WHY The first-rate execution of French bistro classics, at more than fair prices.
WHAT This too-loud, brick-walled restaurant lost chef Walter Manzke, who made it an L.A. culinary destination, but so far the kitchen seems to be running like a top without him. They’re still making his charcuterie, procuring pristine oysters, preparing a mean bouillabaisse and knowing enough not to tinker with such classics as moules marinière, steak frites and an elegant omelet (all terrific). Be warned that the ultra-flaky Alsatian-style tarts are huge and best shared with a group, and the onions on the tarte flamiche are caramelized to the point of ultra-sweetness (heaven for some, too sweet for others). Also a big hit with the regulars are the tasty, reasonably priced French wines and that milk of modern yuppiedom, absinthe. Service is not always as good as the food, but no one seems to care.
WHO Chic lofties from the block and visitors from Pasadena and the Palisades.