When you’re looking for a quiet night of wining and dining, nothing sets a relaxing mood better than a cozy bistro. Candlelight, soft music and exotic cuisine all make for a cozy evening whether you’re spending it with your significant other or a casual dinner with your bestie. In fact, bistros seem to have the formula down when it comes to relaxation and romance. As with anything, there are always some that get it done better than others. For your next quiet night out in Los Angeles, check out these top bistros.
235 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Situated next to the Montage Beverly Hills, Bouchon is the type of bistro that charms the soul as soon as you step food in its beautiful dining room or patio. Offering traditional French bistro fare with a brunch, lunch and dinner menu that includes favorites like steak frites, croque madame and the Le Burger Bouchon, its one of LA’s tastiest eateries. The restaurant also offers other great options like Gnocchi a la Parisienne, Choux de Bruxelles (sautéed Brussels sprouts) and much more.
14016 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
With locations in Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks and Pasadena, Cafe Bizou is a local favorite because of its bistro charm and always dependable delicious fare. Offering lunch Monday – Friday and dinner nightly, Cafe Bizou offers delicious entree’s like their Sesame Coated Salmon served on a bed of potato pancakes and mushrooms in a red wine sauce, as well as the Chicken Balsamic, Steak Au Poivre, Rack of Lamb and Steak Frites. Whatever you get here is bound to be excellent. Locals come back for the food which is always reliably good and great prices.
Church & State
1850 Industrial St
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Located Downtown, Church & State is located on the ground floor of what was once the NABISCO bakery and offices. In fact, from the street, you can still see the signage which just adds to the old world charm of this terrific bistro. Inside, the decor and details are just as stunning. And, with food to match, Church & State has quickly become one of LA’s favorite eateries. Offering traditional French Bistro fare, which is created with only seasonal produce of the highest quality in mind, food here includes classic bistro dishes like their steak frites, escargot, moules frites, steak tartar, and much more. They also offer a great selection of French and American cheeses to sample. To go along with the tasty French fare, sip on a hand-crafted cocktail at their full bar, or select a bottle of wine from an all-French wine list.
Le Petit Bistro
631 N La Cienega Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Stepping into Le Petit Bistro will make you feel as if you’ve walked into a Parisian restaurant. With red booths and walls, and fine details like old French posters, the restaurant offers a smaller setting to go along with the vibe. Here, you’ll get authentic French bistro food at affordable prices in the heart of West Hollywood. Offering both indoor and outdoor seating, guests dine on favorites like their baked lamb shank in red wine sauce, as well as a grilled wagyu beef burger, served on a bun with crispy onions, lettuce, tomato and pommes frites.
6221 Franklin Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
While Papilles (pronounced “pah-PEE”) may come across as more of a casual dining bistro, quality food and wine are top priority. The tables are small and set close together, so it’s not ideal for claustrophobes. But if you’re willing to give up your elbow room, the duck breast with roasted treviso leaves, pluot and black quinoa and the butterscotch pot de creme with shortbread cookie are worth the sacrifice.
624 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
République is a charming bakery/cafe that gives the illusion that you’re dining in a French square with its brick facade and glass ceiling. Communal tables are a nice casual dining touch that offers a relaxed atmosphere in contrast to the decadent plates. The charcuterie tasting platter and the bombolinis are a must try but diners beware: République is already charging 3 percent for employee healthcare benefits.
1386 Westwood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Soleil Westwood is a family-friendly bistro that has something for everyone including a moderately priced menu. Stop in for brunch, lunch or dinner or on Wednesdays for all-you-can-eat mussels and French fries (reservations required). While the fare is exceptionally French, Executive Chef and Owner Luc Alarie hints at his Canadian roots with his most noted menu item of poutine.
A Food Affair
1513 S. Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
A Food Affair knows there’s something about French cuisine that lifts the spirit which is why it is not just a restaurant but also a catering company. Dine in the elegant and cozy bistro or have A Food Affair come to you for your next gathering. No event is too large or too small. The prices may seem a little high but one taste of its Dungeness crab cakes and beef bourguignon and you won’t care. A Food Affair is working on getting a liquor license so it’s BYOBW with no corkage fee.
1104 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Categorized as an “exquisite culinary destination,” Melisse surrounds you with elegant decor and serves you edible artwork. The menu is based on seasonal availability so expect the lineup to change occasionally. Several amazing tasting menus (including vegetarian) are available that will definitely wow all of your senses. Dover sole with chanterelles mushrooms and the Tartiflette are exceptional. Melisse is also another establishment to add a surcharge for the Affordable Care Act.
345 N Pass Ave
Burbank, CA 91505
This French bistro, located in Burbank, is known for classic bistro fare at affordable prices. Offering both lunch and dinner, choose from options like their poached bass, roasted free-raised chicken or beef bourguignon for lunch. For dinner, options like their roasted farm-raised chicken, mushroom risotto, seafood linguini and lobster ravioli keep patrons coming back time and time again.
Kristine G. Bottone is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.