On July 14, the French celebrate Fête nationale, a parade-filled holiday that approximates America’s Independence Day. Here in the English-speaking world, we call it Bastille Day and use it as an excuse to cozy up in charming French restaurants and get tipsy on wine. L.A. has just the place.
Beginning at 6 p.m. this evening, Los Feliz French bistro Loupiotte Kitchen will be celebrating with French food, French wine, French music, and, get this, French people. Antoine Blandin and Sarah Bessade are the friendly faces and French-bred owners behind the establishment. Blandin grew up in Romorantin-Lanthenay, and Bessade was born in Paris, where she eventually opened her restaurant Gabylou. Despite the daytime cafe’s success, Blandin sold it off, and in 2019, after traveling the world scouting her next restaurant location, brought her otherworldly French sensibilities to Vermont Avenue.
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You’d be hard pressed to find a more cozy and inviting setting than Loupiotte. Both Bessade and Blandin represent the epitome of restaurant hospitality, and the decor of the restaurant reflects their friendly, laid-back personalities. The warmly lit dining room is littered with family heirlooms and classic trinkets: an old ladle, pots, pans, lanterns, candles, old French board games, and posters. Loupiotte also now acts as a small store front, selling French wines, snacks, and customary French treats like Petit Beurre, the definitive shortbread snack of France.
“There’s nothing fancy about us,” Bessade insists. She’s right, but the simple elegance of Loupiotte is intoxicating.
For Bastille Day there will be ouefs mayonnaise, tuna rillettes, lots of frites, croque madames, and chocolate mousse. Simple and tasty French food made with love is what Loupiotte’s menu is about, and that’s what people will flock to this evening.
“I want it to be a really simple and messy party,” Bessade says. “Messy. I want messy. It’s more fun that way. I don’t want to turn anyone away. Come and sit with someone you don’t know. Be nice to each other. Talk to someone.”
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