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Vive la cuisine

September 07, 2006|Leslee Komaiko

Francophiles, take heart: There are still a few French restaurants with French chefs at the helm.

Angelique Cafe

Who is the guy in the motorcycle boots, shorts and apron? That would be Bruno Herve-

Commereuc. He makes pates and sausages at this charming downtown L.A. sleeper, which he runs with his wife, Florence. The cafe also does breakfast, including savory and sweet crepes and nearly a dozen omelets.

* Crepes, $5.45 to $6.45. 840 S. Spring St., downtown L.A., (213) 623-8698.

Bistro K

If you're looking for familiar bistro fare, keep searching. But if you're willing to venture a bit, you'll be well rewarded by chef Laurent Quenioux, who was born in Blois in the Loire Valley. At this tiny 3-year-old spot with a pretty patio, he turns out dishes such as Dungeness crab gratin in a green tea-scented sabayon with tapioca pearls. What does the "K" stand for in the name? It's a reference to kilograms and the 1000 address.

* Crab gratin, $13.95. 1000 Fremont Ave., S. Pasadena, (626) 799-5052.

Tradition by Pascal

After a renovation last year, and to better reflect chef Pascal Olhats' commitment to traditional French cuisine, the restaurant formerly known as Pascal got a new name. Don't let the strip mall locale put you off. The atmosphere is warm and elegant. And you can get your favorites such as coq au vin.

* Coq au vin, $25. 1000 N. Bristol St., Suite 11, Newport Beach, (949) 263-9400.

La Cachette

Nearly 12 years ago, after spending almost a decade behind the stove at L'Orangerie, Jean Francois Meteigner opened his pretty but unpretentious restaurant in a former residence. It's a lovely spot for an adult evening, where, amen, you can hear yourself talk. And the Vichy native's food doesn't rely on loads of cream and butter. Think grilled swordfish with a horseradish wasabi mustard emulsion.

* Swordfish, $29. 10506 S. Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A., (310) 470-4992.


Located on what has been christened L.A.'s new restaurant row, Pastis manages to be hip and charming. Chef Walter Vilquin's menu is simple: rack of lamb, Moroccan chicken tagine, and for dessert, chocolate profiteroles. Make your visit on a Wednesday evening, and selected bottles of wine are priced two for one.

* Tagine, $21. 8114 Beverly Blvd., L.A., (323) 655-8822.

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