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Authentic French bistro/brasserie (not fine dining) Westside to South Bay preferred

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sablouwho Mar 22, 2012 12:20 PM

I was all set to go to Le Saint Amour in Culver City (had good experience last time I was there) but according to Yelp it appears to have closed.

My date and I are looking for a place where we can practice our French language skills while eating a good French meal, so we're looking for real French food with French-speaking servers.

MUSTS -->French-speaking, bistro/brasserie level, not fine dining (please don't suggest Melisse :) Food needs to be good--mediocre faux French won't do!

FLEXIBLE -->If we have to drive (if there is nothing in Westside-to-Southbay) that would be ok.

How is Le Petit Cafe in Santa Monica? Any other suggestions?

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  1. TonyC RE: sablouwho Mar 22, 2012 12:37 PM

    Uhm. L'epicerie is just down the street from Le Saint Amour. The owner is tres French, they play French music, the cheeses/wine larder is all full of French stuff. They have French rags next to the cafe area, ad nausea.

    Don't know how the food is these days, since the chef left, but if you stick to cheeses/foie, you can't really go wrong.

    4 Replies
    1. re: TonyC
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      sablouwho RE: TonyC Mar 22, 2012 12:50 PM

      TonyC--thank you, I hadn't heard of this place before, will check it out!

      1. re: sablouwho
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        Jase RE: sablouwho Mar 22, 2012 09:50 PM

        I like Le Epicierie but I don't know if the food is what you're looking for. I'm not sure if any of the waiters speak French either. Take a look at their menu and see for yourself. We used to go to Saint Amour regularly too and I really wouldn't say Le Epicierie is anything similar.

        http://www.lepiceriemarket.com/

        1. re: Jase
          Servorg RE: Jase Mar 23, 2012 06:26 AM

          I've pedaled by Cafe Pierre in Manhattan Beach, but have never tried it. I did see Jerome recommend it here on the LA board before. http://cafepierre.com/

          1. re: Jase
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            TracyS RE: Jase Mar 23, 2012 02:49 PM

            I agree, the food at Le Epicerie is not great and the ambience is not really brasserie either - more like a cafe/small marketplace.
            MEET is a French bistro a few doors down from Le Saint Amour on the same side of the street which I like better.

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        Ernie RE: sablouwho Mar 22, 2012 12:43 PM

        I've had a a couple of good meals at Le Petit Bistro in West Hollywood over the years. I think the owners might be French-Morrocan but can't recall if the servers speak French.

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          sparkareno RE: sablouwho Mar 22, 2012 01:13 PM

          Aimee in Redondo Beach. The owner (Aimee) is French and always comes around to the tables. I have had French speaking waiters there in the past but haven't been in a while.

          1. perk RE: sablouwho Mar 22, 2012 11:15 PM

            There's a cute place in Santa Monica called Madame Chou Chou. Owned by a French couple. One of them is always there. I'm not sure all of the servers speak French, but the owners are always close by....it's a small place. They're very charming. Menu is small...but quite good.

            1 Reply
            1. re: perk
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              EricDC RE: perk Mar 26, 2012 12:55 PM

              Madame Chou Chou is relatively expensive, but everyone in there always seems happy with what they're eating..

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              iOnLa RE: sablouwho Mar 23, 2012 01:12 PM

              it's not a bistro/brasserie but La Petite Creperie in Mar Vista has fabulous crepes, French press coffee, a charming room and tres Francais servers.
              www.lpcmarvista.com/

              1 Reply
              1. re: iOnLa
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                sablouwho RE: iOnLa Mar 23, 2012 01:46 PM

                Good to know--will keep in mind for future reference. Thanks!

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                flowergirl RE: sablouwho Mar 25, 2012 06:49 PM

                Meet Bistro in Culver City is wonderful. It's authentic and delicious

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                  happybaker RE: sablouwho Mar 25, 2012 08:26 PM

                  Haven't been there in a while, but I highly rec Cafe Beaujolais. Very nice food, surprisingly decent prices and yes, they speak french. Much french!

                  http://www.yelp.com/biz/cafe-beaujola...

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                    foodiemahoodie RE: sablouwho Mar 25, 2012 11:43 PM

                    I haven't been to Le Petite Cafe in probably five years. So I don't know if it's changed. If I liked it then, I would've been back. Fairly mediocre in my memory.

                    What dishes were you looking for specifically?

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                      New Trial RE: sablouwho Mar 26, 2012 12:04 AM

                      Maison Giraud in Pacific Palisades might be the place for which you are looking. I cannot speak for all the staff (let alone in French) but our garcon was certainly gallic. Oh yes, and the food was quite good and authentic as well.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: New Trial
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                        foodiemahoodie RE: New Trial Mar 27, 2012 05:53 AM

                        I thought of Maison Giraud, but the OP said not fine dining. And M.G. is kind of a "tweener" in that regard. Food is great.

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                        globalgourmet RE: sablouwho Mar 27, 2012 04:34 AM

                        I second Le Petit Bistro on LaCienega. Just ate there tonight. Always native French patrons there when I have been and I know at least some of the waiters speak French--ask for a French-speaking waitperson. Reasonable prices.

                        Jean Pierre's food at Cafe des Artistes in Hollywood is authentic and reasonable, but I've never encountered a French-speaking waitperson there.

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