The Top 10 Best New Restaurants of 2012 - Digest - Los Angeles magazine

The Top 10 Best New Restaurants of 2012

Cooks County

Maison Giraud

1032 Swathmore Avenue
Pacific Palisades


The photographs in the minimalist dining room are of chef Alain Giraud as a child; the Pagnolesque counter where Noubar Yessayan’s pastries are sold recalls the ones Giraud huddled beside as a boy growing up in France. If there’s a wisp of nostalgia to Maison Giraud, maybe it’s because the stubbly-faced chef has worked his way back to a starting point. He did Cal-French at Citrus, haute French at Bastide, operatic French at Lavande and Anisette. Now, in the shadow of the Pacific Palisades farmers’ market, he’s focusing on a rustic ideal embodied in the vapor that rises from a gleaming, basil-laced pistou soup. Here a breakfast omelette holds steaming, garlicky ratatouille; at lunch le steak comes as it must, with charred shallots and frites. Gorgeously to the point, the roasted chicken is plated with a lemon-brightened jus and a bouquet of haricots verts that evoke the core simplicity of classic French provincial fare.

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