Bruno Herve-Commereuc, an expert charcutier, and his wife Florence are very happy to welcome you to their brasserie. The most adventurous eaters will order Bruno’s delicious boudin noir (blood sausage), andouillette, escargots, foie gras, merguez and crispy boneless pigs’ feet. If you don’t belong to this first group, you will be happy with the soupe à l’oignon, the thin-crusted leek tart, monkfish, and grilled rib-eye with pommes frites. Finish le diner with la mousse au chocolat à l’orange. Bon appétit!
Mais oui! Even a hardcore Parisian would admit it. Beautiful grand boulevards, large avenues, handsome mansions, green parks, impressive landmarks, museums, opera house, lively streets and art life, all of these match the French model to recreate another Paris on the Danube closer to the original one than the Las Vegas cardboard elliptic version.
What about food, then? I am not so sure about eats, for I am not a big fan of goulash. You know that robust stew of beef, onions and potatoes more fit to sustain one’s efforts fighting the rigors of winter than the appetite of a modern city dandy. But, there are quite a few places that offer a more elaborate food with or without Paprika, the Hungarian national spice.
It’s hard to find, since its official address is on Santa Monica Boulevard, but its actual entrance, hidden behind a donut shop, is on South Bentley Avenue. I finally arrived and ordered a medium rare beef burger with a pretzel bun, onion mayonnaise, red leaf lettuce, sliced onion, tomato, and topped with provolone cheese, all for a very reasonable $7.95.
A few moments later, I was enjoying it on the outdoor patio, which is covered with old sails belonging to chef-owner Bill Dertouzos, accompanied by great fresh-cut French fries ($2.00). I’m happy to report he makes a VERY good hamburger, and have added the spot to our top 10 Burgers in Los Angeles list.
But if you were to get there earlier, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., you could relax at the bar and lounge during happy hour, “Charlie’s @ 5:00”, sipping beer priced between $4 and $5, wine ($5) or house cocktails ($8), and nibbling on fried calamari, roasted beet salad or the tasty mac and cheese seasoned with sage.
Note that the lounge menu is also offered late at night, to 11:30 p.m. on Fri.-Sat.; 10:30 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., and 10 p.m. on Sunday, which is good to know considering that there are not too many dining options in Malibu.