Bouchon in Beverly Hills — 10.22.11
Posted by Shannon on 10/28/2011
Two foodies walked into Bouchon. The raven-haired one looked to the flaxen-haired one as they crossed the restaurant’s threshold. They smiled knowingly at one another. This was a Saturday two-months in the making. Flights were booked and a ladies’ weekend was planned with this restaurant in mind as a prime agenda item.
Walking in, you must first pass Bouchon Bakery before heading up the three flights of marble steps to the restaurant. Resist buying goodies for later? We could not. I picked up caramel corn and two pistachio macarons as dessert for the dinner Steve cooked up that night. Karen agreed, and also got caramel corn, along with delicious chocolate brownies. We love, love, loved Bouchon, her thoughts are posted throughout this article in italics…
“What I loved was fulfilling what I thought was the true Beverly Hills experience. Two ladies brunching and shopping. I loved that when you walked in, you had the bakery right there with all the goodies to check out and take home.”
We took our treats and headed excitedly upstairs toward the experience ahead.
Our waiter provided the brunch menu, and the Gilt City prix fixe menu choices. I purchased the Gilt Coupon for the two of us all the way back in August when we began planning Karen’s visit. Clearly we plan for the important and are darn good at it 🙂 !
Choices, choices. Karen selected the Pain Perdu and there was no way I could resist the Chicken & Waffles. I envisioned their version of a dish I first had at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles in Long Beach… and smiled. The waiter set our drinks before us and we placed our order from our table on their patio, ready for conversation and a fantastic meal enjoyed beneath a bright blue sky.
“Sipping a champagne under an umbrella with a tray of delicious French pastries delivered was so cool. It was funny how the waiter wanted to let me know that if I ordered the French toast we were also getting a tray of pastries and how I told him, “I’m all about the sweet!”
I was seated facing the door that led from the patio into the restaurant. Each time a waiter ushered a tray toward us my eyebrows raised in anticipation. After the fifth round, it was finally our turn.
My chicken was roasted and plated with care, especially delicious topped with a bit of the homemade gravy. It was not watery, nor thickened with filler. I asked the waiter for the contents of the “sauce chasseur” (roma tomatoes, peas, carrots) because it had a wonderful myriad of flavors. The bacon and chive waffles were drizzled with had their turn being sauced too. I alternated forkfuls of waffle/Tahitian vanilla bean butter/maple syrup with waffle/chicken/sauce chasseur.
“Your waffles & chicken was the best. That gravy was too good with your waffle. I like the savory nature of the waffle and how it tasted good with both the gravy and syrup.”
I won’t lie, taking photos while eating was more difficult than usual for me. I ate the portion in its entirety because:
1) We were headed to Mood Fabric Store and The Getty following brunch so I needed fuel
2) I knew the waffles would be limp and gross by the time I got any leftovers back home
3) I do have the stomach capacity of a full-grown man
The chefs in the kitchen displayed a lovingly-focused roasting technique that resulted in a quarter-chicken roasted thoroughly through, retaining all of its juiciness, with an outside skin crisped in a few select places.
I was completely gratified with the meal, the service, the plating of the dish, and the ambience in which we enjoyed it. Brunch at Bouchon is definitely a dining experience for my mental foodie scrapbook, made all the more pleasurable because Karen and I experieinced it together.