Location: 1032 Swarthmore Ave, Pacific Palisades, Ca 90272. 310-459-7562
Date: Winter/Spring, 2012
Rating: French “home” cooking at it’s best
Maison Giraud is the closest fine dining to my house. Pacific Palisades doesn’t have a lot of great food, but this restaurant/bakery is from acclaimed LA French chef Alain Giraud.
My wife and I had our Valentine’s Day reservation here, which turned out to be a damn good choice as the day before I crushed the bones in my left hand, and couldn’t have managed to travel further. There was a set menu, which can be hit or miss on this overcrowded holiday, but turned out great at MG.
“Oyster & Champagne Gelee.” Notice the aphrodisiac theme.
“Macaron Harmony for Two. Litchis & Rose Cream & Raspberries.” This dessert was absolutely amazing. I love rosewater and this had that classic soft flavor. The texture of the Macaron was also perfect.
Below is a composite dinner built from 2-3 visits.
From my cellar: Fin Amour, a blockbuster wine that redefines that cliché with energy and precision. Those centenarian vines of Grenache and Carignan pictured above are actually located in Maury, a miniscule appellation across the Spanish border in Roussillon that’s traditionally famous for immortal dessert wines (we had a recently released Maury from 1928 in the shop the other day, to give you an idea of their longevity). The appellation is conservative about their stickies, so Case and Shiverick did forgo the classification to make a low-yield Cotes de Catalanes dry red wine of 70% Grenache and 30% Carignan. These Bonsai like vines stubbornly live on an outcrop of chopped up schist, which is ideal for giving the few grapes they produce their incredible Catalonian minerality and aromatically spiced fruit.
“Vacherin Glacé Lavender Ice Cream, Strawberries, Meringue.” This is a Giraud staple and rather wonderful, particularly because of the Lavender thing. It has certain similarities to the Valentines Rose flavored Macaron, but is crunchier.
We also go frequently for Brunch/Lunch.
So far, I’m very pleased with Maison Giraud. The food is essentially French comfort food with a bit of international adaption, but everything has been spot on fresh and well done so far, and the bakery is outrageously good. Given how incredibly lame most of the Pacific Palisades food offerings are this is all incredibly welcome.