Saturday, September 26, 2009

Review Sans Pics: Le Saint Amour

Love the atmosphere at Saint Amour.  Brightly lit casual French bistro in the true sense of the word bistro (unlike Bistro LQ which is decidedly NOT a bistro).  Short but sweet list of wines by the glass, French focused but with a few New World options.  Menu all French bistro: Moules Frites, Frisee au Lardons, Charcuterie, L'escargot, Saucisson Lyonais on Lentils, Boudin Noir, Steak au Poivre avec Frites, etc.

The concept is simple and lovely, the execution could be better. Charcuterie meats were overly oily, moules were small and just a hair over cooked, french fries were not salty enough (quel dommage), and my BIL's steak was just meh. 

What I do like? I liked my server, a tall handsome French man who did an excellent job of choosing wine to go with my meal.  I loved the butter lettuce salad, lightly dressed in a balsamic vinaigrette with lots of shallots.  Adored the fact that there were many French people dining there, which makes me feel like they are definitely cooking French bistro fare for the French and not for the Californians.  Fortunately, only a trace of French attitude and in a good way both when making the reservation on the phone and while in the restaurant.  Not even one TRACE of the Ho'Wood/LA attitude one gets from some of the servers when dining at Church & State. The feeling here is one of authenticity, the staff is brisk and business-like, but takes very good care of your needs, just like any bistro in France where they appreciate your business and don't give a merde that you are not French.

For me the nail in the coffin of my discontent was the lack of air conditioning. I was drowning in a puddle of my own sweat by the time we were done eating. I had to leave my companions while they fiddled with the bill to get some fresh air. Come on, my Gaelic friends, in the US we really prefer ambient temps below 80 in our dining rooms.

I plan to return again when the fall starts to cool off and taste the food again.  There are enough untasted items on the menu to warrant a second visit, maybe this time with camera.

Le Saint Amour in Los Angeles


Diana said...

Nice re-cap -- feels like a SIV "First Bite" -- only not patronizing. ;) Kind of shocking about the lack of AC, though! Yikes!

Tricerapops said...

so LSA > Church & State in your mind? It's on my list, but I have been contemplating RETURNING to C&S before going anywhere else.

Food, she thought. said...


It was really fun to challenge myself to write a post without pics. I usually use the pics as an outline of the experience.


Conversely, I think C&S > LSA. I adore C&S, and while I may pop into LSA again sometime, I won't make it a destination again.