I know what you're thinking. Is Your Next Bite on some sorta French kick with blog post # trois (un Little Next Door, deux La Rue de Paris Food Truck) in the past 2 weeks on yet again another French place? Perhaps it's just wishful thinking that I could be spending a Joyeux Noel or Bonne Annee in Paris, no?!?
Well, if you haven't visited Maison Richard's new location on Melrose – their previous Michel landmark was on Robertson Blvd – then here's an early Christmas present for you.
- tender, garlicky, savory, pestoy Escargots de Bourgogne (6 for $10.95)
- lemon capery salsa Smoked Salmon Plate on Brioche ($14.95)
- fluffy 'n creamy, wish it was pinky Lobster Ravioli with Chunky Tomato Sauce ($14.95)
- like chicken pot pie with light brothy gravy Feuillete de Poulet et Champignon ($11.75)
- crystallized sugary air with hazelnuty dark Meringue Chocolate Mousse ($4.25)
- plump, flaky 'n custardy Raspberry Tart ($4.50)
Walking inside Maison Richard on Melrose is a whole new experience. Warm woods, yellows, and green Palm Fronds greet you at the door. There's a charming fish pond/private dining area to your left, and a larger dining area to your right, complete with an imported-from-France, 17th century Louis the 13th farm country dining table. The owner wanted to make this new open-air patio place as much a home-away-from-home as possible, which is why most of the decor comes from her own. And you'll feel right at home too, from the warmth of the friendly hosts.
Now on to the grub. I had to order the Escargot, but of course. I love that it's served in its traditional shells, as opposed to drowning in beurre like most places do these days. The Pesto is really the prominent flavor here, slightly on the salty side, but it's still buttery and tender – just don't eat the Raw Lentils which are for presentation purposes only.
The Smoked Salmon Plate is what you'd expect – delicate with crumbly Brioche. However, the fresh Caper Salsa it's served with has perfectly cubed chunks of Onion, Cucumber & Tomato with a kiss of Lemon & sprinkled Capers.
The Lobster in the Ravioli is so extremely tender and abundant. The Ricotta makes it creamy. I just wish it was served with a Pink Lobster Sauce as opposed to the Chunky Tomato Sauce – still very fresh and homemade though.
The classic Feuillete de Poule is lighter than you think, with a brothy Country Gravy Jus, plump Mushrooms, crisp Zucchini & Carrots, Chunks of Chicken, and flaky Pastry. Bite advice – split this one so you can have room to indulge in other French delights.
I did not have a bite of the Boudin Blanc – the Christmas Sausage Special – but it sounds amazing with Pistachios, Truffles, Potato & Apple Purees, and Cranberry Sauce ($21).
Nor did I have the Calf Liver – 'cuz I'm not particularly a fan of liver in general – but I assure you, our bite-mate enjoyed every last lick.
All the desserts look divine – like mini works of art – and taste like them too. Especially the Meringue Chocolate Mousse, which is a perfect balance between thick 'n creamy and light 'n fluffy.
The Raspberry Tart will steal your heart with perfectly propped-up Berries and a Gelee Custard.
Follow @MaisonRichard for news on Christmas & New Years dining specials, including ideas on what to order for Your Next Holiday party!
707 North Stanley Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046-7425. 323-655-7777