New Fall Eats & a BBQ Fave Shutters

Casual and decadent global flavors highlight new openings and a renovation in the 818.

  • Category
    Eat & Drink
  • Written by
    Karen Young
  • Above
    Bistrot Paris

Bistrot Paris

Bistrot Paris, a family-owned “fine” fast-casual café, has opened in the small Studio City corner mall at Ventura Boulevard and Vantage, replacing a Korean eatery. Owners Anna and Joscha Mass are first-time restaurateurs, but the married couple has extensive experience in their respective family businesses. Anna’s family owns Persian restaurants, including Laziz Grill in Westwood, while Joscha’s family runs restaurants in Germany. The eatery is inspired by Joscha’s mother’s French cooking and includes many of her recipes, including traditional versions of croque-monsieur and croque-madame. Anna’s aunts help cook, so it’s truly a family affair.

The reasonable menu features crepes with a twist. Organic, gluten-free buckwheat flour provides a uniquely textured and nutty flavor to the savory crepes. Fillings include popular standbys like cheese and butter, as well as more elaborate variations such as duck breast and black currant onion, brie and potato, or scallops and chorizo. Sweet crepes are prepared with a traditional flour-and-egg mixture with such choices as house-made marmalade, Nutella and salted caramel. Most decadent is the Suzette with orange slices and Grand Marnier.

Quiche is made fresh daily. Sweet and savory tartes, served in large slabs, are piled high with chopped roasted vegetables or fruit on a flaky puff pastry base. Homemade soups include tomato, French onion and fish. The Mediterranean salad stars a perfectly roasted whole eggplant with a tangy, house-made mustard, lavender and honey dressing. Ambitious daily specials include escargot and chicken Dijon. There is also a select variety of handcrafted desserts. Croissants and pain au chocolat are available on weekends.

Look for beer and wine in the near future. In the meantime, quench your thirst with coffee drinks, tea and fresh-squeezed juices, including a specially created lemonade with orange, lime, mint, ginger ale and rose.

The design has been simply updated to reflect modern French influences, including a black-and-white rendition of the Eiffel Tower. Although it’s order-at-the-counter, there is a comfortable banquette table and chair seating.

A Supersized Pitfire Pizza Reopens—along with Superba Snacks + Coffee

Pitfire Pizza in Noho reopened last week after undergoing a massive renovation. The 20-year-old restaurant at the corner of Lankershim and Magnolia has been completely reconfigured into an all-day indoor/outdoor dining experience. The interior seats 70, while the exterior 12,000-square-foot pizza and bar garden—complete with ping-pong, cornhole and Jenga—seats 100 at communal tables underneath hanging bulbs.

While pizza still stars, a vegan-friendly menu includes seasonal vegetables and salads, in addition to pasta, chicken wings, grilled and roasted proteins, and kids’ meals. Wine and beer on tap are also available to go.

Anchored at the corner is a bright yellow-and-white striped, stand-alone mini-version of Superba Snacks + Coffee with a walk-up counter perfect for a morning or afternoon meetup. Breakfast is served until 11 a.m.—select choices include baked goods, avocado toast, a grain bowl and breakfast burrito. Lunch adds a hoagie and chicken cutlet sandwich. Coffee, tea, matcha and specialty milkshakes fill out the drink list. And for a unique touch, madeleines are made to order.

Hello Caviar, Goodbye BBQ

Just in time for the holidays, West Hollywood-based Absolute Caviar has a mid-November projected opening in Sherman Oaks. The boutique will sell specialty black and red caviar, along with all the necessary accoutrements including servers, blinis and crème fraiche.

After five years in Studio City, the popular Barrel & Ashes closed its doors on October 11. The restaurant group, Sprout LA, gave no reason for the closure. The eatery opened with executive chefs Timothy Hollingsworth and Rory Herrmann, both who previously worked with Thomas Keller at French Laundry and the former Bouchon Beverly Hills, respectively. They crafted a Texas-inspired menu of house-made sausages, brisket and ribs. Hollingsworth eventually stepped away to focus on his downtown Los Angeles restaurant, Otium, while Herrmann departed to found Herrmann Hospitality Group.