Recently, I have been spending more time in LA and Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills is quickly becoming a favorite stop during my stays. Bouchon serves traditional bistro fare, but with a sophisticated twist. The restaurant itself is a grand open space with high ceilings and classic French decor that feels as warm and comfortable as a more intimate space. Before you enter the restaurant on the second level, there is the Bouchon Bakery Pop-Up and the Bar Bouchon on the first floor. The Bouchon bakery has delightful sweet treats, but during this last visit I decided to save room for my delicious dinner upstairs.
As usual, Bouchon served a fabulous meal. Within moments of our orders being placed the first item to arrive was the house made epi-baguette. It was still warm and came with a little dish of creamy butter. Next, my date and I shared the Salade de Cresson et d’Endives au Roquefort et Figue. This salad had delicious crisp and bitter greens (the watercress and endives) paired with pungent Roquefort, figs, toasted walnuts and a light walnut vinaigrette. Although it was technically a salad, it felt indulgent.
My date and I elected to share two fish entrees. The Thon a la Nicoise and the Fletan Poele. The Thon a la Nicoise (big eye tuna with new crop potatoes, nicoise olives, bibb lettuce, hard boiled egg, radish & sauce gribiche) was delicious. This entree is almost like a deconstructed Nicoise Salad. The amount of detail that went into the composition was amazing. It was carefully arranged on the plate (down to the thin alternating layers of chopped egg and radishes). The Thon a la Nicoise was not only visually beautiful (see first photo above), but full of fresh flavor. The big eye tuna was moist and juicy. The Fletan Poele (herb roasted fillet of halibut with ratatouille & sauce pistou) was probably my favorite dish. The halibut was succulent and the vegetable ratatouille was the perfect complement to the delicate fish. Visually speaking, I love the rich, harvest colors found in the cooked vegetables and the green accent color of the sauce pistou encircling the halibut.
For dessert, we had the Profiteroles served with house made vanilla ice cream & chocolate sauce. The profiteroles and ice cream were delivered to the table and then the waiter poured the melted Valrhona chocolate on top – a nice touch! The Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream was divine, especially when mixed with the Valrhona sauce. An elegant take on a classic French dessert.
To me, Bouchon Bistro is all about fine ingredients, expert preparations and exceptional service. In fact, their wait staff has been consistently attentive, professional and courteous! The warm atmosphere and the flavorful cuisine combine to make this a dining experience par excellence!