On Papille’s website there is a link to Paris.com which explains the definition of bistronomy. It says something about bistros, something about tasty food, and something about tasty food served in a bistro at a “relatively low price”. Apparently the movement has been around since the 90s, and I clearly remember sitting down to 3 course prix fixe lunch for €15, service compris, in Paris circa 2005. So forget about all the fancy spelling and hybrid words — Santos Uy’s next restaurant project is a an affordable French-driven bistro featuring set course menus (of course seasonal) and tight wine pairings. The number thrown around at this particular test dinner — in a downtown loft — is $25-$35 for 3 courses, including a cheese course.
What exactly will you be eating in the upcoming weeks?
Course 1: almond gazpacho topped with fresh fig, drizzled with olive oil.
This chiller would obviously be the perfect way to start supper if supper was held mid-summer. It was lovely and was fragant as can be. The snippets of figs represented the peak of the season, and represents part of Papilles culinary principles.
Next, deconstructed salad nicoise, or, seared tuna salad.
Mr. Uy advised the menu is a work in progress, and from this dish, it showed. Seared tuna is a milestone ingredient, and the time it demarcates is around… o… 2000. I wish a real-to-goodness salade nicoise, with anchovies, would’ve appeared. Papilles recently announced Chef Tim Carey as the opening chef of Papilles, and in retrospect, this particular dish was clearly an homage to Chef Tony Esnault at Patina, where Carey worked for two years.
The third course — the braised veal cheek with artichokes, fava ragout, jus.
Win. Absolute win. The whole meal, at $35, will be solidly anchored around a slow cooked protein, and if the veal is any indication, Papilles will be a hit. Bringing out the edibility of a cheap cut of a 4-legged animal by slow roasting is a basic cooking principle in most cuisines. And if Papilles serves faux-French tender cooked meats, Los Angeles should be thankful, especially because you won’t go broke.
Finally, because Mr. Uy is known to this town as AOC’s ex-sommelier and Silver Lake Wine’s first employee, there will definitely be approachable (in both palate and price) wine every evening, as witnessed during the test kitchen night:
If you’re a fan of Bacaro and Mignon like we are, know Papilles will be open before Christmas, hopefully.
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