Thursday, July 08, 2021

Savoir Faire: Discover DTLA's Fabulous French Food Scene

Bastille Day is right around the corner. The French National Holiday, celebrated every year on July 14, marks the storming of the Bastille in 1789 and the birth of the French Republic. But the French connection takes on a whole new meaning as the City of Light meets the City of Angels. Did you know that during the second half of the 19th century, the French community in downtown Los Angeles was one of the most robust in Southern California. In fact, by 1860 French was the second most-spoken language in LA. Today, the French population in Los Angeles is represented by a fresh new wave of artisans, entrepreneurs, and restauranteurs who are making an impact on our culture and dining habits. From Parisian-style bistros and wine bars to delectable pastry shops – many close to Circa – get ready to discover French savoir faire in DTLA.

Le Petit Paris 418 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Housed inside the historic El Dorado Building, Le Petit Paris is the vision of Cannes-based restauranteurs David and Fanny Rolland. The 300-seat restaurant brings a quintessential brasserie dining experience to Downtown LA’s Historic Core. The restaurant is an architectural marvel, designed by the Rollands, featuring multiple skylights, two bars, a mezzanine level, and a large outdoor patio. During the daytime, Le Petit Paris provides a tranquil, bright venue, and at night it transforms into an upscale fine dining restaurant with a lounge. 

Garçons de Café 541 S Spring St. Los Angeles, CA 90013

Garçons de Café is a wine bar to go shopping, and is a retail store to have a drink. A piece of France in downtown LA, Garçons de Café is the beautiful aftermath of what happened when three French traveling friends were united by their big dreams, expensive tastes and love of California. Their passions joined to set up shop in Downtown Los Angeles, and to bring the United States the most exquisite products of what France is known to do best. 

Mignon 128 E 6th St. Los Angeles, CA 90014

True to its name (mignon roughly translates to “small and cute” in French), this elegant little food and wine bar in DTLA’s Historic Core aims to be an oasis for anyone who is weary of the ubiquitous bar experience. Mignon specializes in small production, offering natural wines from all over the globe with an emphasis on the Old World. Mignon serves seasonal, rustic French cuisine, including a three-course pre-fixe option, small plates, and fine artisanal cheeses and charcuterie. The space is also a retail shop, so make sure you grab some bottles to go.

Air Food L’Appart 130 E 6th St. Los Angeles, CA 90014

Air Food L’Appart will make you feel that you flew straight to Paris and landed in an intimate Parisian apartment, where you’ll enjoy an exclusive French culinary experience. Created by two passionate visionaries, Marc and Thierry, Air Food takes your tastebuds through a miraculous  journey from traditional French cuisine to French & World Fusion from Europe, Middle East, Africa, and North Americas. 

Oriel Chinatown 1135 N Alameda St. Los Angeles, CA 90012

For lovers of authentic French wine and food, Oriel is a chic, comfortable wine bar styled to please even the most homesick Parisians. Located just far enough away from Chinatown’s main drag, Oriel might be a little hard to spot hidden beneath the Chinatown Gold Line Metro stop. But once inside, you’ll be charmed by the sleek black and rose interior, lush hanging plants, and soft pink neon lighting. Oriel offers a curated selection of French bottles and some 20 wines by the glass, along with a classic bistro menu featuring French onion soup, steak tartare, chicken liver mousse, steak frites. escargots, and gnocchi à la Parisienne.

Zinqué 939 S Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90015

Inspired by the zinc-topped bars found all over France, Zinqué is a high design, low-key all-day neighborhood restaurant serving French-inspired dishes and small plates, along with a craft cocktail menu and uniquely curated wine & beer selection. Soak up the atmosphere at a wooden table on their sidewalk patio or sidle up to the beautiful bar.

Pitchoun Bakery & Café 545 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Pitchoun is a family owned French bakery, pastry store and restaurant, offering fresh artisan breads and home-made pastries and cakes, along with an array of healthy salads, sandwiches, hot dishes, soups, and more. Using traditional French family recipes, everything is home-made daily from scratch, using house-made starter levain and organic or local ingredients. The flavors are crisp, authentic, and clean, and all products aim for pure simplicity and high quality.

Madame Monsieur 512 W 6th St. Los Angeles, CA 90014

Madame Monsieur is a gourmet sandwich shop run by a Parisian family. The menu is influenced by their culinary heritage, with a focus on quality, from artisanal bread to specialty coffee, fresh pastries, and locally-sourced ingredients. Located in The Heron Building, the inviting space has been created by friends from Lot-H and was inspired by the features of a Parisian apartment. Take your order to-go or enjoy your meal in the pretty outdoor garden.

Perch 448 S Hill St. Los Angeles, CA 90013

Perch is a French inspired rooftop bistro that offers unobstructed views of Downtown Los Angeles that will make you feel as if you’re floating over the skyline. The elevated spaces offer outdoor fireplaces, various fir pits, and lounge and table seating. Enjoy classic French dishes with a twist from the menu for dinner, or sip beer, wine or Parisian-inspired cocktails at any one of the bars. Perch also offers a unique and an elegant list of rare Cognacs, Armagnacs, Calvados and French Cordials to pique your palate.

Photo credits:

Photo #1: Le Petit Paris

Photo #2:Le Petit Paris

Photo #3: Garçons de Café

Photo #4: Mignon

Photo #5: Air Food L’Appart

Photo #6: Oriel Chinatown

Photo #7: Zinqué

Photo #8: Pitchoun Bakery & Café 

Photo #9: Madame Monsieur

Photo #10: Perch

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