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I always research the latest reviews for places to eat, even when I know several and have options suggested by locals. Even though they have been around since 2010, I would probably not have found L’Aller Retour without some online research because it has a tiny entrance on a small street near the Carreau du Temple. It was definitely worth the search because it was one of my favorite meals during the last trip.

Classic escargots for 6 Euros were perfect in every way, and I even got a friend to try one for the first time because of the buttery garlic aroma that perfumed the table upon their arrival 🙂

My friend appreciated the quality of the meat in the burger for 14E50 as well as the crisp fries, saying it was very good in spite of it not being well done (for an American-it was well done by French standards, which means it was pink in the middle instead of red).


I had come specifically for the knife cut Charolais steak tartare for 14E that was the best one I ate during this trip. The large salad was very much appreciated to help balance out the meat, with a very nice vinaigrette dressing.

Ending lunch with an espresso was a perfect way to cap off lunch at a newly found favorite.

Very few places are still in business after one decade, much less NINE, but Musso & Frank’s is one of the rare legends that lives on, weathering wars and trends with equal aplomb. Once you step inside, you may suddenly feel more sophisticated or worldly, but it is the old school service which has elevated your attitude. The red jackets and formal greetings are anachronisms which remind us that decorum should never die.

My friend has been coming here for decades, with “the old guys” who inhabit the booths like godfathers. The fact that I was deemed worthy to enter this sacred space with an old timer flattered me. The food was was like a time machine; it brought me back to the 60’s and like an episode of “Mad Men“, I enjoyed every minute.

My friend started off with the house salad with blue cheese dressing. You may opt for additions to your salad, but like a true old man, my friend had only the greens.

I chose the sand dabs ($23), which I never see on menus anymore. They were perfect, just as Julia Child swooned over in her first trip to France, I swooned over these delicate filets done “comme il faut” (as it should be) with capers, butter and lemon. If anyone you know does not like fish, make them taste this and convert them!

Since this is old world style dining, every entree is served separately, so I ordered braised spinach ($8) with my fish and the side was as lovely and perfectly done as my main course.

Most people who come here order the steak ($33) and they cook it exactly as ordered, meaning, rare is bloody and well is brown. Of course the old timer ordered rare, and of course it was done as ordered. Nearly every table ordered steak, so if you can’t decide what to get, I suggest you go with the odds and order the steak.

The steak fries ($5) were wonderfully crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.

As a child, I always like jello ($3.50), but I haven’t seen it on a menu since I was a child, so I had to order it here. Served with fruit, I felt as if I was 5 years old and finished every bite!

I was not the only one to finish my dessert, my friend ordered the sundae ($6.25) and ate every spoonful!

On another night I came and had the special duck a l’orange with a friend who ordered the lobster thermidor. Both dishes were so rich and decadent that the pictures came out fuzzy; I guess even cameras get thrown off balance when transported to another era!
Musso & Frank Grill on Urbanspoon

It’s one of my favorite times of the year; Dine LA’s Restaurant Week started and I had to get fellow food lovers out to enjoy some meals out for the two week “holiday”. I always go to Capital Grille every time I go to Las Vegas, but since they opened in Los Angeles, I thought it was time to introduce this restaurant to my friends who live here. My meat loving friend Mika was in dire need of a replacement for her former favorite steakhouse Pacific Dining Car because the last meals we ate there had been woefully overcooked and just not up to par.

Dine LA’s Dinner at Capital Grille is $34 and allows a choice of Caesar salad or Field Greens, or Clam Chowder for an appetizer, then an entree choice of 10 oz Filet Mignon or their famous bone in Kona crusted dry aged Sirloin with shallot butter, or Seared Citrus Glazed King Salmon, with a choice of mashed potatoes or spinach, and a dessert choice of flour less chocolate espresso cake, ice cream, or Creme Brulee for dessert. Many restaurants participate, and I appreciate it when they give you or tell you about the Dine LA menu when you are seated, but unfortunately this was not the case here. Not only did I have to ask for the menu, but I had to ask for more than one menu (we were a party of THREE). They apparently did not print up enough and were allotting only ONE menu PER TABLE! Our waiter Arby allowed us two once we promised we would give them back (?!?!?!?); for this caliber of restaurant this made them look very cheap and unorganized. Arby redeemed himself by making up sweet wine spritzers for Mika and Alia which they loved.

The Caesar salad was a nice version, featuring thinly sliced parmesan and some fresh croutons that Alia loved. There wasn’t enough garlic or anchovy in the dressing for me, but it was tasty enough to finish and most American diners would be very happy to have this less intense version.

Mika had the field greens and liked the vinaigrette even though she found there was too much dressing when she got to the bottom pieces of greens.

Alia chose the salmon and asked for it to be cooked through; it is refreshing to have a restaurant ask how you prefer your fish cooked instead of assuming everyone wants their fish well done. She loved the citrus glaze said it was one of the best salmon preparations (and she would know, being a salmon aficionado).

Both Mika & I had the bone in Kona crusted dry aged Sirloin with shallot butter, although I ordered mine rare and she ordered hers medium rare. We were both relieved to find they cooked our steaks EXACTLY as we had ordered, hers pink and warm, and mine red and cold on the inside. The meat was juicy, had a nice sear, and tender for the cut. It really did not need the shallot butter, but it is a nice rich addition for those who want to be decadent.

Alia chose the chocolate ice cream for dessert and it was surprisingly dark (in a good way).

Both Mika & I chose the flourless chocolate espresso cake, a dense, sweet, rich finish for a fabulous meal, served with fresh raspberries and whipped cream.

A meal in Los Angeles is always fun, but when combined with discounted menus and friends, it is a priceless experience.

The Capital Grille on Urbanspoon




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