Belle Vie is Serving up the Fanciest, Frenchiest Mac and Cheese in Los Angeles!

Last week, French bistro Belle Vie opened it’s doors in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Being a Westsider myself, I can confirm that we are a little bit lacking in French restaurants (unless you counting the endless supply of Le Pain Quotidiens around) so I was beyond thrilled to try a this new neighborhood spot.

Belle Vie 
11916 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025 

The team behind Belle Vie, Owner Vincent Samarco and Head Chef Cedric Nicolas‘ (who met when working together at Michelin-plated restaurant Le Trianon) aim was to provide locals with classic French comfort food with hints of California flavors: mission accomplished.

My inner Fracophile was geeking out right when I walked in, because the design, decor and the littlest details are spot on Parisian. French restaurants may have a reputation for serving up smaller portions, but at Belle Vie the portions are more generous. This spot is perfect to bring a friend and share a few plates.

NICE Mussels Mariniere

I started off with the NICE Mussels Mariniere, a French Riviera favorite. These mussels swim in a white wine, spring onion, garlic, black olive, cherry tomato and herb blended broth. This dish comes with fresh bread that is perfect for broth-dipping but, they also offer “F.F.F.” aka fresh french fries, that are fried in beef tallow, then  seasoned with parsley, garlic and Porcinni mushrooms. I recommend sharing those with a pal given the ample portion size.

Beef Burgundy Tacos

Change your #TacoTuesday plans to #TacoMardi (French for Tuesday)!

These Beef Burgundy Tacos are made of bœuf à la Bourguignonne, a classic French stew and topped with SoCal classics pickled onions and crisp carrots. The order of 2 alone is pretty filling, but you can also get a larger order of 4 tacos.

Gratin de Coquillettes – Hand model: Tinger Hseih

I’m sure you can probably tell by the title of this post that I fell in love with their version of mac-n-cheese, the Gratin de Coquillettes. These elbow pastas are baked in a truffle cream with comté, a very earthy and nutty cheese. This is the creamiest, cheesiest mac-n-cheese masterpiece I’ve had in a long time!  The portion size is also perfect for a party of 4 among other shared plates or a hungry party of 2.  

For those with a sweet and sour tooth, I recommend the Tarte Aux Citrons Upside Down, an upside down citrus meringue. It’s very tart, but the meringue, crumble and cream balance it out beautifully.

If Julia Child was alive and opened a Los Angeles French bistro, Belle Vie would be the outcome. They’re currently offering a happy hour specials on food and wine every day as well and those specials are c’est magnifique!

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Actress and Founder of Girls on Food:

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Sacramento, California. I grew up a typical “McDonald’s kid”. I was very picky about what I ate and refused to try new foods. No fun, I know.

My Mom started taking me on trips to Europe when I was a teenager and that’s when my palate for finer foods began to develop. Some of my most memorable favorite meals include Veal Bolognese in Rome, Gyros in Athens, Paella in Lisbon and Duck L’Orange in Paris. While this helped me grow out of a fast food phase, I still eat out quite a bit. I know I should be at home cooking, but I love dining out.

I started working in restaurants in various front of the house positions at age 15. Since my start, I’ve worked in every casual restaurant setting you can think of: a teriyaki stand, brewery, sushi nightclub, trendy Mexican, family-style Italian, American diner, pizza parlor and even a BLT themed food truck.

I can’t help but notice that many of the LA food bloggers don’t have any sort of background working in a restaurant. A lot of my perspective on food and dining out comes from my years of experience in the biz.

Since starting this blog, I have shot appearances on a few cooking competition shows (including MasterChef Junior and another upcoming show). We have also started producing a Youtube Channel.

For this site I contribute content from all over Los Angeles (and the world) to showcase my favorite fine-dining spots, steakhouses, exclusive supper clubs, Hollywood nightlife and our very own #GOFx events, which I plan and coordinate.

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