After getting schooled on the delicacies within Gallic gastronomy, it seems easier (and a plain cop-out) just to show some captioned pictures from L’epicerie, and to say: yes, I really like to eat this stuff, even if I’d never be able to convince Marion Cotillard to talk dirty to me. And also, frogsmoke.com is much more crotchety than http://willows95988.typepad.com.
On the larder front, L’epicerie carries partner Thierry Perez’s personal wine cellar (yes, that’s an hyperbole), dozens of French cheeses, and macarons flown in daily from the Motherland.
The Perigords are rather obsessed with exotic mushrooms above and beyond truffles. At L’epicerie, Chef Sébastien Archambault flexes his regional French muscles starting with sauteed field mushrooms over “country” bread and black truffle vinaigrette ($12). The result is 2 fun guys making out on a bread bed.
Next stop on the mushroom tour is the egg “cocotte” with creamy mushrooms and shaved black truffles ($12). Think mushrooms synchronized swimming in a pool of gently poached egg. The mycologically obsessed would fare well here at L’epicerie. Even better if you’re speak French while mushroom hunting.
Foie gras is the natural next stop in a tour of Franco food luxuries following truffles. “Homemade foie gras terrine with plum & fig chutney” ($8). No explanation necessary, ducks died for a good cause.
Cow’s face may not be exotic as duck’s liver, but the L’epicerie’s braised beef tongue was the hit of the evening ($12). Slices of tender beef, herby (purple) tomatoes, classic red wine reduction (taste like soy sauce – am I the only one?)
Paying more tribute to the chef’s classic training rooted in Perigord is the ($22) Perigord cassoulet. Mr. Gold once praised chef Archambald’s cassoulet at RH Andaz (which is where an Angeleno was first able to fall in love with Chef Archambald’s cooking) , now you can have it every night, even in the middle of summer.
For something less gras, L’epicerie offers savory crepes all day. The salmon crepe has asparagus, dill cream & boiled eggs ($16) and is riddled by a Frenchman, in a French operated larder, paired with French curated French wine.
Making a classic crepe suzette:
Visit L’epicerie, and you can finally say: “S Irene sent me here”.
9900 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
Of note, in keeping up with Culver City’s continued lean towards all things Gallic: Chef Zadi, of Ecole de Cuisine, is opening his first
French-Algerian restaurant in Culver. This will be the fourth (not really) French restaurant in 2 years to open in Culver. I’m not sure what it says about Downtown Culver except maybe… More butter deliveries?
* can a French speaker explain the exact difference between an epicerie and a garde manger?
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