Bouchon Bistro – What Beverly Hills and Thomas Keller Do at the Montage

by Franklin on February 5, 2013

Thomas Keller made an empire for himself. Though it may not have been intentional, the guy is a legend. I was fortunate to be blessed by his presence at last year’s L.A. Time’s The Taste event. Though I wasn’t able to meet him, he did say a simple “hello” to me. Just being in the presence of one of today’s best chefs was an honor. That is why this time around during Dine LA, Bouchon in Beverly Hills was part of the plan. My Bouchon experience at Las Vegas was memorable — it was time to give it a whirl at my city. Lunch from the Dine LA menu was exceptional and quite a deal.

We started off with the bread and butter. The familiar pain de epi was perfect. Basically a fancy baguette made in a zig-zag, the crust was crusty and the inside was perfectly dense. Eating it with the butter was simple enough and delicious. Honestly, I was full after the bread.

For my appetizer, the tartare de saumon was a perfect choice. The Scottish salmon tartare was chopped finely which made the flavor very mild. The hard boiled hen eggs were also chopped finely and was topped with red onions and capers. The Kendal Farms creme fraiche on top was a great touch. Placing everything on top of their toasted croutons was a complete appetizer. It was crunchy and buttery — Delicious!

It was 5 dollars more, but we opted for the assiette de charcuterie. Served with pickled vegetables, Dijon mustard, and petite baguette, this was amazingly tasty. We made mini sandwiches with the bread, lettuce, and mustard. The duck prosciutto and salami was perfectly salty and fatty. Silky and savory, the thinly sliced, salted cured meats were my favorite.

I ordered the moules frites for my entrée. Simply a mussels and fries dish, this was a great combination. The Maine bouchot mussels were steamed with cider, tarragon mustard, and shallots. The addition of Hobbs Shore bacon lardons were fatty, great with the somewhat sour, yet addicting broth. The mussels were cooked nicely and melted in my mouth. The french fries were similar in shape and size to that of McDonal’s fries. Of course, Bouchon’s tasted a lot fresher and actually tasted like potatoes. Everyone loves fries, and theirs is a classic favorite.

Another dish that had the supplemental 5 dollars charge was the tagliatelle . Not a traditional flat noodle, the noodles were more of a long, noodle like macaroni — homemade of course. Topped with an all day braised beef short rib and sauce Bordelaise, it was meaty and stew like. My favorite in this dish was the forest mushrooms. It had a nice bite to it and was just as meaty as the beef. The wilted swiss chard and Parmesan was perfect in this pasta.

Dessert is a must. The creme caramel was simple as can be. The caramel custard was fantastically pudding like, but it was firm. Think silky soft tofu, but not. It was lightly sweet and the caramel cream had a nice burnt taste that complicated the whole thing. It was delicate and perfect.

I was feeling “Frenchy” because, well, I was at a French restaurant. I ordered the assortment de macaron. It came with 4 mini macarons — caramel, chocolate, earl grey, and a mystery flavor. No, it isn’t really a mystery flavor. I just have bad memory and forgot the flavor. The macarons were delicate and perfect. Crusty on the outside and gooey on the inside. My favorite was the caramel. It was so sweet and delicious. What a perfect ending to our lunch at Bouchon!

Bouchon, located at the second floor of the Montage Beverly Hills was a beautiful spot. The weather was perfect and the Montage courtyard was picture perfect. The ambiance and decor of the restaurant was similar to the Bouchon in Las Vegas. The aesthetically decorated interior and the excellently prepared cuisine put me at ease and made me happy. This had Thomas Keller written all over it. The food was splendid and the experience was all worth it. Anything Thomas Keller touches turns to gold, and Bouchon in LA is quite golden.

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