French Restaurants in Downtown Los Angeles

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Every morning, the pastry chef of Nickel Diner officiates a sacred marriage between sweet and savory. The result is the restaurant's famed maple bacon donut: a glazed pastry topped with crumbled bacon bits. This mix of textures is a common one at the quirky venue, typifying their salt peanut cake—covered with peanut butter and potato chips—and dinner entrée of catfish with corn cakes, which derive a sweet tang from a candied pecan sauce. The creations of head chef Monica May and her team are enough to distinguish Nickel from a traditional diner (though, of course, they still flip a good burger). Nevertheless, designer Kristen Trattner dreamed up decor that matches the menu's eccentricity. On Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Guy Fieri marvels at the upside-down floor lamps on the ceiling and the mannequin busts in the window, whose hairstyles consist of sculpted meringue. Guests can greet them at breakfast, lunch, or dinnertime every day of the week except for Monday, presumably the day when they rid their beehives of actual bees.

524 S Main St
Los Angeles,
CA
US

After a long night toiling in the kitchen, Chef Josef Centeno was known to celebrate the end of his workday by creating a special, off-the-menu snack for coworkers and friends. He took a flatbread and sandwiched it around beef carnitas, pork belly, and a tangy salbitxada sauce. The chef dubbed his creation the "bäco." At Bäco Mercat, he introduces LA to this once invitation-only sandwich. Since then, Chef Centeno has reinvented his original bäco in many forms: the "el pesco" is made with crispy shrimp and sriracha, "the fava fritter blends feta-poblano with chickpeas and salmorejo soup, and "the meatball" features a meat-free mélange of raisins, pine nuts, and tomato. He also bakes the same bread into a crispier version to create a Spanish-inspired pizza called "coca." So far, Chef Centeno's creativity has paid off. Los Angeles Magazine named Baco Mercat one of "The Top 10 Best New Restaurants of 2012".

408 S Main St
Los Angeles,
CA
US

LA Cafe is an eclectic bohemian Cafe located in Downtown Los Angeles, open 24/7 363 and we even deliver 24 hours. We love good mucic, good coffee, and good food. We make all our food from scratch in our little kitchen and are proud to offer some of the best coffee around. Stop by & say hi- we'd love to meet you!!

639 S Spring St
Los Angeles,
CA
US

The comic opera The Marriage of Figaro is rather fitting namesake for this French bistro: plush purple stools at a marble-topped bar and dual staircases winding up toward inlaid frescoes invoke elegance, but the full bar and pastry cases stacked with colorful macarons retain a sense of playfulness. Indeed, Les Noces du Figaro plays many roles, despite being billed simply as a bistro.

By day, the patisserie counter stocks fresh croissants, while the dining room fills with sweet and savory scents of banana crepes and Parisian-style omelets with potatoes, gruyère, and herbs. Brunch is served seven days a week here, so the breakfast menu also includes more hearty dishes such as coquilles Saint-Jacques Poêlées: sauteed scallops with spinach, papaya, and candied pistachios. There's coffee service, of course, with café au lait and cappuccinos, as well as teas infused with blends of mint-citrus or orchid-vanilla.

In the evenings, streetlights flicker on throughout the dining room, illuminating bilingual dinner menus with an exquisite selection of entrees. Meals might begin with cuisses de grenouilles—frog legs sautéed with lemon-butter—or ahi tuna tartare with avocado and cilantro. Oysters are available by the dozen or half-dozen, and served with a trio of champagne, cocktail, and horseradish sauces. Main dishes include grilled rack of lamb with mint au jus and pan-roasted duck with prosciutto-wrapped figs alongside plentiful vegetarian options, such as veggie ravioli and couscous with grass-fed tofu.

618 Broadway
Los Angeles,
CA
US

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.

318 E 2nd St
Los Angeles,
CA
US

Maison Midi's associates apply their sophisticated eyes to curating and stocking accent pieces and furnishings that add original style to homes and oddly regal treehouses. From ceramic saltshakers by Belli to faux-aged flower pots etched with artful floral designs, the shop's eclectic selection of house wares can suit a wide range of tastes.

148 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles,
CA
US