Break Out Champagne! Let’s Celebrate a Jailbreak!

arc de triomphe
When people wish a “Happy Holiday!” I sometimes wonder if they really know what they’re celebrating. Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We get a day off for Memorial Day! Do they really know the reason why it’s on the calendar? The history behind that day? What it really symbolizes, rather than just what Hallmark is trying to make us feel? How many people know that Cinco de Mayo (a huge celebration in these parts) is really a commemoration of the victory of a very small battle in the village of Puebla and not “Mexican Independence Day?” How many people know that Mardi Gras isn’t just one big debaucherous parade of beer and breasts? How many people know why we get the first Monday of September off as Labor Day? How many people know that I’m not really bitter, I’m just wondering?? Because really, I am all for any reason to take a break and celebrate ;)

french flag
vive le france!

Today is Bastille Day, and I have to admit, I didn’t have any knowledge about this day other than it had something to do with France, and I have some memory of it from 10th grade Literature and History classes. In short, Bastille Day is a national holiday in France that celebrates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération, a symbol of the uprising of the modern French “nation,” which was held on the first anniversary of the 1789 storming of the Bastille. Because the Bastille, a prison, jailed people by arbitrary whim of the King, particularly political prisoners who simply disagreed with him, the Bastille symbolized the French absolutist monarchy. Though there were only seven prisoners who were “freed” when the French patriots seized it, the storming of the Bastille was more a symbolic act of rebellion against the monarchy and an important rallying point for the revolution ahead.

frounsh fries
in honor of france, “frounsh fries!”

So Bastille Day for France is like our Independence Day here in the States, and what do we do when we celebrate modern government in July? Well, duh. We eat! We drink! And in honor of France and Bastille Day, I will have an all-French dinner – French bread, French fries, and to drink…Peru! (and if you know what I’m talking about, then you’re a star!) I know about “french-fried” potatoes, but I’ve always wondered about the origin of French toast :)

But really, if there ever there was an evening to go and enjoy French food (the real kind), Bastille Day would be it, right? Unfortunately, LA just doesn’t come across as a “haute” bed of classic French cuisine (La La Land doesn’t come across as a hotbed for any cuisine except style-over-substance but that is a subject for another post). Or perhaps it’s just overwhelmed by the tremendous number of Asian-fusion restaurants here.

Nevertheless, there are a few French restaurants scattered around this sprawling city, a few that are formal and classic French, many more that are bistro/cafe fare with lots of California influences, and a few specialties like…crepes. Thanks again, to LA-ist’s Sassy Li’l Lindsay for inspiring me on this one, though I’ve added a decidedly Westside bias. (She’s also listed some Bastille Day-specific events around town). If it’s too late now to make a reservation, then just cozy up in front of la télévision, pop in le dvd du jour (hopefully you planned your Netflix queue well enough that Amélie arrived yesterday), and feast on pain et vin (and champagne if you’re sassy like that). Me? I have to go to my parents’ house so very appropriately, I’ll be eating Korean food – LOL! But I just may whip up a souffle to keep within the spirit. Vive la France! :)

Acadie French Crepes
213 Arizona Avenue (@ 2nd Street)

Santa Monica, CA 90405
310.915.0142
www.crepescompany.com

Bastide
8475 Melrose Place
Hollywood , CA
323.651.0426

Bistro de l’hermitage
9727 Culver Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232
310.815.8222
http://lhermitage.home.comcast.net

Cafe Bizou
in the Water Garden
2450 Colorado Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404
310.582.8203
www.cafebizou.com

Cezanne
Le Merigot Hotel & Spa
1740 Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90401
310.395.9700
www.lemerigothotel.com

Chez Mimi
246 26th Street (@ San Vicente)
Santa Monica, CA 90402
310.393.0558

Citrine
8360 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, CA
323.655.1690


Four Oaks
2181 North Beverly Glen Boulevard
Bel Air, CA 90077
310.470.2265
www.fouroaksrestaurant.com

French Market Cafe (breakfast and lunch only)
2321 Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Venice, CA 90291
310.577.9775

Gigi Brasserie
8555 Beverly Boulevard (@ La Cienega)
Los Angeles, CA 90048
310.278.5444

Lavande
1700 Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90401
310.576.3180

L’Orangerie
903 North La Cienega Boulevard (@ Romaine Street)
Los Angeles, CA 90069
310.652.9770
www.lorangerie.com

La Boheme
8400 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
323.848.2360

La Cachette
10506 Santa Monica Boulevard
Century City, CA 90025
310.470.4992
www.lacachetterestaurant.com

La Dijonaise
8703 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
310.287.2770
www.ladijonaise.com

La Poubelle
5907 Franklin Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90028
323.465.0807

La Vie en Rose
240 South State College Boulevard
Brea, CA 92821
714.529.8333
www.lavnrose.com

Le Marmiton
1327 Montana Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90403
310.3937716

Lilly’s
1031 Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Venice, CA 90291
310.314.0004

Melisse
1104 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA
310.395.0881

Michel Richard Patisserie
310 South Robertson Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048
310.275.5707
www.maisonrichard.com

Mimosa
8009 Beverly Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90048
323.655.8895
www.mimosarestaurant.com

Monsieur Marcel
inside the Farmers Market
6333 West 3rd Street (at Fairfax)
Los Angeles, CA 90036
323.939.7792

Morels
in The Grove shopping center
6301 West 3rd Street (@ Fairfax Avenue)
Los Angeles, CA 90036
323.965.9595

Pastis
8112 Beverly Boulevard (@ Crescent Heights)
Los Angeles, CA 90048
323.655.8822

Patina
141 South Grand Avenue (@ 3rd Street)
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213.972.3331
www.patinagroup.com


Soleil
1386 Westwood Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90024
310.441.5384
www.soleilwestwood.com

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  • Anonymous

    Theres also a crepe place on Sawtelle in the same plaza as Hurry Curry and Little Hong Kong. Crepes are french, and they do have the nutella and all, but it’s all staffed by japanese peeps and the customers are all asian!

  • Lindsay

    mmmm! delicious bastille day stuff! i too was at my folks’ place, with champagne and some quiche (trader joe’s, alas, not homemade). we tried to watch a french new wave film, but had to stop about 15 minutes in–quelle ennui! i might try to get out to that consulate general’s event on sunday. we’ll see…

  • Rebecca

    Better Off Dead is awesome! ” Now that be a real shame throwing away a perfectly good white boy like that” Hehe.

  • sarah

    and to think i didn’t even have a croissant for breakfast! *sigh*

    ah, becky got it! i thought i was the only one who watched that movie over and over and over…

    lol!

  • hermz

    “Sorry your mom blew up, Ricky”

    “Doctor says she’ll be okay. She just can’t eat spicy food for a while.”

  • sarah

    LOL, hermz!

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