Always satisfying on a balmy day, this French salad is traditionally made with olives, tomatoes, anchovies, green beans, canned tuna and hard-boiled eggs, but there are now other versions.
* Maple Drive: At this sleek, modern place, salade Nicoise is made with seared fresh tuna, field greens, Maui onions, sweet peppers, Nicoise olives, anchovies and a flavorful Japanese vinaigrette. (Charred rare Hawaiian tuna Nicoise salad, $22.) Maple Drive, 345 N. Maple Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 274-9800.
* Mimosa: Here's a classical version: Genoa tuna, green beans, Nicoise olives, red new potatoes, plum tomatoes, sweet red peppers, boiled eggs and anchovies with red wine vinaigrette on the side. (Salade Nicoise, $9.50.) Mimosa, 8009 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 655-8895.
* Geoffrey's: Take in the ocean view as you nosh on seared ahi, chopped celery, corn and carrots, marinated potatoes and Kalamata olives, all on mixed greens with a gingery vinaigrette and wasabi caviar. (Seared rare ahi tuna salad, $16.) Geoffrey's, 27400 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, (310) 457-1519.
* La Cachette: Chef Jean Francois Meteigner has a fresh, intense take: hearts of romaine, poached albacore, dry-cured olives, Italian white anchovies, red potatoes (baked, not boiled), steamed green beans, Roma tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell peppers and a hard-boiled egg, sprinkled with Italian parsley, rock salt and Dijon vinaigrette. (Salade Nicoise: appetizer, $11; entree, $18.) La Cachette, 10506 Santa Monica Blvd., Century City, (310) 470-4992.
* Pastis: This cozy, charming bit of France sears fresh ahi and serves it with sliced boiled eggs and fingerling potatoes, anchovies, tomatoes, green beans and Nicoise olives on baby greens dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. (Salade Nicoise, $11.) Pastis, 8114 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 655-8822.
* Pinot Bistro: At Joachim Splichal's casual Valley bistro, have the salad of seared ahi, celery hearts, Kalamata olives, baby artichoke hearts, roasted red Bliss potatoes, sweet baby tomatoes, green beans, baby greens and a quail's egg, sunny side up. It comes with a large crouton spread with tomato and olive tapenade. (Riviera salade, $14.50.) Pinot Bistro, 12969 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, (818) 990-0500.