Restaurant: Maison Giraud [1, 2, 3]
Location: 1032 Swarthmore Ave, Pacific Palisades, Ca 90272. 310-459-7562
Date: December 5 & 10, 2011
Rating: French “home” cooking at it’s best
I’ve been waiting for Maison Giraud, the new local (just blocks away!) Pacific Palisades restaurant/bakery from acclaimed LA French chef Alain Giraud to open for what seems like forever. The day it did I was there for some pastries. Then we kept trying to get in for dinner. We had to come on a monday at like 5:30!
The Swathmore Ave frontage has been revealing itself in stages since at least the 4th of July.
Inside the chef peers down at your from the French-style board.
A pair of nice French whites, one a Sancerre, the other a Viognier.
They call this a tart, but it’s really a flatbread (aka pizza). “Camille’s Potato and Rosemary Flat Tart. Creme Fraiche, Gruyere.” Pretty yummy.
And another. “Crispy Tomato and Basil Flat Tart. Roasted onions, parmesan.”
“Seared Scallops, leek fondue, meyer lemon & pistachio sauce.” This was one of the best seared scallop appetizers I’ve had — and I normally prefer my scallops raw.
“Arborio Risotto, mushrooms, aged parmesan, fresh herbs.” A lovely mushroom risotto. The weather was cold and dreary (in relative LA terms), so this was perfect.
“Seared Atlantic Salmon. Garlic potatoes, cipollini, bacon, red onion sauce.”
“Cocotte. Beef Bourguignon.” Basically beef stew with the classic additives: potato, carrots, onions, etc. But this was one damn fine beef stew.
We had to get back in a hurry, so we didn’t have time for dessert, but I had that Vacherin Glace one time when the chef was cooking at Bastide (in 2004) and it was one of the best desserts of my life.
I liked the Maison so much that I brought my son back for breakfast on Saturday. This is from the bakery, a fresh apple turnover. Yum!
And fresh OJ.
A decent, if slightly foamy cappuccino.
French toast. Very nice typical variant. My favorite part was the fresh Chantilly cream which was incredible. I’m a big sucker for whipped cream.
Some more baked goods. Muffins.
And the ultimate pain aux chocolate. This is the only place in LA I’ve tasted where the croissant type pastry actually tastes like it does in France.
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.
For my early preview, see here.