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Bouchon, first time - review

  • Tom P Sep 9, 2013 10:50 AM
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I went to Bouchon with a buddy last night for the first time. It was an amazing meal. No need to say too much about the interior, etc, given lots of reports on the board. The service was impeccable. Anthony was our waiter, he was terrific in every way.

Our meal was pretty simple but divine. My buddy started with a charcuterie plate. Very solid, all you could want. (The mustards they serve, with this and with the bread to start the meal, are terrific) My starter, on Anthony's recommendation, with the pate... which is one of the best dishes I've had in years. It was perfect. Not too rich, tons of flavor... wow, was this special.

We went classic for dinner... steak frites for my friend, roast chicken for me. His was perfect, incredible flavor. I am a roast chicken fanatic and pretty picky. I'd go back nightly for this chicken. Not only was the chicken itself wonderful but it might be the best au jus I've ever had. And great vegetables as well.

One of the fish dishes is served with a 'cassoulet of pole beans'. I am a pole bean freak so I asked if I could get that as a side dish. No problem! (Sign of a good restaurant to me, they go out of their way to accommodate, rather than say 'No, you can only get those with that particular dish.) We were served a big bowl of these beans which, again, were incredible.

The herbs used in all of these dishes were sublime. Everything was so fresh and the flavor combinations were dazzling. We also had a great bottle of wine they suggested, not too pricey, and I had a wonderful martini.

Can't wait to go back.

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  1. I love Bouchon...especially the Las Vegas location. All of their food is usually pretty good, but I am especially enamored of the rillettes aux deux saumons (a course salmon pâté). It's delicious, especially with an icy cold martini...yum! Do try it next time!

    1 Reply
    1. re: josephnl

      they also have a proper absinthe setup @ Bouchon LV. Not sure if same applies to BH location.

    2. I love Bouchon in Beverly Hills. Great food, professional service, friendly atmosphere, the whole 9 yards. They also have a fantastic bakery on the ground level, near the elevator.
      I like to take home a few pastries whenever I eat in the retaurant.

      1. thanks for the review. We now have a reservation for later this week. I always kind of forget about Bouchon. Yet, whenever I go, I love everything you describe. I frequently meet a good friend downstairs for lunch. Very dog friendly and the pooches love playing in the park after lunch

        3 Replies
        1. re: maudies5

          Maudies, I am so glad! Please let me know what you get and how it is. Thanks also Cujo (love it) and Josephni. I will definitely try pastries and salmon rillettes when I go next. I was going to get the pork rillettes, actually, but Anthony steered me to the pate. I've never been so happy. But am also happy to branch out. I think I am lucky I am an eastsider and don't live close!

          1. re: Tom P

            That pâté is remarkable. We order 1 to share while we have our cocktails. Martini is indeed great. Alas, my husband is designated driver and thus nurses one beer throughout our meal. We have very strong feelings about drinking and driving.
            Promise a Friday update.

            1. re: maudies5

              Agreed, Maudie. I do Uber when I drink at dinner.

        2. Going on the list

          1. Sounds delicious. What were the per person damages before tip?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Servorg

              About 100 each but that was with cocktails and a nice bottle of wine.

            2. What was the pâtè like? Coarse or smooth? Sadly, I haven't been back since they ran out of their foie gras pâté, which was sublime....

              9 Replies
              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                They "ran out" of foie gras? Or were "run out" of it?
                It felt so sinful on my last two out-of-state trips (New York and New Orleans) to see foie gras on my menus and plates...like a teenager sneaking out for smokes!

                1. re: Ciao Bob

                  You know exactly what I meant! The last week that they were allowed to sell the "evil" product, they did indeed run out, as their pâté was simply the best, and there was a run on it. RIP....

                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                    Do you know if the pate exists at Bouchon LV?

                    1. re: ns1

                      I'm sorry, I don't. We were in Vegas last year, but it was just an overnight as we were traveling back from a road trip in AZ & UT with my kids. Since they had never been before, we spent the time showing them the sights and ate at Caesar's Place Forum shops, which they loved. I will have to check, though, next time we go, as I dearly miss getting it. I am about to mail order some, just to have on hand in my freezer.

                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                        I'll check next time I'm there :) if its as good as you say...

                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                          this it?

                          *Terrine de Foie Gras de Canard
                          served with toasted baguette

                          $25.00
                          (2.5 oz.)
                          $49.00
                          (5 oz.)

                          1. re: ns1

                            I think so. Not sure if there is a difference using duck liver as opposed to the traditional goose. Seems to both be fatty liver (foie gras) and the $49 for the larger size sounds about right. Oh, it's heavenly.....

                  2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                    Smooth.

                    1. re: maudies5

                      Thank you.

                  3. Bouchon pate is superb!

                     
                    1 Reply
                    1. re: lizziee

                      man, i miss that mason jar of foix gras with fat on top and the toast points...maybe should try this?

                    2. try the seafood tower. amazing quality and actually a pretty good buy.

                      1. If you loved the roast chicken, you need to go back for brunch... Roast chicken and WAFFLES! And the waffle is as amazing as you would expect it to be.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: FattyDumplin

                          and let's not forget the monday night fried chicken.

                          1. re: FED

                            That chicken is not available every Monday night. Best to check with restaurant if looking for Mon night Fried Chicken.

                            1. re: maudies5

                              Bouchon has an email list. They notify subscribers of fried chicken dates and special fixed price dinners dates.

                              1. re: cujo

                                Right you are, Cujo. That is how I receive my Bouchon info.

                        2. Dinner tonight at Bouchon.
                          We arrived on time for our 7:00 reservation. The hostess graciously seated us In a very comfortable banquette, where we could be seated side by side.
                          Service was pitch perfect. Bread and butter were served about 2 minutes after we were seated. Drink orders were also taken promptly. Great martini!
                          One of the special appetizers was gazpacho. My husband and I do not have huge appetites so we often share first courses. Our server said that the soup was a generous serving and could likely be shared. Best gazpacho I have ever had. I was happy to see that the recipe is in Keller's Ad Hoc cookbook. I opted for the Boudin Blanc, served with mashed potatoes and a couple of slices of roasted apricots. I did not leave over one morsel. I loved my food. My husband had the Moules et Frites. He believes that Bouchon is the gold standard for this dish. He ate every mussel and also consumed most of the broth. Fries were great.
                          This restaurant is obviously managed very very well.

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: maudies5

                            Oh my. We wrestled with whether to get the Moules Frites. I know what I am getting next time :) So glad you enjoyed it!!

                            1. re: Tom P

                              Thanks Tom P for your enthusiastic post. You were definitely the catalyst for our returning to Bouchon.

                              1. re: maudies5

                                My genuine pleasure!

                            2. re: maudies5

                              Yum...

                              I could slip over there right about now based solely on your report.
                              I love love love Bouchon.
                              Everything about it is class and excellent food with impeccable service.
                              Glad your evening was 'pitch perfect'.

                              1. re: latindancer

                                It was also lovely seeing the Bar Bouchon filled with happy, casual diners. It was, after all, a beautiful night. This is a restaurant which has really grown on me. I often meet a friend for lunch in the Bar. Sometimes we even bring our dogs who hang out under the table and are very well behaved. They love running around in the park after lunch. I have dined there alone for lunch and have always felt welcome and comfortable.
                                Dinner is always wonderful. The restaurant is also flat-out gorgeous. I should also add that the prices are very reasonable, considering the location, quality of the food and the ambiance. All in all, an excellent value.

                                1. re: maudies5

                                  Wait. Bouchon BH is dog friendly??

                                  1. re: ns1

                                    Yes. On the patio downstairs.

                                    1. re: ns1

                                      Bouchon is very understanding of how residents of Beverly HIlls feel about their beloved pets aka as 'children'.
                                      Many don't get anywhere without them and Bouchon is just the place to take them.

                                    2. re: maudies5

                                      You and I have, most likely, crossed paths many times during lunch and other times as well.

                                      I agree with all your observations. It's just one of those places where I feel welcomed and well taken care of.

                                  2. re: maudies5

                                    I agree with your husband on the moules et frites .

                                    1. re: maudies5

                                      Sounds wonderful, and I completely agree, always felt they were very well run & managed.

                                    2. Am I the only one who loves, loves, loves their salmon rillettes (rillettes aux deux saumons)? I mentioned it below, and no one else has commented. I crave the stuff!

                                      12 Replies
                                      1. re: josephnl

                                        it's very easy to make, in the bouchon cookbook.

                                        1. re: FED

                                          My hat's off to you for finding it very easy to make. I'm obviously not in your league as a cook. Nevertheless, I find it truly delicious. For any CH who might be interested in making it, see:
                                          http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...

                                          1. re: josephnl

                                            it looks a lot more involved than it is. basically: steam a piece of salmon and stir it together with smoked salmon and a lot of butter. the rest is details.

                                        2. re: josephnl

                                          I am allergic to Pacific Salmon so I never order it. I keep hearing how amazing they are! The Pork rillettes, too. Maybe they use Atlantic. I will ask next time and if so, I will try!

                                          1. re: Tom P

                                            So there is something in wild caught Pacific salmon that isn't in the farmed salmon from the Atlantic that triggers an allergy? Do you know what it is?

                                            1. re: Servorg

                                              Pacific salmon & Atlantic salmon are common names for scientifically totally different taxonomic species of fish.

                                              1. re: J.L.

                                                If you see Atlantic on the label it's farmed. Pacific normally are wild caught because the farming folks have gone to raising Atlantic salmon in the Pacific as well as the Atlantic Ocean.

                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                  If I remember my undergrad ichthyology: Atlantic salmon is genus Salmo, while Pacific salmon is genus Oncorhynchus.

                                                  (Me, studying with a buddy for the Bio exam as a freshman...)
                                                  Me:" Oncorhychus."
                                                  My buddy: "Bless you."

                                                  1. re: J.L.

                                                    They are definitely different species. But at the molecular level in terms of eating their flesh I've never read anything that makes me think one would be more allergy producing than the other. However, since the Atlantic species are farmed they do end up getting fed fish food and their flesh color is man made, plus some residual levels of antibiotics have been detected from the feed, which is given to protect them in their crowded salmon pens.

                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                      I was simply referring to your assertion that something about the farming renders the Atlantic salmon less allergenic for Tom P.

                                                      My implication is that allergenicity for human consumers of salmon could be due to simply inherent differences in the species of salmon (i.e. variations in genetic makeup from species to species), rather than dependence on any presence (or absence) of specific environmental conditions or cues experienced during the life cycle of the fish.

                                              2. re: Servorg

                                                yes. Iodine. All pacific northwest seafood is high in iodine. I was on a fishing trip in Alaska years ago and after 5 wonderful days of eating nothing but fresh caught fish and shellfish, I had to be flown to a hospital, the reaction was so terrible. They told me what they believed it was and since then, I can eat any seafood save from that area.

                                            2. re: josephnl

                                              Yes, we crave the salmon rillettes too! As for the Moules et Frites: it's always on our order list...

                                            3. I had a decent dinner at Bouchon around 6 weeks ago, my second time dining at Bouchon. I spoke to the manager on the way out, about a service glitch which had offended one of my guests, and the manager seemed genuinely concerned at the time. While our server had been courteous throughout dinner, another individual, who seemed to be an assistant manager, could have been more courteous and professional. A couple weeks later, I sent an email summarizing the experience through the Bouchon website, but I heard no response. I've sent two more emails, including one to the general Thomas Keller Group website, but have heard no response, as of yet.

                                              The borscht and baguette were very good, and the rest of the meal was fine, equivalent to most upscale bistro food I've had elsewhere.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: prima

                                                Don't expect to hear a response. I never heard back from them after a really dismal dinner a few years back.

                                                I've had good, if dull, meals since. Best meal I think they have is breakfast/brunch.

                                                1. re: manku

                                                  Have you had their fried chicken dinner? I'd still like to tray it whatever the cost is now.

                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                    I have. Several times. My wife and I like to share a single order upstairs at the pewter bar.

                                                    Tasty stuff.

                                                  2. re: manku

                                                    Manku, thanks for letting me know it isn't only my emails that Bouchon Beverly Hills has been ignoring. ;)

                                                  3. re: prima

                                                    I personally like the bistro food at Church & State better...and the whole experience there seems less fussy and somehow more genuine.