charges for their midday version (which sounds to me like a good idea for another fine shootout!).

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                              Bistro de la Gare
                              921 Meridian Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030

                              1. re: Will Owen

                                Duck confit still on the menu at La Creperie. Having gone to the La Petite Creperie in Mar Vista last night I will gladly throw their hat into the ring on this thread (along with Jase). My wife had the roast chicken breast crepe ( Poulet a La Crème - Pan Roasted Chicken Breast with a Creamy Mushroom Sauce and Parsley) and I had the duck confit with Cherry Glaze and haricort vert as the vegetable. Very Frenchified menu with a charming French owner/host. And cute tables, comfortable chairs. The skin on the duck leg was nice and crispy. The price on the duck confit had gone up to $18. The special soup of the day "leek and potato" was also delicious.

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                                La Petite Creperie
                                3809 Grand View Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                                1. re: Servorg

                                  Servorg, thanks for the update. Glad to hear about the duck. We like the overall feel of La Petite. People are super nice. Did you get a chance to try the coffee or the dessert? We liked the coffee a lot. I'm not a crepe expert but I liked the crepes dessert. Although it was prepared beforehand and not fresh for dinner service.

                                  We'll have to go back there soon. It's a nice small neighborhood place.

                                  1. re: Jase

                                    We were debating about dessert, but after the soup and the mains we really didn't have room. Also, the pace is leisurely (without being slow) and the room was completely full by the time we had finished the savory part of the meal, so we decided to get home as my wife needed to go back to her store to finish a couple of orders for the next day.

                              2. re: Jase

                                I went to LSA a few weeks ago for the Fried Chicken dinner on Sunday(very good btw) and also tried the duck confit w/ orange sauce. It is still 2 legs and while tasty, there was no crisp skin to speak of. Don't know if the duck confit is still great at RH at Andaz, now that the chef left, but that was the best confit I've had in LA.

                                1. re: baloney

                                  If crisp skin is what you're after, then no, this won't do it for you. All I care about is the succulence of the flesh; in fact, the recipe I use to make it calls for removing the skin and rendering the fat first. That way the COOK gets crisp skin … ;-)