Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills, California

I call myself lucky because in the rare times that I'd get sent to a business trip..I was sent to the United States. Also, of all the states there is in this country, I ended up flying to California where my Ahia Jeff is based.

bouchon beverly hills

So, on the first day of my vacation here in the US, I made plans to have dinner with my cousin. I guess being a food-lover runs in our family (in my case on both sides) as Ahia Jeff made reservations at Bouchon Bistro, a popular French restaurant owned by a Michelin-star awardee Chef Tom Keller. Aside from Bouchon Bistro, he also owns the high-end restaurant French Laundry.

We agreed to meet at 7PM but traffic was so bad that despite leaving an hour early, we got stuck along the freeway and arrived 45 minutes past 7. Sadly, due to this, Ahia Jeff lost his reservation as it takes one more than a month to get a table here as it's always packed with guests every night. We ended up having dinner at the bar area at the ground floor. Our server was so nice that they allowed us to order from the Bistro menu since it's impossible to get another table not unless we'd be willing to wait for two more hours.

So we settled for our rather small but cozy nook and took our pick from their menu. Ahia Jeff took care of ordering our appetizers and thus our meal began with the following:

Pate de Campagne
A slice of country-style pate with watercress, cornichons and radishes. It came with buttered toasts which I enjoyed piling with a small piece of pate and some watercress.

cheese platter

Cheese Platter
We had a combination of three types of cheeses all in tasting portions and some crostinis. I wasn't really sure exactly which type of cheeses were served to us that evening but everything was so good. We added a bit of honey on top of the cheese. Yum! Never thought cheese and honey would go so well together. Paul and I also loved the candied walnut at the side. I'd definitely go back for more cheese anytime. :)

quiche florentine

Quiche du Jour
Everyday Bouchon changes their quiche selections. For this particular evening, we had Quiche Florentine. It was light and delicious, just the way I like it. Our party of 6 shared a slice of Quiche Florentine with side salad. I love the cheesy, velvety texture of the quiche. I wasn't sure though if it has purely spinach inside or it has meat too. It's so good I wouldn't mind having one entire piece all for myself. :) Yes, I'm a cheese fan!

steak frites

For our main course, Paul and I got the Steak Frites as my cousin highly recommends it. It's a huge piece of pan-seared beef topped with this delicious sauce which I suspect has lots of caramelized onions and herb butter. The steak comes with a mountain-high of fries. The server was serious when he said that our three orders of Steak Frites has fries enough to feed the army. The fries was delicious though, I love how crunchy it stays all throughout dinner. It came with ketchup and garlic aoili too. The meat was very tender and the caramelized onion topping gave it a light sweet taste which made the steak even more mouth-watering.

ceasar salad

I wanted to balance off our all-meat meals with a plate of Caesar Salad. You see, I have been eating burgers, steaks, cheesecakes and meat for the past few days and I am feeling really guitly about not guarding my diet. Thus, to make my Mommy proud, I went for the salad that evening.  To be honest, I've had better tasting caesar salads at home as this one lacks in flavor. Perhaps because they use very little dressing and added a lot of greens. It's really healthy as I had a mix of lettuce and artichokes with a few pieces of anchovies to add more flavor to the salad. I'm glad I was able to grab some fries off Paul's plate which he didn't mind at all.

apple crumble

We were having a lovely meal but we were not yet done. Of course, we should cap off our meal with dessert. Paul and I were stuffed but how can we say no to delicious sweet dessert prepared by the chef? We decided to share the Apple Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream. Delicious apple filling with a crunchy crust. I was happy with just two spoonfuls of it and I was ready to declare that I just had a really good dinner at Bouchon Bistro. However, I did just that right after trying the other desserts that our companion had...


Creme Caramel
Our companions were crazy about the flan as this was only available at the main restaurant. Finally, after much pleading our friendly server gave in and was able to produce one order of Creme Caramel or flan as they'd call it. It's very similar to our local Leche Flan only it has a lighter taste. It was not as sweet too but somehow my taste buds were just so used to our local desserts back home that this was just ok for me.

lemon dessert

Lemon Trifle
My cousin got the lemon trifle which looks very picture pretty. I love how they were able to design the marshmallow frosting on top. Digging into the trifle you'd get the soft lemon sponge cake and cream. This one went perfectly well with my cup of chamomile tea. Thank you Ahia Jeff for allowing me to have the first scoop.

I'm truly having a great time here in California simply because everywhere we go, the food is good! We're also lucky to have such great hosts who takes time out to take us around and to make our tummies very happy.

Dining at a restaurant owned by a Michelin-star was definitely a wonderful experience and I have my fellow food-loving cousin to thank for that.

*photo credit: Paul Ang

Bouchon Bistro is located at 235 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. They also have a branch in Las Vegas and Yountville. Reservation is definitely a must.

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