You are mid city near the Beverly center and you need to find a rendezvous spot with a friend for a cup of coffee and a light lunch. What to do?? Go next door…the Little Next Door. You’ll find refreshments, an artisan-market ambiance, and my favorite French delight…the Macaroon.
If you are famous or agoraphobic and don’t want to be in public too long, you can order international cheeses, cured meats, and preserves from the deli counter and take them back to your mansion or apartment to make yourself a private snack.
I most highly recommend this farm fresh French café-deli on those few rainy LA days when you can sit on the enclosed patio, warmed by a heat lamp, and watch the rain patter down on your plastic bubble of French bliss.
Perhaps your friend Sean with whom you are rendezvousing just got back from Paris. Perhaps he knows you studied there and thinks you speak fluent French, so the two of you are gushing Françaisglish over your experiences in La Ville-Lumière. You therefore must both exclaim how much you love escargot and start the meal with an order. Keep to yourself your secret misery at eating the hero of your childhood bedtime
stories, “Smithy the Snail”. Also keep to yourself your opinion that the reason these garden-slugs taste so good is because they are drenched in garlic butter sauce and not because of any merit of their own snaily flavor.
Ordering advice: If the menu item’s name is in French or the word “French” actually appears in its title, you are on the right track at this place. French onion soup, French dip, Croque Monsieur, etc. If you are lured in by the Ahi Tuna Tatar deli
sandwich with hummus and fennel on house-made pita bread, however, you will be slightly disappointed. A quick way to solve this is to dip your sandwich into Sean’s French Dip sauce and make yours a Tatar Dip. Once again, drenching your food in butter sauce until it is unrecognizable is the key.
Leave room for desert! The pastry catalog is extensive and enticing. Souffle au Chocolat, Verrine St Germain, Caramel Chocolate Pot de Crème. Oooo lala. They have gotten little crazy on the macaroon front. (I’m more of a traditionalist). But if you are adventurous, you can get a lavender or a nutella macaroon (its bright blue), which you will not be able to find at more conservative boulangeries.
If your friend Sean forgot to feed the dog and his girlfriend is mad at him, encourage him to buy some extra macaroons to bring home to her to smooth things over, or better yet, a few Smithys.