LA Confidential Magazine: Rise of the French Bistro

As part of my six-page spread in the LA Confidential Food Issue, I wrote about several dining trends around Los Angeles. One of those was the fact that so many of the restaurants that have opened in the past year or so seem to be French bistros--Delphine, Church & State, Saint Amour, etc.

I think part of the reason for that is that the bistro is kind of like the upscale dining equivalent of comfort food. In tough economic times, when you're going to drop a wad of cash on a nice meal, you want to know what you're getting. At these French bistros, there are standard, simple but gourmet, menu items you can count on.

To see which restaurants I included and what you can find on the menu, take another look at the specific piece in the dining spread by clicking on the link below, or read on to see the text of the piece.


Rise of the French Bistro

Even a few years ago, French restaurants in Los Angeles were excellent but limited in number. This year, however, it seems as if every new restaurant in town is a French bistro. Two renowned Westside chefs launched new ventures: Josiah Citrin of Mélisse opened Caché Restaurant & Lounge (3110 Main St., Santa Monica; and Jean François Meteigner built the new incarnation of La Cachette Bistro (1733 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica;, joining the ranks of Santa Monica mainstays Anisette Brasserie (225 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica; and JiRaffe (502 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica; Culver City is now home to Saint Amour (9725 Culver Blvd., Culver City;, named after a Beaujolais appellation. Thomas Keller’s return to Los Angeles with the opening of a Beverly Hills outpost of created incredible buzz, but it was Downtown’s Church & State (1850 Industrial St., Los Angeles; that saw the most buzz (and drama) with sudden departures by chefs Greg Bernhardt and Walter Manzke. Meanwhile Hollywood heralded the inauguration of the Cannes inspired Delphine Eatery & Bar (6250 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; at the W Hollywood, and even Pasadena welcomed Quadrupel Brasserie (43 E. Union St., Pasadena;, a French brasserie and Belgian beer pub hybrid. We can only assume there will be more moules frites and escargots in our future.