WHY For a fantasy French bistro experience when your ship has come in.
WHAT Chef Thomas Keller, he of the French Laundry, Per Se and Ad Hoc, has at last come to Los Angeles. It’s supposed to be a branch of the original Bouchon in Yountville, but this is pure Beverly Hills, large and lavish and expensive. If your pockets are deep, it’s well worth going for the bistro decor, the people-watching and, most of all, Keller’s simply perfect French bistro fare: frisée lardons salad, oysters, onion soup, steamed mussels, gigot d’agneau and what is likely to be the best roast chicken of your life. The desserts are textbook but a little dull (crème caramel, lemon tart, ‘le flottante), and the waiters are attentive, if sometimes too chatty. For a more economical way to soak up the vibe and taste the food, hit the movie-set-handsome downstairs bar.
WHO The powerful, the face-lifted and the famous, with a good sprinkling of Thomas Keller acolytes.