Bastille Day… With Attitude (Très Bon)
Restaurant Type: French
Needing a “Paris Fix,” Tracy and I decided to make reservations for a special Bastille Day dinner at one of our past favorite French restaurants that we had not visited for about three years.
The previous owner of Cafe Beaujolais in Eagle Rock opened a new place in South Pasadena a few years ago, Bistro de la Gare (which he subsequently sold in 2014), and for awhile we had really enjoyed the new place. However, after a couple of uneven meals with relatively poor service, Tracy and I both thought we should give our old familiar haunt in Eagle Rock another try. It was a good decision.
When we walked in at 7 p.m. the restaurant (replete with red, white and blue balloons to salute the day clinging to the ceiling), the first thing we noticed was the wait staff looked very familiar. That’s because most everyone who worked at Cafe Beaujolais three years ago is still here, and, much to our delight, they are still trés French. So much so that on the front of their black shirts were printed the words, “French in Everything But The Attitude.” The funny part was that the “But” was crossed off and the word “Even” was put in. Well, they do have an attitude, but a lot of it is for show for the patrons, and as usual, the service at Cafe Beaujolais on this evening was very good.
To celebrate La Fête Nationale, Tracy and I each started with a Kir Royale ($8.95). Cafe Beaujolais serves only beer and wine. We toasted returning to the restaurant and perused the menu, which contains a number of dishes that we have enjoyed in the past and look forward to enjoying in the future.
There are eight appetizers and salads that range from $5.95 to $8.95 (one aspect of Cafe Beaujolais that we have always liked is that the restaurant offers fair menu prices). The list includes mixed greens to a Smoked Salmon with Friseé and Grilled Onions.
The Soup de Soir caught Tracy’s ear, so she tried the Celery Soup ($5.95). It was good, but since we had picked one of the hottest nights of the year to dine, hot soup might not have been the best choice. Tracy said she would like to try this as a cold soup one day.
Being the “snail guy” that I am, I could not resist the Escargot de Bourgogne, Oven-Baked in Garlic and Butter ($7.95). As always, this dish did not disappoint here.
Choosing a main course proved a tad more difficult. We could have opted for a Magret de Canard au miel et Citron ($19.95), carré D’Agneáu la Moutarde ($22.95), an Oven-Baked Halibut in Champagne Sauce and Parmesan Crust ($22.95) or a Porc Aux Pommes et Calvados ($20.95), which I was very tempted to try. Next time.
Instead I had a delicious Pave de Bouef au Porto et Roquefort ($23.95). The medium-rare piece of steak with Roquefort cheese paired very nicely with our purchased bottle of 2007 Chateau St. Didier-Pernac Cahors for $30, a pretty hardy French red. The escalloped potatoes were a delicious complement to my meal.
Tracy has always liked the chicken dishes at Cafe Beaujolais, so she tried the evening special, Baked Chicken in a Puffed Pastry stuffed with Spinach in a Red Wine Sauce ($19.95). It was served with fresh vegetables, and by the end of the meal we were both quite satisfied with our choice to return to Cafe Beaujolais.
During our dinner, in a Casablanca-type moment, the wait staff got together and sang a rousing rendition of the French National anthem, La Marseillaise. All that was missing was the orchestra lead by Victor Laszlo.
Did I say the end of our meal? Our waiter came by to discuss dessert, and being the glutton (and glutton for punishment) that I am, I ordered a Warm Apple Tart smothered with Whipped Cream and served with Vanilla Ice Cream ($5.95). I was now officially full.
Cafe Beaujolais receives a 3.25 rating for food, 4.25 for value and a 4.25 for atmosphere (which includes its inviting space that reminds me of dining in Paris and, of course, the French waiters…attitude and all). Vive la France!
MaiTaiTom Rating Food + Ambiance + Value 3.92 maitais (out of 5)
1712 Colorado Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041 (Eagle Rock)
Tuesday – Thursday: 5:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Sunday: 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Parking on street (free)