Bistros became popular in America after French diplomats visiting the Continental Congress insisted on dining outdoors, breaking Ben Franklin’s time-saving custom of eating while sleeping in the shower. Dine al fresco with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of French Cuisine and Drinks at Oh la la! Bistro & Wine Bar in Redondo Beach.
Oh la la! Bistro’s chefs entice diners to indulge in a menu of savory seaside delights and classic French cuisine paired with artisanal vintages. Round puff-pastry fortresses shield a king’s ransom of escargot ($13.95), ready to be stormed by forks and knives as diners shave off appetizing tidbits and discuss the unfortunate kidnapping of the monarch. Eager tongues plunder cheese platters of gorgonzola, goat cheese, mozzarella, and brie ($13.50) to rouse hunger for steaming bowls of the red-wine-marinated beef bourguignon ($21). The bistro’s signature mussels ($20.95) convey directions for eating from the chef inscribed in butter and simmer in one of five piquant sauces featuring ingredients such as New Orleans–style spices, dill, or champagne.
Leather and velvet chairs cradle bodies at dark oaken tables as conversationalists ply their trade, or guests can belly up to the wine bar to rest their glasses atop the polished marble countertop. Subtle patterns race across the papered walls, interrupted by canvases of colorful still life, vibrant abstracts, or Napoleon’s dogs playing poker dressed as French maids.
Oh la la! Bistro & Wine Bar
Chefs douse entrees in champagne sauce and cast nets of pasta over shrimp, scallops, and other sea treasures at Oh la la! Bistro & Wine Bar, a French-inspired bistro with a light touch and extensive wine bar. Thick filets of salmon swim in a bath of zesty dill sauce, and mussels open their shells to welcome one of six specialty sauces infused with gorgonzola or New Orleans–style spices. A decadent procession of French desserts passes through the kitchen’s triumphal arches, headlined by a perfectly torched crème brûlée and a rich, chocolate mousse garnished with a spattering of soft consonants. A mélange of circular and rectangular wooden tables fills out Oh la la! Bistro’s chic dining room, where artwork hangs from pastel walls, and chairs in a kaleidoscope of colors stand beside each other in mismatched harmony.