Love at First Sight | Amour Restaurant, West Hollywood, CA
A Love Affair at Amour Restaurant, West Hollywood, CA
West Hollywood, CA, February 2024
• GAYOT’s Rating: 15/20
• Cuisine: French
• Open: Dinner Tues.-Thurs. 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
Amour Restaurant is on GAYOT’s:
– Best Romantic Restaurants in the U.S.A.
– Best Los Angeles French Restaurants
– Top 10 Romantic Restaurant in Los Angeles County
– Best West Hollywood Romantic Restaurants
– Best Los Angeles Sexy Restaurants
– Best Los Angeles Décor Restaurants
– Best Los Angeles Special Occasion Restaurants
Amour Restaurant | 424-431-6717 | View Website
View map: 8715 Beverly Blvd. (Robertson Blvd.) West Hollywood, CA 90048
“Amour,” love, in French, is what drives life. With love, life is beautiful. So come to think of it, it is surprising that there is not a plethora of places named after the best feeling in the world that is love.
Amour restaurant is a love of many things, starting with the one between owner/restaurateur Thomas Fuks and his wife, Abbie, and their love for beautiful food and things.
Love is in the details
If love is not always easy to find, the neon sign and the mural on the door will make it facile to spot this haven of elegance on Beverly Boulevard. The tone is set with the color green, which you will find also everywhere inside. The green relates to the chakra color associated with the heart chakra. Green chakra is connected with profound emotions such as love, compassion and balance. It reflects the passion for life that Fuks has. Born in France, he attended two prestigious Swiss écoles hôtelières, got into the hospitality business in Paris; later landed in New York and moved west to Los Angeles, where Amour is his first restaurant.
After two years of conceptualizing the project and construction, including a fire due to an electrical shortcut, Amour has finally blossomed in the space left empty by legendary Dominick’s restaurant. Abbie has completely and beautifully redesigned the space, even bringing 18th-century wood floors from Paris.
If you decide to spend your romantic evening in La Salle à Manger, you will enter via a small library full of old books, in which you are encouraged to leave a note. If Le Jardin is more appealing, you will pass the wine tower and a fireplace, by which, if you are lucky, you can snag a seat (there are only four of them.)
La Salle à Manger and Le Jardin are very, very different in looks, ambiance and atmosphere; the common denominators are the green chakra, flowers, dimmed light and candles. Inside, which feels more intimate, there are white tablecloths. The patio, more grand I should say, boasts striking green marble tabletops. The birds on the dossier of the chairs brings lightness, as you feel that they are going to fly away — hopefully they won’t as they bring lots of character to the décor.
The love of food
An evening at Amour should start with specialty cocktails, such as the Amour’s Spritz or the French 75 revisited with crème de framboise. A French restaurant calls for bread and butter — be careful, spreading le beurre de Normandie on the bread can be a trap.
Chef Dani Chavez-Bello (El Bulli, Bouley at Home) is not always here but has trained admirably the team in the kitchen to deliver precise dishes, in perfect harmony with the lieu. Chavez-Bello has composed a French repertoire with slight Japanese influences. It shows in the Chawanmushi, Uni & Trout Roe, a smoked fish flan in truffle dashi, topped with sea urchin and trout roe. Another dish to remember is the New Caledonia Blue Prawn Carpaccio, served with leche de tigre. If you like it raw: order the Grass Fed Snake River Farm Wagyu Steak Tartare, covered with truffles. A très light, very tasty dish is the Comté Cheese Foam with truffle shavings.
Food for more love
Pasta lovers will be amply satisfied with the Lobster Tagliatelle with ikura (salmon roe), or the Truffle Pasta with fresh black truffles. (Did you know that truffles are aphrodisiacs? I have had quite lot so far…) What is different in these two dishes is the thickness of the sauce, a reminder that French cuisine is gourmande.
I must have arrived too late at the restaurant, as there was no more fish in la cuisine. Therefore, I tried the Lavender Duck Breast served with a carrot purée, endives and romanesco; and the Steak au Poivre, plated with parsnip purée and salted potatoes. The steak should be ordered just for the salted potatoes, they are so sweet… And also, because the sauce is not made with butter and cream, it is vegan!
Love never ends (or at least should not)
While the menu says that the Mille Feuille is traditional, it is actually not: les feuilles, the layers, are set vertically and not horizontally; and it is not filled with crème pâtissière but an airy crème Chantilly. It is très bon. The tarte Tatin is a statement by itself with the wheel of apple flesh. The Basque Cheesecake is very flavorful by the layer of fresh goat cheese at the bottom.
Note: On paper, La Salle à Manger is reserved for a tasting menu of five or eight courses, while Le Jardin is à la carte. (I am not sure I am getting this concept.)
Let us drink to love
The wine list, curated by Thibaud Duccini, has some one hundred and twenty-five labels, mainly from France, then California.
You should order some food to take home, just for the bag. I love its green color, golden handles and the engraving: “I don’t make dinner, I make reservations.”
I am amoureuse, in love. I want to go back…