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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