One of my favorite wines is Cru Saint-Amour (a Beaujolais); I like it so much that it was the wine I served at my wedding eons ago. The combination of the romantic name evoking delicious memories and the proximity of a similarly named French Brasserie in Culver City, drew me to try it for lunch today. It also helped that I was already in the neighborhood, had not eaten lunch yet, and it was getting close to 2 pm.
The outdoor patio is very hospitable; nice wooden tables shaded with sun umbrellas provide shade or sun depending on your preference. Even at 2pm the terrace was crowded with both business and casual lunch clientele, speaking in French and Studioese (there are several movie studios are within walking distance). I was impressed that the service was classically French, meaning that the waiters were obviously trained waiters, not actors killing time in between auditions. Most of the staff is French and I heard the owner ordering supplies with a French accent, so kudos for authentic atmosphere and decor.
I was so pleased to find whitefish with warm lentils ($15) on the menu that I ordered it immediately, bypassing the classic steak aux poivres ($15) , salade nicoise ($14), and poulet roti ($15).
The fish was slightly overdone for me, but most Americans prefer it the way it was cooked (I shuddered as I heard a nearby diner order his steak "medium well"). The lentils were very nicely done with brunoises of carrots and onions; the vinegar was used with a heavy hand, probably too much for most palates, but I liked the contrast of a tart accompaniment to the rich fish.
It looks like I will have to come back on a Thursday night for their gourmet oyster night at the bar. Hosted by "Maitre Ecailler" Christophe Happilon, it promises to be a good way to end a work day or begin a night of fun.