January is almost over and I’ve already dined at 13 new places this month! Yay for me, I’m off to a good start checking places off my restaurant list. I have a few meals that are deserving of best bite shout-outs but I want to start with my most recent experience at Le Petit Paris in downtown Los Angeles. A bit of background: my friend Becky is obsessed with parmesan “cheese wheels” after she found out John Legend bought one for his wife Chrissy Teigen. Becky is an entertainer-extraordinaire and instead of buying her own (and a new refrigerator to store it in) she is dining anywhere she can find a cheese wheel. She found the glorious Le Petit Paris in downtown LA and spent a memorable evening there with her family in late December with every single one of them ordering the flambéed pasta prepared in the parmesan cheese wheel. And wine of course, lots of French wine. She has been posting all kinds of mouth-watering pictures and asked if she could take me there for my January birthday. We decided it would be fun to try their weekend brunch, which is a la carte ordering on Saturday, but a buffet brunch on Sunday from 11am to 3pm. We decided on Sunday.
Walking in, the space is just stunning! You feel as if you’re walking into a Parisian bistro, then you remember you’re in downtown Los Angeles. Becky said at night it was even more beautiful. We were seated at a small round table and right away were presented with a brunchy-cocktail menu, so we both ordered a bellini. Sixteen dollars for a single and the same price for unlimited. I wasn’t driving, so why not have another? The brunch was laid out in an easy to follow fashion. Not an overwhelming display like many other buffet brunches, but a tasteful array of just the right foods you would expect at a French breakfast.
I started with this beautiful array of bread and could have stopped there. The croissants were the best I’ve ever had. Everything is baked on site by a French baker. You could tell. I moved onto two plates of savories which included sliced cheese, charcuterie meats, cornichons and vegetables. I had the “assemble your own” Eggs Benedict, with the highlight being getting to squirt the can of hollandaise sauce on top. It looked and tasted much better than I am describing. There was quiche, Croque- Monsieur sandwiches, little cups of beautifully prepared salads (like duck confit atop lentils), a meat-carving station and more.
Dessert, which you can see here included macarons, tarts, eclairs, cookies, crepes and to-die-for French toast. A small chocolate fountain was at the ready to cover fruits, cookies and homemade marshmallows. We ordered cups of Caffe Americano to enjoy with our desserts. We also had a long conversation with the charming restaurant manager Stephane, who stopped by our table to check in on us. Two hours later we wandered out fat and happy. It was a most luxurious way to spend a Sunday morning and one of the most special buffet brunches I have enjoyed in a long time. Le Petit Paris is a welcome treasure on Spring Street in DTLA and don’t forget to check out the adjacent gift shop!
By: Trish Procetto