Cuisine Type: French
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 26
Parking: Metered street parking
Most popular offering: Crepes, brunch, traditional French fare
Alcohol: Beer and wine only
Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout Only
Outdoor Seating: Yes
What is one of your most popular offerings? How is it prepared?
Creme Benedict for brunch. It's a traditional egg Benedict served over real crab and caramelized onions. Filet mignon for dinner prepared with a choice of six made-to-order sauces.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
The atmosphere is a slice of Paris in downtown Long Beach, an authentique French cafe. Fine dining in a casual atmosphere.
Do you use any family recipes at your restaurant? Whose family do they belong to (the chef, the owner, or someone else)?
All recipes are those of a successful restaurant owner from France who has relocated to California.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
We have an extensive selection of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desert items all made fresh from scratch upon order. Many gluten free and vegetarian options.
When you step into Boubouffe Grille, you can feel the Middle Eastern influence all around you, which is exactly what owner Wally Nasser wants. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors open onto a relaxed outdoor patio, giving the space an open, airy feeling reminiscent of the Mediterranean seashore. On the walls, spotlighted vases in recessed shelves hark back to the antiquities of ancient Greece. Guests talk and laugh as they share mezze—small plates that originated centuries ago in Turkey—while playing tabletop soccer with falafel.
And the food is just as representative of the Mediterranean region as the decor. Diners can crisscross the Mediterranean Sea via stuffed north african peppers, lebanese grilled lamb chops with warm harissa, algerian chicken tagine, and traditional baklava. The eatery also serves classic breakfast dishes such as smoked-salmon-topped bagels and french toast with fresh fruit.
One sunny afternoon, Ginnie Lu and her friends sat in a café sipping hot drinks and chatting about how much they would love to run their own tea and coffee house. When the group realized that they had the means to carve their dream into reality, they spent the next two years saving and planning. Finally, in 2010, they opened Four Leaf Tea Room, a cozy enclave where guests can sip specialty brews amidst the aromas of sweet and savory crepes. Mugs of oolong and chrysanthemum keep fingers warm during the year's cooler temperatures, and when the summer returns, they cool down with iced teas and mango freezes on an outdoor patio.
Despite Four Leaf’s name, its upscale, innovate crepes force its teas to share the limelight. A chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu dreams up the lavish fillings, pairing smoked salmon and caper-herb cream or soy-marinated chicken with crushed peanuts for savory meals. Sweet versions make use of exotic ingredients such as red-wine-poached pears, candied pecans, taro paste, and gelato. As guests fork into these creations, they can admire walls decorated with spring-green leaves and shelves filled with loose-leaf blends and prehistoric fossils of steam from early teas.
Much has changed since 1927, including the price of a chicken dinner. When Marius Taix Jr. first opened Taix, he served chicken dinners for 50 cents. Though the price may have changed, owner Raymond Taix made sure that the French country cuisine didn’t. Meals still come with a tureen of soup and freshly baked French bread, and the dinner menu of roast chicken au jus, salmon filet with champagne cream, and frog legs Provencal still honors the founder's original intentions. And though Raymond's staff is considered “vintage”—some having served more than three generations—they can still hang with the night owls, serving entrees from a late-night menu until 1 a.m. Taix also feeds cravings for late-night entertainment. Thursdays and Fridays, the restaurant hosts live music in the 312 lounge. On Sundays, the lounge also features standup comedy.
Jack n’ Jill’s brings hearty, down-on-the-farm meals to the city, within a quaint, family-friendly environment. Generous menus at both the Santa Monica and Beverly Hills locations are full of homemade comfort food that will have you saying things like “ma,” “pa,” and “that cabin's not built out of logs, it's built out of peanut brittle.” At Jack n’ Jill’s, you’ll eat farm-sized portions of the food that made the settlers strong and capable of playing catch with an ox.
Since 1992, California Canteen has bridged the culinary and cultural gap between Californians and Francophiles with its tasty twist on French bistro Mediterranean fare. French favorites populate the menu. Sample the nicoise salad with tuna steak ($14), beef bourguignon ($17.50), or lamb shank osso bucco ($18.25). Meanwhile, enterprising diners and triumvirates can customize comestibles in the three-course dinner ($20.50 4 p.m.–7 p.m., Sunday-Thursday). Alternately, the lunch menu spins a lighter, two-course remix of the prix fixe ($12.95).