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Dec 26, 2011 07:15 AM

Any good French restaurants in LA?

Are there any good French restaurants in LA?
Or is my best bet to get on a plane, and fly to NY?
I'm looking for a place similar to Balthazar.

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        1. Closest thing to Balthazar in LA would probably be Cafe Beaujolais out in Eagle Rock, or maybe Bouchon in Beverly Hills.

          Mind you, this does not mean that Cafe Beaujolais is on par with Balthazar; rather, it's more like a step-child adopted by the same parents that gave birth to Balthazar.

          And Bouchon has too much of a corporate feel to give you that nice cozy, bistro atmosphere that's part of the charm of Balthazar you are probably seeking.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Bar Bouchon feels very French to me. I love sitting outdoors and eating casual bistro food. That would be my recommendation. Bouchon, however is excellent in a more formal way.

          2. Maison Giraud in the Palisades.

            Not only great (still pretty new), but part of the fun is the excitement of the cliental - Palisadians who finally have a great restaurant in their hood. They're all smiles and giggles.

            Not like Balthazar however. Bouchon and Comme Ca is more along those lines. Church & State downtown too (was more like that with previous chef, but still very good.)

            Melisse is haute. Fine dining. More like a Jean Georges experience. (but better in my experience).

            2 Replies
            1. re: foodiemahoodie

              Have to second Church & State as a pseudo Balthazar in LA (with far better food). Despite the rotating chef, we just had a very solid meal there couple of days of ago. Beaujolais may have French-accented waiters, but I'll take the cocktail program and the crowd pleasing tarte flambees at C&S anytime.

              Echoing ips, upstairs Bouchon feels like a corporate meeting room. Echoing maudies5, I much prefer Bar Bouchon downstairs, and rather enjoy it.

              1. re: foodiemahoodie

                I wish I could recommend Comme Ça. I've been several times, because it SHOULD be a really great French restaurant. They have decent cocktails and a well-curated wine list, but the food is just not up to par. Sometimes it's reasonably good but other times the meat is desperately overcooked and you can tell it's sat in the passthrough under the heat lamps.

                I'd recommend Bistro Provence in Burbank before Comme Ça, but it's not like Balthazar either.

              2. I've never been to Balthazar. I don't think L.A. is very strong when it comes to French food. But the 2 times I've eaten at Cafe Beaujolais I've had very good meals in a charming, "date worthy" restaurant.

                Cafe Beaujolais
                1712 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

                4 Replies
                1. re: Servorg

                  I'm not so sure Balthazar is so strong for French food either. It's good, but in NY it's a stone's throw away from much better.
                  Church and State is probably the closest in LA.

                  1. re: cls

                    Disagree about Balthazar, still my go to after all these years whenever in NY. l like better than most bistros in Paris. Will be trying Melisse next month.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      Agree that Balthazaar is a NY go-to & that Melisse is an entirely different deal (haute - wear yer fanciness). I've lived in LA for muchos anos and I appreciate all these suggestions. I pretty much gave up on Balthazaar-like. I will try Church and State with glee.

                    2. re: cls

                      Yeah never understood all the fuss about Balthazar when I dined there - just ok did not find it comparable to bistros in Paris.

                      I like Bouchon but find it more cal-french rather than a true french bistro.

                  2. Bouchon tackles French food very well, but if you want the feeling of eating in a Paris bistro try Le Petit Four on Sunset in West Hollywood. Amazing food and free parking (just use the Sunset Plaza parking lots).

                    Le Petit Four
                    8654 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

                    235 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jlisa1

                      Petit Four? Amazing food?

                      I'll have to strongly disagree. Good euro-trash watching though. Fun place, but like Dan Tana's, it's not about the food. (but nothing like Dan Tana's crowd which is wildly eclectic mix).