I recently spent my birthday weekend visiting my older daughter in Los Angeles. For dinner, my husband made a reservation for four at a French restaurant called, Le Petit Paris. I was intrigued after reading its multicultural backstory and some positive reviews.
According to the restaurant’s website, restaurateurs David & Fanny Rolland of Cannes, France opened Le Petit Paris in LA in 2015. Their executive chef, Nigel Solancho is originally from Quezon City, Philippines and learned French and Asian cooking techniques while working in a 2-star Michelin restaurant in Thailand.
Le Petit Paris is located in an historic building that was originally built in 1913. If you ask me, the elegant restaurant looks out of place in the seedy area of Downtown LA known as Skid Row.
Upon approaching the restaurant, however, my impression changed. A tall gentleman greeted me in French as he opened the door. Instantly, I felt like I was entering a brasserie on the Rue de Rivoli in Paris!
At 7 o’clock in the evening, it was still light out, but it looked dark inside the restaurant. The first thing I noticed was the giant Eiffel Tower on the wall. With the naked eye, the wall paper Eiffel Tower looks black and white, but in photographs it looks illuminated. It’s a pretty cool effect!
I felt our table was a bit small for four people, but it turned out to be in the best location! For example, we got lots of natural light and a view of the restaurant’s outdoor patio dining area.
We also happened to be seated next to a group of five couples sporting elegant attire, corsages, and boutonnières. Then it occurred to me that it must be their Prom Night!
Meanwhile, on the opposite side, there were diners wearing empire-waist dresses, tiaras, and puff sleeves; they looked as if they’d come straight out of the 19th century. It turns out that they had just come from watching a performance of The Bridgerton Experience, an interactive ball with ‘The Queen’ that’s based on Bridgerton, the popular Netflix series.
The menu at Le Petit Paris appealed to me because it includes a variety of items sure to please everyone’s palate. They offer pizza and cheeseburgers, in addition to classic French dishes, like beef bourguignon, filet mignon, and sole meunière.
For starters, we ordered a charcuterie board and a half baguette, which came with a tiny container of Isigny Sainte Mere butter. To drink, we had strawberry lemonade with mint.
For main dishes, we ordered the following:
- Margherita pizza (my younger daughter was not a fan and said it was “too fancy”)
- truffle cheeseburger (it satisfied my older daughter’s truffle curiosity)
- roasted chicken (my husband especially enjoyed the pomme purée on the side)
- moules frites (a generous portion cooked in a tasty saffron cream)
Overall, the food was good, but pricey (to be fair, hasn’t everything everywhere gotten more expensive lately?) Other minor things I didn’t enjoy so much:
- It’s pretty dark inside the restaurant (even the toilettes are black)
- It could just be me getting older, but I found the music a bit loud
- I wish we’d had a bigger table
On a positive note, I enjoyed the attentiveness and welcoming atmosphere at Le Petit Paris.