+ Morels Steakhouse: Drink Up
In a city full of bleach blonde hair and fast food, Morel’s Steakhouse brings an element of Parisian flare that Los Angeles has desperately been craving. Located at The Grove, Morel’s is the dream steakhouse and bistro combination for those who love a good steak with a hearty onion soup. Perfectly situated next to The Grove’s famous fountain with hourly shows, Morel’s is the perfect first date, anniversary or just because restaurant to enjoy a great meal and free show. Though the red awnings are home to delicious dishes such as dessert fondue and filet mignon, Morel’s gained a reputation for being THE place to get your drink on. From crazy mojito concoctions to never ending wine lists, Morel’s is the perfect dinner and a drink location. And in true Paris form, Morel’s offers diners patio seating to enjoy live jazz music and the ambiance of those passing by. Thanks to its perfect location, wine list and food, Morel’s definitely brings a bit of Paris to a whole other city.
+ OMG at AOC
The letters “AOC” on a bottle of wine explain the origins of that particular bottle. In terms of the origins of this fantastic wine and cheese bar, you would have to thank Caroline Styne and Suzanne Goin for their take on a French restaurant, combining a selection of various wines with equally perfect dinner pairings. Located on one of L.A’s most happening streets, AOC originated as a true culinary competitor. And thanks to its atmosphere, menus and unbelievable catering, they remain undefeated. Though AOC is only open for dinner hours, there are still many ways to enjoy what's on the menu. Whether you are looking for a wine and cheese tasting or an actual sit down dinner with dishes such as Clams with Wild Mushrooms or Halibut with Carrot Puree, the end result has many diners becoming regulars. If you can’t make it during dinner hours, not to worry: AOC can cater any party or event. And if you are looking for a little more than just a meal, AOC offers “Flight & Bite” night every Monday offering two flights of wine and bite size portions for you to enjoy. Insider's Tip: With such rave reviews, you may want to round up the troops and head right over, but the truth is, AOC is perfect for a slighter older crowd consisting of Hollywood types and couples.
+ The Buzz Around Cafe Bizou
With three locations and endless rave reviews, it's no wonder that Café Bizou is popular all over Los Angeles, from Pasadena to Sherman Oaks to Santa Monica. This French bistro is the perfect birthday, anniversary or first date location. Though elegant and intimate, it’s doubtful you can show up on a Friday night without spotting a sweet sixteen to your right and a newly engaged couple to your left. If mood lighting and a quiet atmosphere is your thing, then this place probably isn’t. The Santa Monica location may be beautiful, but with that beauty comes a whole lot of people. Thanks to its two dollar corkage fee and prix fixe menus, the long wait you will experience without a reservation is most definitely worth it. Diners who swear by this café leave raving about the flourless chocolate cake and the Steak au Poivre as a few of their favorites. Café Bizou truly takes French food to a whole other level, leaving the ritzy feeling behind and bringing family and friends together. With great food and great prices, don’t be surprised to find another location coming to a city near you.
+ Patio Perfection at Cafe Pinot
As a member of L.A.’s infamous Patina Restaurant Group, Café Pinot is the perfect culmination of dining outdoors with American and French Californian cuisine. Centrally located downtown, Café Pinot is that restaurant that your parents are probably going to before they see Elton John play in concert or where your roommate is taking his girlfriend for their anniversary before he drags her to the Lakers game. But if you choose to embark on downtown activities such as a nice little visit to the Staples Center, some patrons swear that the only thing that should truly never be missed at Patina is the desserts. With classic favorites such as chocolate lava cake and apple crumble, those can enjoy everything Patina has to offer either before or after the first basket. And in true Los Angeles fashion, Patina encourages patrons to enjoy the outdoor patio seating where it is most important to be seen. Though other restaurants may offer dining outdoors, no one truly does it like this restaurant. Though you might have to dress up and keep the kids at home, Café Pinot is the perfect addition to everything downtown L.A. has to offer and added that little extra that it was missing.