Number 2 on our list of Best New Restaurants of 2009
Photograph by Lisa Romerein
Laurent Quenioux is a chef who won’t play it safe, and that’s exciting. His wide-ranging menu twines together elements from deepest France and multiculti Los Angeles. Quenioux sees connections where few others do, finding in the nutty undertones of masa, that building block of tortillas and tamales, the counterpoint for the richness of braised boar. There are mind-blowingly labor-intensive dishes like the côte de boeuf—for an accent, he slowly poaches oxtails, then picks them clean and slips the tender morsels into gossamer-like envelopes of phyllo dough—as well as petite creations of utter perfection, like the eggs poached in red wine and served under spoonfuls of mushrooms and bacon. The fine silverware glistens; the traffic on Beverly hums. Sitting in Quenioux’s urbane dining room as waiters flit by in red high-tops, you get the sense that this restaurant could exist nowhere but here.
Head Cheese? Heads Up
Surprise! Head cheese is not a cheese. It’s a rich pâté made by boiling a pig’s head and letting the natural gelatins contained in the bone and cartilage congeal with the tasty meaty bits. Not exactly a PB&J, but that’s the point. Bistro LQ wraps the French delicacy in phyllo and pan-fries it. “It’s on the menu because I love it,” says chef Laurent Quenioux. “But also it’s part of what we’re trying to do here—show people there are other things besides grilled chicken.”
»8009 Beverly Boulevard // Los Angeles // 323-951-1088 or bistrolq.com