Top 10 French Restaurants in LA
You can enjoy all kinds of cuisines in Los Angeles, from Caribbean, Tex-Mex, Arabic and Italian, to Russian, Pacific Rim, Mediterranean and everything in between. But for naughty boys and girls, there’s only one kind of food guaranteed to get you into a sexy mood, and that’s French. Whether you’re looking for that perfect first date venue, or just somewhere you and your lover can nibble on aphrodisiacs before you begin on each other, I’ve come up with a list of some of the best French restaurants in LA, all tried and tested by me. Whatever your budget, whatever your mood, there’ll be something here to tickle those tastebuds and get you both in the mood for a little seduction, the French way.
The Little Door
8164 W 3rd Street, West Hollywood
Sun-Thur 6pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 6pm-11pm
Voted “Best Romantic Restaurant in LA” by industry insiders, The Little Door is a part-fairy garden, part French country house. It’s deceptively spacious yet manages to retain a sense of real intimacy, so I love coming here on dates. You can dine in the beautiful Garden Patio with its rustic blue doors and exotic shrubbery, or go for the Winter Garden which has a bamboo lined ceiling to keep you dry but still has that al fresco freshness. The Piano Room and private-hire Blue Room are both warm spaces with thick rugs and banquettes, and the whole place has lilting seductive music playing all evening – it’s impossible not to feel sexy in here! Food-wise, the dishes are seasonal and decidedly French. Try the Sauteed Monkfish or the Spicy Steamed Mussels for something fresh and light. The signature Little Door Mezze Royale makes a great sharing plate if you’re with a date. Go on a Sunday for some sultry French Moroccan specials.
Bouchon Bar & Bistro
235 N Canon Drive, Beverly Hills 90210
Lunch Mon-Fri 11.30pm-2.30pm, Sat-Sun 11am-2.30pm, Dinner Mon-Sun 5.30pm-10.30pm
Just as famous for its adjacent bakery as for its superb restaurant, Bouchon is an LA institution. The epitome of French style, elegance and sophistication, everything here is high end, from the amazing mosaic floor and dominating pewter bar, to the monogrammed china plates and exquisite menu. There’s a palatial shaded street terrace outside with very comfortable seating, or you can stay inside in the high-ceilinged, Art Deco-inspired dining room. The staff make you feel royal here, so it’s definitely the place to go for a special occasion. The menu is truly mouthwatering, littered with French classics which are taken to another level. I love the Poulet Roti (roasted chicken with ragout) and the Espadon Poele (pan-seared swordfish,) but the highlight is definitely the Caviar d’Esturgeon with toasted brioche and crème fraiche. Expensive, sure, but if you’re going to eat like a Queen, this is the only way to do it. For wine lovers, Bouchon also does a unique “Vin de Carafe” wine list featuring one-of-a-kind wines from Southern California.
13422 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Lunch Mon-Fri 11.30-2.30pm, Dinner Mon-Fri 5.30pm-10pm, Sat 5.30pm-10.30pm, Sun 5pm-9.30pm
Very cozy and super-intimate, Mistral is a haven of dark mahogany tables and chairs, soft candlelight, elegant chandeliers and very friendly and experienced staff, many of whom have been here since the restaurant opened in 1988. It’s also a winner of one of the Open Table Diners’ Choice Awards for 2015. The entire place seats just 70 people so it’s great for those private little tete-a-tetes with your lover, and the service is always faultless and discreet, it’s like being locked away in your own little piece of Paris. The menu offers classic French favorites like Steak Frites, Onion Soup and Roast Chicken (free range,) and everything’s cooked bistro-style, hearty and full, so no delicate ‘nouvelle cuisine’ here, just honest, French home cooking!
755 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood 90069
Fri 7pm-2am, Sat 6.30pm-2am, Sun 11am-7pm
Another 2015 Open Table Diners’ Choice Award winner, Bagatelle is one of the sexiest French restaurants in LA. It looks more like a millionaire’s Parisian penthouse than a restaurant, but that’s why I love it – it feels so relaxing and personal, and I always feel special when I eat here. It’s a triumph of white space, glorious chandeliers, multi-level seating and lush vegetation. The white marble fireplace is a real focal point and the vast glass windows allow you to eat inside or out depending on your mood. You can enjoy an aperitif up at the contemporary cocktail bar as you wait for your table, giving you time to admire the gorgeous wall art, combining classic French scenes with modern pop-art. The menu is small but perfectly formed, with highlights including the Burger Bagatelle and the Filet Mignon au Bleu. Sundays are Brunch days, with the restaurant open from 11am. Go for the Truffle Scrambled Eggs for something decadent.
Industriel Urban Farm
609 S Grand Av, Downtown 90017
Mon-Sat 11.30am-11pm, Sun 11am-11pm
Classed as ‘Urban Farm Cuisine,’ the philosophy of Industriel is to offer classical French food with a modern, edgy twist. So, think about Rabbit Confit Leg….with cactus, or Pork Chop…with preserved tangerines. They’re very off the wall here, obviously, but that’s half the fun. As you’d expect from the name, the restaurant has an industrial feel – big space, lots of exposed concrete, beams and metalwork, but they’ve thrown in some super comfy armchairs, hidden nooks and crannies (and a mezzanine) and big, bright seating, so everyone’s catered for. Whether you’re after an intimate meal for two, or a lazy spread with friends on a Sunday, this is the place to chill out. Plus, they have a very naughty photo of a 1920s semi-naked girl emblazoned across an upstairs wall – a talking point if ever you needed one!
624 S La Brea Av, Hancock Park 90036
Housed in the converted offices of Charlie Chaplin (he designed and constructed the building himself,) Republique is a real statement restaurant, with lots of exposed brick, high vaulted ceilings, rows and rows of bookshelves and plenty of space. It offers modern French food with a hint of Asian – the owner’s wife is Filipino – and there’s also an attached bakery serving delectable croissants, waffles and pastries. You can choose between sitting at one of the long communal tables in the front of the building (popular with the busy lunch crowd) or reserving something more intimate at the back or upstairs in the mezzanine. It feels quite ‘churchy’ in here, and the food is certainly something to worship. Try the Wild Atlantic Sea Bass or the Abalone Risotto, washed down with a glass of room-temperature Corbiere.
6250 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood 90028
Mon-Thur 5pm-10pm, Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat-Sun 10am-11pm
Located inside the luxurious W Hollywood Hotel, Delphine serves modern American food with a French Provancal twist. In true Hollywood style, everything is bold and bright here, from the vibrant floors, walls and decorations to the enthusiastic wait staff and the flavorsome menu. You can eat inside in the glamorous dining room-proper, or out on the street terrace where everything rushes by at a hundred miles an hour. Dishes include Skuna Bay Salmon with a Mustard Cream, Grilled Albacore with Cauliflower Emulsion and Pan Roasted Drake Duck Breast. The dining room is light and bright with unusual round mirrors which dominate the walls and make the whole place look like the inside of a high end cruise ship. The cocktail bar and waiting area has plenty of seating and I sometimes like to come here and just chill with a Cosmo and watch Hollywood life go on around me.
1104 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica 90401
Tue-Thur 6pm-9.30pm, Fri 6pm-10pm, Sat 5.45pm-10pm Sunday CLOSED
A true stand out on the LA restaurant scene, Melisse is a 2-star Michelin eatery which just oozes class and glamor. It’s been consistently voted No.1 LA Restaurant by Zagat and even Forbes rated it as “one of the finest five star properties in the world” in 2013. Inside, it’s a warm, welcoming space of aubergine walls, high vaulted ceilings, super comfy white and wooden chairs and subtle lighting. Choose an intimate booth if you want privacy, or get lucky and bag the gorgeous table by the open fireplace – dining heaven! You can also hire private rooms if you want total seclusion. On the menu, there are several options including an A La Carte, a Ten-Course Degustation and (my favorite) the Vegetarian Tasting Menu. It’s not cheap, obviously (around $135 for a three course meal,) but for that once-in-a-lifetime dining experience, you won’t find anything in LA which comes close to this.
Fig & Olive
8490 Melrose Place, West Hollywood 90069
Dinner Mon 6pm-10pm, Tues-Thur 6pm-10.30pm, Fri-Sat 5.30pm-11pm, Sun 5.30pm-10pm
Taking inspiration from the French Riviera, Fig & Olive specializes in olive-oil based dishes from all around the Western Mediterranean, so expect lots of Spanish and Italian influences as well as all the tastes of St Tropez and Nice. It’s lovely and light in here, a huge space full of symetrically designed tables, tiled floors, an upper dining level, a patio with lush greenery and the gorgeous scent of real rosemary wafting through the restaurant. In wall alcoves you can see the dozens of varieties of olive oil they use here, and it’s an open kitchen, too, so you can actually see your meal being prepared and be guaranteed of its freshness. It feels so healthy to eat here, and I’d personally recommend the Fig Gorgonzola Tartlet and Truffle Risotto because both just scream “Mediterranean” to me.
8265 Beverly Blvd, Beverly Hills 90048
Sun-Thur 5.30pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 5.30pm-2am. Brunch Fri 11.30am-2.30pm, Sat-Sun 10am-3pm
I love eating outside under the stars, which is why I love Terrine. It’s one of the most romantic garden restaurants in LA and there’s just nothing like it – sipping a chilled glass of Sancerre as my date whispers naughty nothings into my ear. The huge olive tree dominates the courtyard and looks just fabulous when lit up with fairy lights during the evening. Of course, you don’t have to eat outside. Inside is just as romantic, with comfortable benched seating or standard brasserie table seating. There are mirrors galore which add to the magic and there’s a hint of French Moroccan sultriness about the whole place. On the menu, there are some unusual appetizers such as Crispy Pig Ears and Duck Yorkshire Pudding, but if you can’t be adventurous in a place like this then you’ll never be adventurous anywhere. The platters are perfect for sharing, so Terrine makes a great date place, and it’s a must for those lazy Sunday brunches. Take it easy with some Avocado Toast and a Rosa Spritz.
Le Petit Paris
418/420 South Spring Street, Downtown 90013
Mon-Wed 10am-11pm, Thur-Fri 10am-Midnight, Sat 9am-Midnight, Sun 9am-11pm
This is a large French restaurant in the historic quarter but the size doesn’t diminish the sexiness of it. It’s true “Parisian”-style, with chandeliers, gilt cornicing, a sweeping staircase to the mezzanine level, walls covered in erotic photo art and beautiful greenery which makes it easy to imagine you’re dining in a leafy courtyard by the Left Bank. You can sit in the lofty main dining area, or enjoy cocktails up at the square bar or in the comfortable, velvet chairs of the lounge. For dinner, try the saffron scallops risotto or the vegetable linguine, or a sexy little mushroom tartine. This is a great place to just hang out and people watch, just the Parisians do.
~ Sienna Sinclaire – Naughty Girl of Los Angeles – Naughty LA