French feast in West Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard by chef Raphaël François, finished by pastry chef Sally Camacho Mueller.


Open Dinner Sun.-Mon. 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m., Tues.-Thurs. 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m.

Tesse, West Hollywood, CA

Restaurant Review

About the restaurant & its team: One of the most anticipated openings of the year, Tesse lives up to expectations --- and they were high as there are four true professionals behind it: LA restaurateur Bill Chait, chef Raphaël François, pastry chef and bread maker Sally Camacho Mueller and wine director/managing partner Jordan Ogron. We all know them from the different places they officiated in the past, but what counts now is the team of partners they have formed to operate this spot on Sunset Plaza. 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.

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. Come hungry…

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 desserts: After the undeniable talent of François, it is not an easy job for the chef in charge of the sweets. Fortunately, the pastry chef is Sally Camacho Mueller, so there is nothing to worry about. The only issue is to decide between the mille feuille, marjolaine, "chocramel" or the duck egg crème brûlée. As for the soufflés, just order both of them: vanilla and chocolate. She is also in charge of all the breads, which are available for purchase to take home --- we recommend it.

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 (and 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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Chefs Raphaël François & Sally Camacho

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