Treasure Unearthed

Montrésor brings its unique flair for coupling food and design to Studio City.

A copper mannequin wears a stylish skirt suit, and an elaborate bouquet serves as her head. This is not exactly your typical restaurant greeting. But it is the first thing you’ll see upon entering Montrésor, a French restaurant that provides unique counterprogramming to Studio City’s plethora of contemporary-style sushi bars and bro-bait gastropubs.

The brick building, which previously housed The Gadarene Swine, now touts a dining room with Venetian-style plaster walls, vintage furniture and gold tables. The owners fittingly named the eatery after a village in France’s Loire Valley that means “my treasure.”

Montrésor is the result of a creative collaboration between Lisa Long, an actress and longtime restaurateur (Firenze Osteria), and partner/designer Ann Booth Luly, who owns the nearby Hoity-Toity boutique.

The duo brought in veteran chef Paul Shoemaker to helm the kitchen. Paul is a seasonally minded chef with some serious French culinary chops. He worked for legendary French chef Alain Ducasse in New York City and for Thomas Keller at restaurants like The French Laundry in Napa Valley. He joined acclaimed chef Michael Cimarusti at Providence in LA, before taking the lead at Bastide in West Hollywood and Savory in Malibu.

Montrésor’s menu, as well as its wine roster, are rooted in France but allow for modern California flourishes. A plump Dungeness crab cake is bound with aioli and crushed saltines, and flavored with fines herbs and dried tomato. Each cake is plated with punchy New Zealand pepperberry and tangy Meyer lemon gastriques, remoulade and frisée.

Entrees allow for more creativity. A flaky, crisp-skinned Rhode Island black bass fillet joins earthy artichoke puree, fragrant saffron jus, a quenelle of zingy tomato confit, black olive flakes, supreme Meyer lemon from a neighbor’s tree, a drizzle of parsley pistou and twin puffs of lemon saffron foam. Somehow, Paul finds balance.

Wagyu short rib luxuriates for three days in a sous vide water bath to tenderize. Slices are pan roasted with brown butter, garlic and thyme. A rosy row of meat is plated with buttery fingerling pommes puree, potato chips, shallot confit, miner’s lettuce and sticky Bordelaise. With black truffles in season, Paul dispatches his sous chef to provide some “flair” and fragrance. His culinary lieutenant asks how much truffle to shave and Paul quips, “Make it rain, like you’re in a truffle tornado.”

Paul’s velvety housemade butterscotch panna cotta isn’t quite so fierce a force of nature, but trust me, you don’t want to miss this dessert.

11266 Ventura Blvd., Studio City  |  818-760-7081  |