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Robaire set the couscous standard

October 19, 2005

I enjoyed the well-researched and gloriously illustrated article on couscous ["Marrakesh Express," Oct. 5]. However, I was shocked that it didn't mention Robaire's French restaurant on La Brea. Robert Robaire was undoubtedly the first to serve "double-steamed" couscous in Los Angeles, going all the way back to the early 1950s.

As a longtime patron of Robaire's, from the early 1970s until it closed in 1990, I have fond memories of the Tunisian couscous sumptuously served the last Wednesday of every month. Incorporated in the dish was a delicious, lighter-than-air meatball stuffed with an artichoke heart, as well as lamb, chicken and vegetables served with a broth. The couscous was wondrously fluffy because it was double-steamed under the watchful eyes of Robaire, his wife, Mona, and her mother, who brought the recipe from Tunis. It was the best I've ever tasted and the benchmark for all others.

WILLIAM BRACKEN

Santa Monica

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