Tesse Tesse
8500 Sunset Blvd. (La Cienega Blvd.)
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Cuisine: French
French feast in West Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard by chef Raphaël François.
Openings: Dinner Tues.-Thurs. 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m., Sun. 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.; Brunch Sat.-Sun. noon- 3:00 p.m.


Tesse, West Hollywood, CA

Tesse Restaurant Review:

About the restaurant & its team: The light red concrete blocks on the street façade are the same ones adorning the walls inside, aside from the open kitchen, the floor-to-ceiling window garage door opening on the terrace or the bar showcasing bottles (of course), but most importantly, the charcuterie fridge. The outdoor patio overlooks the LA skyline.

Likes: So French --- thank you, chef!
Dislikes: But, where is the onion soup? We would love to see what François could come up with.

About the food: In one of the most LAish areas of the City of Angels, a Belgian chef, who trained at high-end restaurants in his native country and France, is challenging the LA culinary scene with a French menu. Oui, there are many twists but the motto is French cuisine: charcuterie, as we mentioned before, sweetbreads, beef tartare (one of the best we’ve ever tasted, for sure), duck leg confit, chicken liver parfait, ravioles du Dauphiné, daurade, veal kidneys and boudin noir. François’ love for cooking started with his grandmother, so he has reinterpreted these classics in a 21st-century style, including the presentation. Add to these the crispy soft-shell crab, hamachi or mackerel crudo, blue crab, calamari, pork belly confit pasta or the Jidori chicken served in a glass cocotte and you have a winning proposition. François is very proud (and he should be) about his homemade charcuterie, which between the pâtés and the "saucisses" offers more than 15 different choices. Finish with the sticky toffee pudding. Come hungry…

About the wines & the drinks: The wine program is certainly interesting. By the glass, the pour is three ounces instead of the regular six ounces, which makes it cheaper and easier to discover more wines. Some of them, whether by the glass or the bottle (some 100 labels, lots of French), are exclusive to the restaurant (look for the “T” on the wine list). Lots of attention goes to the craft cocktails. Boutellier, the adjacent wine store (wine director/managing partner Jordan Ogron's baby), turns into a private dining room at night. By the way, if you are wondering what Tesse means, it's the last syllable of the French word délicatesse, meaning "delicate." Honestly, the food is not exactly what we would call delicate, but it is the work done to get to that result that is quite impressive. The feel is more "homey," making the experience more comfortable and renewable, especially if you look at the menu, see what you did not order and would want to try next time.

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