Okay, so by now it's nothing surprising that an LA area food blogger -- even one as small as me -- has made it to Bouchon. That I idolize Thomas Keller is no secret among my friends and tonight I finally got the chance to see one of his places in action. The room is friendly yet sophisticated, the yellow roses in the ladies room extravagant, the service attentive without being fawning. All of that is nice . . . but the real fact is, the food is just plain good.
These aren't the intricate and playful food as high art dishes Keller is famous for in Yountville and NY, these are straight-forward classics, perhaps not challenging, but cooked to perfection and beautifully served in casual yet lovely tableware (Staub pots and All-Clad copper gratin pans as dishes).
James had the steak frites for which the bistro is rightfully renown. I had the lamb shank special which was good, but came with what are likely the very best mashed potatoes (pomme purée) I've ever tasted. Even the roast chicken at Bouchon doesn't disappoint. But the real spectacular, I can't make that at home, look-at-me dish? Iles Flottante. A delicate disk of poached meringue in a shallow pool of creme Anglais with a delicious caramel, maple, cinnamon, honestly not sure quite what other than delicious thin caramel colored sauce. Why, oh why is there no recipe for Iles Flottante in the Bouchon Cookbook? Please tell me how you made that disc so perfect Mr. Keller (and friends).
Sign me up -- ardent fan, happy eater, returning guest.
Go soon, go often, order dessert.