Bouchon, Beverly Hills
October 12, 2011 2 Comments
The original Bouchon in beautiful Yountville, CA is a sort of pilgrimage site. When I was there, I had the most wonderful almond croissant, fruity macaroons, and chocolate éclair. As a part of a more balanced meal, however, my parents insisted that we also get sandwiches, which thankfully consist of more than just fat and carbs. Though the sweets at Bouchon usually get all the attention, the sandwiches are also wonderful. Thomas Keller updates the classics with carefully selected ingredients that are just a little different, ultimately creating a flavors that are memorable and completely craveable.
This particular craving compelled me to seek out Bouchon’s Beverly Hills location. I went in the middle of the week before my homework started piling up and before my extra-curricular obligations began to have time commitments more substantial than my classes. It was very sunny and and just humid enough to make dining en plein air a bit uncomfortable. But once the food started coming, the troubles disappeared as quickly as my appetizer, my sandwich, and my dessert.
Dining at Bouchon is meant to be a playful experience. These breadsticks definitely contributed to the more casual atmosphere and it was kind of fun munching on them while holding them like old-fashioned cigarettes, Audrey Hepburn-style.
The menu is simple, but there is enough variety to make it difficult to choose! In typical Thomas Keller fashion, a few things are in quotes.
And to make your agony even more apparent, they also have a nice chalkboard with specials. I think if I had come with Stephen or another friend, we would have definitely gotten oysters. I guess I could have ordered them by myself, but I feel like I always eat oysters with another person…
For an appetizer, I went with some hummus and pita. The garlic oil on the pita combined with the chives and paprika on the hummus were great together. I love hummus and this was very satisfying. It is definitely intended for two people, so I ended up bringing the rest back for Stephen.
The came my sandwich! I went with the Sandwich à la Dinde, or turkey sandwich. Each layer of the sandwich is meticulously constructed. The nutty, cranberry flecked bread, the hefty mustard, and moist slices of turkey stacked up to be an epic re-imagination of a lunchtime standby. The pickles, though small, had tons of briny flavor. Potato chips were fine, but not incredible.
Though I felt very full and still had half a sandwich left, I couldn’t leave without ordering dessert! This is Bouchon’s lemon parfait. Isn’t it beautiful?
The menu states that it has some shortbread crumble inside… but I didn’t taste any shortbread flavors or textures. I love shortbread, so that would have been a nice contrast to the heavy, tangy creaminess of the parfait. This dessert is for someone that really likes citrus! (Me!)
Service at Bouchon is of course, perfection. My waiter was very patient, knowledgeable, and competent. He was successful in making me feel at ease right away.
After I finished dessert, I wandered over to the little closet-sized space that housed the bakery itself. Here is where the story sort of ends on a sad note. I bought two macaroons and a TKO (Thomas Keller Oreo) intending to photograph and consume them later that day. The weather was so uncooperative that the center of the TKO basically dissolved into a gooey (but yummy) mess and the macaroons stuck to each other slightly. I put everything back in the refrigerator to regain some stability, but they really are the most delicate confections that do not travel well.
Bouchon is also located near Spago. I can’t wait to go back both places!
Bouchon Bistro & Bakery
235 North Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
310 271 9910