If you’ve been to Paris you know there’s just something special, something different about the whole vibe of the city. From fashion, to food, to architecture, the whole town is a one-of-a-kind type of magical and thus a bit difficult to emulate or replicate outside of France. But here in LA with our smorgasbord of cultures, you betcha we have Parisians willing to take a risk and bring a bit of France to the streets of Los Angeles. And if anyone has done that and done it damn near perfectly, it’s Westside located French restaurant Belle Vie.
| WHY I LOVE IT |
Everything I read prior to visiting Belle Vie myself was, “I am from France, this is the closest thing to home I’ve had in Los Angeles”, or “this is the best most authentic French restaurant in town” – so on and so forth. Those are some pretty serious statements, non? I couldn’t believe the level of positive reviews for Belle Vie,
Do you ever walk in to a place and immediately feel like, “I belong here.”? It takes a very particular, very special place to give me those kind of feels, and Belle Vie was one of those places. From the very French and very personal touches put in by owner Vincent Samarco, to the spectacular wine and food prepared by chef Cedric Nicolas, then down to just the whole cozy neighborhood vibe, Belle Vie became my favorite new find in just a matter of moments. Great French food and wine is the reason to visit Belle Vie, but there’s something to be said about a friendly staff willing to chat with you and a proud restaurant owner who makes it a point to be there out on the floor working and greeting guests. Belle Vie just takes everything that’s good about a casual French dining experience and then makes it great. And really it’s as simple as that.
| WHAT TO DRINK |
Belle Vie specializes in natural French wines, especially those that come at reasonable prices. I personally loved the Chenin Blanc and the Merlot that come by the glass, but that’s only because those were the only two I tried! I get the feeling all of the wines are pretty dang good.
| WHAT TO ORDER |
The focus in the Belle Vie kitchen is working with organic and local producers and using the ancestral French techniques of cooking. You’ll find everything from classics like cheese & charcuterie or French prepared meats, to fun French takes on American dishes such as Gratin de Coquillete (French Mac and cheese, with shaved truffle, Jambon de Paris, comte AOP and bread crumbs) or Beef Burgundy Tacos (Beef Bourguignon on a corn tortilla, raw mushrooms, pickled carrots and onions, crispy bacon, spring onions and Dijon mustard). You can’t go wrong with a cheese and charcuterie plate, lets be real here, but the tacos and Mac & cheese were OUTSTANDING. Decadently delicious. And for the record, I’m not typically a duck person, but my boyfriend is so we ordered the Duck Fillet and I actually loved it – would happily share it again.
| GOOD FOR |
cozy neighborhood feels // French food // French wine // casual cool wine bar ambiance // impeccable and friendly service // Happy Hour! // live music (on Thursdays!) // a place to take the parents // date night // first date night for that matter
| HOURS |
Monday – Saturday:
Lunch: 12 – 2:30 pm
Charcuterie ‘n Cheese: 2:30 – 6 pm
Dinner: 6 – 9:30 pm
HAPPY HOUR: 4 – 7 pm
BELLE VIE // 11916 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, 90025