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Help! Is CAFE STELLA the best choice for a laid-back French bistro?

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I could kick myself for not trying ANISETTE in Santa Monica when it was still open!

Looking for quality French in a relaxed setting, and Cafe Stella seems to fit the bill for a nice birthday dinner.

Just wanted to consult with my fellow Chowhounders in case I was overlooking other places.

I like that Stella has an outdoor patio (big plus).

Thanks in advance for any other suggestions!

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  1. Maybe Cafe Beaujolais.

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    Cafe Beaujolais
    1712 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

    5 Replies
    1. re: mc michael

      Thanks, mc! Also... any thoughts on Le Saint Amour in Culver City?

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      Le Saint Amour
      9725 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

      1. re: Liquid Sky

        Don't get to CC unfortunately. There's a lot going on there. You might check this blog for related info: http://www.savoryhunter.com/

        1. re: Liquid Sky

          Saint Amour is excellent. Very reasonably priced, too. Do not miss the foie gras terrine. And if you can get there while the weather is still very warm, they have very pleasant outdoor patio seating. Go there.

          1. re: Jack Flash

            Thanks, Jack! I have to confess that I'm a Foie Gras Fanatic... but I'm more into the seared foie than terrine. Do you happen to know if they charge a corkage? Oh, and what else do you like there?

            1. re: Liquid Sky

              I don't remember what the corkage was, since we just had a bottle from their list of moderately priced, mostly French list.

              I had the foie gras terrine appetizer (which was terrific, as I mentioned, and not a small serving, either) and the confit de canard (two pieces - a big serving). The duck was very nicely crisped on the outside, yet still moist and tender on the inside, exactly how it should be. The others in my party both had steak frites. The steaks were cooked to the proper temperature and were served with a very nice portion of excellent fries. I had the pot de creme dessert which was incredibly rich; I couldn't finish it (not after foie gras and confit de canard, anyway). My mom went there last week and had the peche melba dessert, and was raving about it afterward.

      2. If price is less of an issue, I'd prefer Bouchon on the patio. Very chill.

        1 Reply
        1. re: andytseng

          Thanks, Andy! Will investigate...

        2. Another vote for St. Amour!

          5 Replies
          1. re: perk

            Thanks, perk!

            1. re: Liquid Sky

              I 3rd Le Saint-Amour, and I'm French. They have a really good charcuterie plate.

              1. re: bad nono

                Tres bien!

                1. re: bad nono

                  at least a 4th recommendation for Le Saint Amour.
                  Website here:
                  www.lesaintamour.com
                  And Jack Flash hit on several key menu items that you should consider if you do get there.
                  I will drive from Sherman Oaks to eat there if someone mentions French bistro.
                  Another side benefit - the owners are always there, and always so nice.
                  Superb patio, btw.

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                  Le Saint Amour
                  9725 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                  1. re: carter

                    Thanks, carter! You wouldn't happen to know if they have corkage-free nights, would you?