French Restaurants in Southern California

If caviar, foie gras and pate are at three of your favorite things, then chances are, you’re familiar with the five French restaurants on our list; eateries which we’ve dubbed the best in Southern California for their ambiance, service and, of course, cuisine. If you’re not familiar, well then, we trust that you’ll definitely be saying “merci beaucoup” before long.

1. Studio at the Montage Laguna Beach

A dinner at Studio, the stunning Montage Laguna Beach-located eatery overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is an experience for a special occasion. From the stunning cliffside setting overlooking the ocean to meals of sauteed turbot with clam ravioli, peas and chowder sauce served on the finest Raynaud china, to glasses of Château d’Yquem sipped out of Reidel glassware, this is a meal to be remembered. Kudos to Chef Craig Strong.

2. Melisse

Zagat recently named Melisse as the #1 French restaurant in Los Angeles (with the best wine list, as well) for a reason: chef/owner Josiah Citrin’s Santa Monica eatery is sublime. Expect a supremely elegant setting, perfectly paired vintage champagnes and truffles, caviar and oysters galore alongside delectable menu items like aged liberty duck and almond crusted Dover sole. Vegetarians will also rejoice thanks to gourmet fare such as Oregon porcini mushrooms with charred eggplant, Sonora wheat berries and almond milk.

3. Bouchon Bistro
The name “Thomas Keller” is synonymous with haute cuisine. The man behind Yountville’s infamous three Michelin-starred eatery, The French Laundry, provides some of the best gourmet bistro fare in LA. From the fresh baked bread to the raw bar oysters to main dishes like Gigot d’Agneau, herb-roasted leg of lamb with couscous, house-made yogurt,stone fruit, garden mint, petite onions & lamb jus, Bouchon is simply parfait.

4. Patina

You’ll love the ambiance at Joachim Splichal’s downtown eatery as much as you love his fare: Patina is housed inside the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall on Grand Avenue. Specialities at this visually stunning Relais & Chateaux restaurant include seasonally changing menu options, like the Côte de boeuf rôtie with asparagus, golden chanterelles and yukon potatoes. The peanut butter torte—malt meringue, banana malt ice cream and lemon puree—is to die for. Vegetarians will also be happy here thanks to a curated veggie-friendly tasting menu. sauce bordelaise

5. Petrossian

You’ll love the delicacies that Petrossian provides. From blinis to oysters to the plethora of caviar, you’ll find only the richest of treats at this fabulous French eatery on Robertson. If were curating our idea of the perfect menu, it would include the Napoléon tartare—prime flat iron steak, capers, shallots and caviar— and the caviar pasta—delicious house-made noodles with caviar powder, crème fraîche and chives.

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