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“Parisian Brasserie - US style”
Review of Bouchon Bistro

Bouchon Bistro
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Ranked #10 of 328 Restaurants in Beverly Hills
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: USD 31 - USD 50
Cuisines: French
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Bar Scene
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighbourhood: Beverly Hills
Cross street: Wilshire
Reviewed 11 March 2012

This restaurant is part of the Thomas Keller/French Laundry empire. It has been exquisitely designed and fitted out to provide an authentic recreation of a Parisian brasserie (minus the stink of Gauloises, obviously) but more comfortable and with far better levels of service than you would expect in France. Menus re printed on tissue paper wrapped around the napkins but otherwise crisp white linen prevails.

Bouchon has an excellent range of dishes including shellfish platters. There was good, crusty bread and butter offered on arrival. Our first starter, a plate of charcuterie, was substantial with 4 generous servings of good quality meats accompanied by a very pretty selection of pickled vegetables. Our second, a plate of 3 large beignets filled with brandade, was beautifully light but could perhaps have been a bit more fishy.

Helpings of our main courses were huge: my 'special' was a very dark and intensely flavoured piece of slow-cooked lamb shoulder (similar in appearance although far superior in execution to a dish well-known to the pubs of the English Lake District) accompanied by a cute piece of potato fondant and something resembling a vegetable mille-feuille of aubergine, tomato and chickpeas; my wife's half roast chicken came in two large pieces and with melted leeks, parsnips, cranberries and orange-scented jus. To our shame, we also ordered (and finished) a side of excellent fries. We were still able, just, to make it through to desserts where we had iles flottantes and a tarte tatin, the latter again well-executed but a bit subdued in flavour. There was excellent espresso to finish.

Not for the first time I find it hard to reconcile our experience with that of one or two recent TA reviewers. Service was extremely courteous and our waiter (Justin B) was especially impressive. He checked scrupulously to ensure certain dishes did not contain even a scintilla of mushroom, to which I am allergic, and kept water and wine topped up throughout the evening. There was a range of good and affordable wines from both California and Europe (and a reserve list of hideously expensive ones) - Justin gave us tastings of 2 to enable us to decide which to go for.

Bouchon is not cheap. With a generous but justified tip the bill came to just over $300 but in my view that is what you would pay for a similar experience in central London or New York. We also tried the Bouchon Bakery and the Wine Bar/Cafe, both on the floor below the main restaurant. The former does great pastries, juice and coffee while the latter is a great place for weekend brunch. It has a 'no reservations' policy so get there early if it is a sunny day and you want some shade.

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1  Thank LaDolceVita27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (515)
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429 - 433 of 515 reviews

Reviewed 9 March 2012

The menu was exquisite and the food so beautifully executed and presented. The staff was knowledgable & professional. Our dining experience was nothing short of magnificent....and I don't say that lightly. It's on my bucket list to go back!

Thank Sassypants01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2012

I highly recommend the steak frites. It's the best I've ever had.

Thank passportnecessary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2012

I should have known we were in trouble when the waiter said they did not have Canadian Club whiskey. In fifty years years of travel on six continents I have never been in a restaurant that did not have C.C. on the bar shelf. I said OK for VO in my Manhattan which arrived poorly made and very small. Then I noticed the white sheet of paper covering the table cloth--well that sure cuts the laundry bill! Bouchon also saves on the menu which is printed on thin brown paper and is very hard to read in the dimly lit room. The salad and oysters were good but all three entrees were disappointing. I have cooked better leg of lamb on my backyard grill. And underneath it was a strange mix of I don't know what. The monk fish was miniscule with an insulting, small something else in the bowl.--yes bowl! That's how these high end chefs elevate what used to be served on a plate--and make it look bigger!.
Thank God a very good Cappuccino brought the meal to a merciful end!

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1  Thank shamrockherb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2012

Owned by one of the great chefs in the United States, and with several restaurants, one can see why he is so good. Bouchon is perfect, starting with the food, accompanied by good glasses, carafes or bottles of excellent wine. The duck confit was fabulous, along with the Keller salad dressing, never had better.
The restaurant is well-decorated, lots of money put in, and the spot is ultra nice, overlooking the courtyard outside of the Montage Hotel, although in a separate building.
The famous and popular Grille on the Alley should watch out.

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Thank George A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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