One of my favorite things about LA is that it really is a land of possibilities. There’s so many different places to go and things to do that you can find anything you are looking for! I have had travel on the brain lately…and by lately I mean, all the darn time. I lived and studied in the UK for a while back in 2012, and I’ve been wishing I could go back to those days lately. Even though I went somewhere new almost every weekend, but I didn’t get to explore Europe as much as I wanted, just because I ran out of time. I have been dreaming about what France and Italy would be like lately and desperately want to go back overseas and visit them. I just love how easy it is to travel to different places when abroad and explore new cultures, so when I found a little French Bistro tucked away in Los Feliz, I was delighted.
The restaurant is called Figaro Bistrot and it’s on Vermont Ave in Los Feliz. My friend Lily and I went there a while ago for a midday coffee, and when I ordered a latte, they brought me a BOWL of coffee!!! Plus, how cute are those little cubes of sugar?! Lily snapped this picture, and I think it’s pretty safe to say I was warming up to with this place quickly after that (…because a good latte is the way straight to my heart). There are two different seating areas, one inside with comfy seating and soft lighting, and another area outside on the sidewalk with little blue tables. Every time I walk by the tiny tables are filled with people eating, drinking wine, and reading books and newspapers. I love that!
This time when we went we sat outside, because it was such a nice day! We happened to go during happy hour. Their happy hour is from 4-7, and it has some amazing deals. The price point for this restaurant is pretty high, but happy hour has some definite steals (food and drinks)! We both got a glass of Sauvignon Blanc while we looked over the menu. We decided on two happy hour plates, and one salad.
While their normal dinner prices are high, the food is worth every penny. I’ve been finding when I go out lately that I’m often disappointed by the items I spend my money on. I don’t mind spending money on items that are stunning, flavorful, and beautifully plated, but it does irk me when I shell out twenty or thirty dollars for a plate of mediocre food. Mediocre is not something you will find at Figaro Bistrot. Every dish was fresh, packed full of flavor and gorgeous. I felt like I had been whisked back to the overseas and dropped in what I can only assume would be an authentic French cafe.
The first dish we tried was from the happy hour list, a plat of cucumber toasts with yogurt and smoked salmon. I cannot wait to recreate this recipe!!! You can’t see very well in this picture but the “toast” is actually a large slice of cucumber. It’s topped with some sort of herb/yogurt mixture, and piled high with smoked salmon. It’s set atop some arugula and garnished with a small piece of orange. I love it for a small plate, but I think it would also be really nice for breakfast!
When we ordered the happy hour crab cakes I will say I was surprised to get this plate. I was expecting what I know as a crab cake from North Carolina. They’re larger and shaped more like patties. These were small and round, but so cute. Even though I was expecting a different presentation, the flavor was spot on. They have just enough spice, and are so soft and delicate. There’s a little bit of a tomato sauce underneath, which goes very well with the flavor of the crab cakes. The salad that accompanied it was so fresh, and the dressing had nice flavor.
While all the other dishes were lovely, I have saved my favorite for last. This one was under the salad section on the dinner menu and I can’t remember what it was called (all the dishes on the menu have their names in French, and the description in English), but it was delicious. It is a beet salad with brie goat cheese. OH MY GOODNESS. I died and went straight to food heaven. The salad was fresh, and the beets were terrific. However, the true star of the dish was the goat cheese brie. I asked our waitress who their cheese vendor was (because I need this cheese…I don’t want it, I need it…) and she said she couldn’t remember but he was a french vendor. I must find this cheese somewhere. The flavors in this dish were so beautiful. The balsamic glaze, the brie, the beets, everything! We ate this dish SO slowly, because we just wanted to make it last. Writing this article, I could really go for another beet salad…
We had been eating (and chatting) for quite a while, and once the sun set, they turned on the outside lights and put candles on all the tables. I was so pretty to look out and see the sunset. Around the time I took this photo, we saw a man walk in with a huge baguette. We laughed and laughed because it does seem very “stereotypically French” to walk into a French bistro with freshly baked bread. Having never been to France (one day I will, until then I’ll just dream about it), I can’t say with certainty how authentic the restaurant was, but it did seem authentic. All the reviews online also describe it as such.
All of the photos in this post are from the outside seating area (with the exception of the bowl of coffee and these flowers), but I should mention how lovely it is inside. These beautiful flowers are just one of many bouquets in clear glass vases throughout the restaurant.
There are three different areas. There’s a bar area with tables around it, lit by old lighting fixtures and sporting a tile floor. Another section has comfy lounge chairs (that’s where I had the bowl of coffee), and the last has a stunningly impressive dessert case – filled with tarts, macarons, and pastries, oh my! We didn’t get any desserts (this time), but next time I think I won’t be able to stay away!
I mean, if the desserts are even half as delightful as the food, I’ll be happy. I am so glad that I know this place exists. I can’t wait to go back and try more dishes. I’m over the moon that I know a restaurant where every penny I spend is going to good use. I’m looking forward to many future visits there.
Until next time, Figaro Bistrot! <3
PS. If you love outside dining as much as I do, check out my article on Urth Caffe in Santa Monica. It also has a lovely outside seating area.
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