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Any casual, cheap Parisian-style couscous places in LA area?

Just back from France, and one of our most delicious meals was at a hole-in-the-wall North African place, where we had fabulous, inexpensive couscous and tajine dishes. In price, personality and character, it reminded me of any number of great Mexican neighborhood places in East LA or San Fernando. The only places in the US where we have ever found couscous and tajine dishes have been upscale and elaborate, and expensive. Has anyone found a couscous restaurant in the LA or SF area that is similar in price and character to the multitude of these places in France?

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  1. The new Cafe Livre should be perfect?


    The chef carries the right pedigree... and it's not an upscale restaurant. AND! it officially opened today.

    2 Replies
    1. re: TonyC

      Cafe Livre place link added to CH database

      Cafe Livre
      9626 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

      1. re: TonyC

        They are breakfast and lunch only I believe so doubt that he's doing couscous until they start serving dinner.

      2. Recommend Simon's Cafe in Sherman Oaks (on Sepulveda Blvd., south of Ventura). Very casual cafe style, personal service from Simon himself, similar to the feel of Algerian places in Paris. Note that the delicious tagines & couscous dishes are large and can easily be shared by 2 people w/ maybe the addition of a shared appetizer and/or salad.

        4 Replies
        1. re: archer

          I second Simon's. The price point is definitely not "cheap," but sharing as archer mentions would help alleviate that. Now if only more restaurants would have a "pichet du vin" like Parisian restaurants...

          1. re: hhewitt

            what's a pichet du vin????


          1. On the other hand, Cafe Livre opened in Culver City. The chef is Algerian but is from Lyon... may be a good bet.

            1. I came to Cafe Livre today for the merguez sandwich and found out that they also serve couscous and tagines. (Thanks Chowhounders!) Indeed, it's like in France but better. The merguez was moist, skinny, reddish in color with the perfect blend of spices. The tagine is served with lots of delicious sauce to spoon over fluffy grains of semolina couscous. The green harissa is a nice spin on the traditional red harissa.

              3 Replies
              1. re: ChloeinLA

                I'm looking forward to trying it! Lunch is difficult, so hoping they open for dinner one of these days.

                1. re: sopasca

                  I believe they offer dinner on Fridays and Saturdays until 9 PM

                  1. re: sopasca

                    Cafe Livre is open for dinner everyday now except Sundays. You should call the restaurant and ask for the chef. He's very personable. He was out greeting all the customers when I went today. Looks like a lot of regulars because they were hugging hello and good bye.