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Jul 26, 2012 10:01 PM

Ratata: A Pictorial Essay

Verdict: A very homey, cozy, hole-in-the-wall French eatery on Westwood Blvd. The owners/chefs are a couple hailing from Paris (Montmartre). They are super friendly, and the food at Ratata reflects their warmth. Sometimes, there is live music! It's also very reasonably priced. Note: The pace of the meal is leisurely. Overall, I recommend it.


- Mushroom soup: Aromatic homestyle soup, perfect with some bread for dipping.

-Boeuf Bourgignon: Rich, flavorful, stick-to-your-ribs type beef stew.

-Hachis Parmentier: The French equivalent of Shepherd's pie, Ratata certainly does solid version of this; one of my favorite French comfort food dishes.

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  1. It looks good and the prices I see on their (not so intuitive) website also seem more than fair for that area of L.A.

    1. next time i'm in the area, this is where i'm going. =)

      1. I haven't been in a year, but if it's improved - so be it. However, my experience was that it was pretty amateurish. I have a friend who confuses that with quaint and charm.

        Yes, the people running it are very, very nice. So I feel kinda guilty not praising them. But the food to me seemed like something you'd get in a French college dorm. Do they even have a stove? (I think they have a couple hot plates if I'm not correct). Nothing special. Home cooking yes, but not special.

        Leisurely service is a nice way of putting it. Again, very nice people, but it's not a real restaurant.

        4 Replies
        1. re: foodiemahoodie

          Totally concur.

          J.L.'s superb photography skills does more justice to their food than it deserves.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Sad but true. The owners are a very nice couple indeed.

          2. re: foodiemahoodie

            i agree for some reason they are earnest and usually eager to please but not ready for prime time.

            And have the time they aren't even open for some reason, or this is one of the joints in LA that has the most erratic hours ever.

            i'd prolly just eat at Philly West. but maybe i'll give it a try, even though i'm no fan of shepherd's pie and etc.

            1. re: kevin

              Philly West is my go to spot for lunch during the week.

              I've wanted to try Ratata, but their lunch hours are very inconsistent. Sometimes you show up and they are closed, with an apology on the door. After a couple of times, I sort of gave up on going there.

              Sushi Masu across the street is pretty good for lunch.

          3. i'm very surprised you liked it.

            maybe it has gone uphill ?

            i've tried it a number of time the past few years and for some reason i've never posted about it.

            i keep wishing it was that local french joint that i could truly love, but sadly...

            22 Replies
            1. re: kevin

              La Petite Creperie in Mar Vista, 3809 Grandview Blvd.

              1. re: AyrtonS

                do they serve french dishes beyond crepes and coffee and savory crepes ?


                  1. re: PaulF

                    sorry, my remark was in reference to, but speaking of which, have you been to Ratata before PaulF :

                    La Petite Creperie in Mar Vista, 3809 Grandview Blvd.

                    Permalink | Report | Reply
                    By AyrtonS about 3 hours ago

                  2. re: kevin

                    Open for dinner three nights a week. Not traditional but more Cal-French fare. Do have crepes for dessert as well.

                    1. re: AyrtonS


                      Now i got it.

                      in reference to the creperie in mar vista, right ?

                      1. re: kevin

                        Correct and the three dinner nights are Thursday thru Saturday. Sometimes offer a set dinner menu which are very reasonably priced.

                1. re: kevin

                  I for one feel that Ratata has gone uphill since it opened. Yes, I'm well aware that there are some very legit Chowhounds who will say the entire experience feels "sophomoric", for lack of a better term.

                  But... it's comfort food that won't break the bank, and for that, it needs recognition.

                  1. re: J.L.

                    does she still serve the duck rilletes sandwich ? it was basically just a long, thin crusty baguette with rilletes on it and some sliced pickles, it was kinda tasty.

                    but i don't know... they have very erratic hours, and the prices aren't cheap for what it is. i don't know but 18 or 19 for a mediocre shepherd's pie is just not a deal.

                    suffice to say, i keep wishing it were truly better so that it would be an asset to the hood. i do have to say when they projected classic silent films from Chaplin, etc. that was pretty cool.

                    and i heard the wife of the husband/wife ownership usu sings in most evenings.

                    1. re: J.L.

                      If J.L. says it's gone uphill of late, we should all give the place another try and support the owners, which we all agree, are very nice people. Believe this is their first attempt in the restaurant business, which can be challenging to say the least.

                      1. re: AyrtonS

                        I appreciate the sentiment, but I'll wait for some stellar reviews before I wade back into those waters. Prefer the tried and true.

                          1. re: J.L.

                            On this one, I concur.

                            If anyone else does go too, please report back.

                          2. re: foodiemahoodie

                            Well, I've gone back. You got this one right, not much has changed. But now I don't feel so bad not going back again anytime soon. Best of luck to the owners.... nice couple!

                            1. re: AyrtonS

                              Thanks for reporting back! Like you said, the owners are really nice people.

                              1. re: J.L.

                                Our first (and last) visit, ordered salade nicoise to go: no green beans, no anchovies and no sliced potatoes. Good cup of coffee while I was waiting (for about 20 minutes). Wish we had a local French joint but Soleil up the street is tops particularly now they have the Petit Soleil bar next door with small plates - all delicious but some are pricey but great atmosphere.

                                1. re: ZoeZ

                                  Oh, my bad. I did not realize that in addition to Soleil, the Canadian-French joint, which weirdly I have never visited even after all these years. Bad Chowhound, bad chowhound...

                                  Yet I also didn't know that an offshoot opening up next door ? Is that correct ? Did someone mention it's a poutine bar ? Anyhow, any other info about it.

                                  1. re: kevin

                                    Bar is already open - full bar plus TV's and long bar to hang on to if you like hanging on to a bar - good vibe plus they have a valet - essential for this part of Westwood Blvd. You can order oysters on Friday night (pre order) plus the restaurant has all you can eat mussels and frites on Wednesday night, must order the previous day. Yes, the bar is a poutine bar, several kinds.

                                    1. re: kevin

                                      It's called P'tit Soleil. Nice space.

                                    2. re: ZoeZ

                                      My apologies. Just a tadbit confused, but was your salade nicoise and cup of coffee from Ratata that you were waiting for ?

                                      So you're giving Ratata only one try because the salad was not very good ? Just was confused. Yeah, I don't know. Sometimes I think Ratata is just not ready for prime time and the prices are not exactly reasonable but neither of course are they Spago prices or the old Bastide prices. Yet it is overpriced.

                                      So the coffee was pretty good ?

                                      1. re: kevin

                                        Coffee was excellent and gratis - lot of confusion in the kitchen that day so hence the wait.

                                    3. re: J.L.

                                      I was really hoping to report positive news. Did I mention that the owners are really nice?