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french for extra credit

So, I'm taking French 1 in the summer. Extra credit is to eat out at a French restaurant, lunch or dinner, and write a report. Pictures are required. Yes, chowhounding and food porn gets you extra credit.

Where should I go? I have had no prior interest in French food and practically no experience. Is there a restaurant that does the classics well (vichyssoise, cassoulet, escargots, ratatouille, etc.), but also has killer deserts? One that makes rum baba will get you extra credit, though I'll settle for tarte tatin. I've wanted to try rum baba since reading Jay Rayner's book. Also, though I'm not much of a drinker, I'd like to try kir.

So far, I've got RH, Bouchon, Church & State, and Cheval Blanc on my radar. I'll go anywhere in the LA basin. Budget is preferably around $35, but not over $50. That's a little too much.

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  1. the Little Next door seems to have a menu with some french classics for reasonable prices. Haven't visited myself.

    http://www.thelittledoor.com/lndmenu.php

    1. I'm also suggesting a place I haven't been to myself and it's Taix in Echo Park. I thought of it upon reading your post because a friend who grew up in the area says it has been around for ages and that he went there in high school because he was taking French. Looks like it fits very will into your budget as well!

      1 Reply
      1. re: crystaw

        Taix is to French food as PF Chang's is to Chinese food.

      2. how about l'epicerie? i just read that the chef from rh went there.

        5 Replies
        1. re: aizan

          Celebrate Bastille Day this Saturday at AOC with special Bastille Day Menu. That should get you extra credit.
          http://www.aocwinebar.com/AOC_Bastill...

          1. re: maudies5

            it would be neat to go to AOC on bastille day, but i'd rather not drive to 3rd street after work; i work on saturdays (ick), and i'm coming up from the south bay.

            good idea though. maybe i'll go somewhere closer on bastille day, though i'll probably go out on friday.

            1. re: maudies5

              the AOC bastille day deal does not come in at budget.

            2. re: aizan

              L'ep's/RH's chef is long gone. He's in DC now: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01...

              Mignon is doing bottomless Bastille Day for $20: http://www.facebook.com/mignonwine/po...

              1. re: TonyC

                is l'epicerie any worse for his absence?

            3. What fun! My favorite french bistro is Madame Chou Chou. You have to sit on the patio to get the full experience. they owners are french, your waitress is from Paris, the desserts are KILLER and the decor is so adorably french chic (on the patio). I adore l'epicure and the food is really great. I would not go somewhere whose name doesn't sound french (Church & State) or somewhere owned by a famous American chef (thomas keller's bouchon isn't actually French) RH is good. Meet bistro in culver city is a good value (Also, depending if you can wait til next week you can combine with Dine LA for a good deal.)

              1. For classic, old school French fare (gratinee, canard a'lorange, escargot, coq au vin) that won't break the bank, head to La Vie on San Gabriel Blvd. in Rosemead. I kid you not.

                I can't find a website for the restaurant, but here's a menu link:
                http://www.urbanspoon.com/cities/5-lo...

                Details:

                2547 San Gabriel Blvd
                Ste A
                Rosemead, CA 91770
                (626) 571-1180

                1 Reply
                1. re: Jack Flash

                  I'm sticking with my recommendation. Extra credit for Bastille Day celebration:)