At Papilles, owner Santos Uy has taken the Paris bistronomy movement to heart with this funky but soulful little bistro set in a Hollywood strip mall. The menu from chef Tim Carey is prix fixe and affordable. And the wine list from wine bar veteran Uy (Bacaro, Mignon) focuses mostly on French and/or natural wines from small producers.
What's your favorite wine region to visit?
I don’t really visit wine regions that much. As a restaurateur, it's more important for me and more fun to visit foreign restaurants. I’d rather be sitting at a cafe in Paris drinking a natural wine than looking at rocks. While I enjoy hanging out in the cellar and drinking out of barrel, it can't beat a beautiful restaurant in a beautiful setting. The little time that I get I’d rather spend in a city, picking up ideas from other restaurants' wine lists and menus.
What's the sleeper on your list?
I have this really pretty Sancerre Rouge, a Pinot Noir made by husband and wife team Henry and Cécile Natter. (The label is Henry Natter.) He’s the vineyard guy on the tractor and his wife Cécile is an enologist. Their flagship wine is Sancerre Blanc, which is awesome every year. I don’t have that wine. I have their Sancerre Rouge, which they make miniscule quantity. It's pale in color, almost a rosé, high-pitched, minty. Since we have a prix fixe menu at Papilles, two people often choose one fish and one meat, and this is a wine that goes very well with both. It's just very versatile.