LA Confidential Review of Bouchon

Right as I returned from Australia back in November, the entire Los Angeles foodie community was abuzz with the imminent opening of Thomas Keller's first L.A. restaurant, an outpost of his French brasserie, Bouchon. My editors at L.A. Confidential Magazine asked if I would like to write a review of it for them, and I jumped at the chance. It isn't every day that you get to enjoy a meal from one of America's most famous chefs, and I was eager to see what all the attention was about (someday I hope to be able to eat at Per Se and, even more, The French Laundry up in Yountville).

I recently got the December/January issue of the magazine and scanned in the article, but since it's a little hard to see, I will also copy the text of the review below the magazine spread. I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

The Review:


Los Angeles has its share of famous chefs—especially of the reality TV variety—but it’s not every day that a talent with seven Michelin stars makes his triumphant return, as Thomas Keller did this past November with the opening of Bouchon Beverly Hills.

Widely considered one of the top chefs—if not the top chef—in the country, Keller hasn’t graced L.A. kitchens since working at Checkers Downtown in the 1990s. But now the Southern California native is finally back with the third location of Bouchon (the other two are in Yountville and Las Vegas), a French brasserie with traditional design touches like a pewter bar, mosaic floors, pastel murals, and brass fixtures shedding a “La Vie En Rose” pink tint on the enormous dining room.

Whereas you go to Keller’s other restaurants, The French Laundry and Per Se, to be dazzled by gastronomic experiments, the (more affordable) cuisine at Bouchon is about perfecting classic French dishes—like a “This Is Your Life” episode of French cooking. The escargots bourguignons remind you of your first daring dining experience as a child. You relive that formative summer internship in Paris with each bite of duck leg confit. The steak frites are a taste of your counter-culture days in the East Village after college, while the oyster platters and pan-roasted trout aux amandes are the meal you would have eaten to celebrate getting engaged at the Eiffel Tower. One of the sommeliers roving the room will advise you which wine on the strictly French-Californian list will pair best with your meal.

And for a more casual dining experience, Bar Bouchon recently opened downstairs from the main restaurant and features a large selection of small plates and by-the-glass wines.

235 N. CaƱon Dr., Beverly Hills, (310) 271-9910;