Bring on the Croissants
Iconic, romantic and one-of-a-kind, Paris is one of the most magical cities in the world. From the food to the fashion, the City of Light truly has it all. That said, if you’re looking to take a trip without the 11-hour flight, Los Angeles has a blossoming French scene that is worth exploring. Whether you’re looking for the best escargot in the city or you’re in need of a cultural kick at a renowned museum, these are the eight best ways to get a true taste of Paris without leaving LA.
Dine at Mr. T Paris
Mr. T Paris is the newest Hollywood hotspot serving up contemporary French cuisine in a sleek setting. The open-air patio has romantic string lights and modern bistro tables, while the interior features leather booths and retro light fixtures. Everything–from the appetizers to the entrees–is beautifully curated and plated, and the menu highlights French ingredients with a contemporary twist. The menu is seasonally driven and constantly changing, but some local favorites include the Croquette Monsieur, Mr. T Merguez Frites and Butchers Steak with fries (or frites, as the French say).
Dine at LouLou Santa Monica
Between the neutral color palette and wicker furniture, dining at LouLou is a feast for both the eyes and the stomach. This new outdoor restaurant is located on the third level of the Santa Monica Mall, placing it right in the hustle and bustle of the beach town. The modern French menu features classic appetizers like escargot, duck liver mousse and caviar service. When it comes to the main course, the lobster linguini is a flavorful dish made with garlic, shallots, lemon, cream and a hearty portion of lobster.
Breakfast at République
République is a renowned French restaurant and bakery located in the Mid City neighborhood of Los Angeles. Even on weekdays, guests can expect to find a line out the door with people eagerly waiting for a fresh loaf of sourdough. The restaurant sits in a historic building that was originally built by Charlie Chapman in 1928. While guests are greeted by the casual bakery out front, there is also a more formal dining room in the back that makes for a romantic dinner spot in the evenings. Some menu highlights include the potato and leek beignets and the Wagyu beef carpaccio. If you want to visit Paris without leaving LA, this is a must visit spot.
Location: Miracle Mile
Get Macarons from Bottega Louie
There is no French dessert more legendary than the macaron. This unique cookie sandwich comes in an endless variety of flavors, ranging from pistachio to raspberry. In addition to being delicious, these tasty treats are totally adorable. West Hollywood’s Bottega Louie is a bright and chic cafe that serves these up along with an entire line of stunning French pastries. Whether you need a small sweet after brunch or you simply want to grab some goodies to-go, Bottega Louie has mastered everything from the taste to the texture.
Location: West Hollywood11/20
Visit the Getty Museum
From the Louvre to the Musée d’Orsay, Paris is home to some of the most iconic museums in the world. Though you can only view the Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa in France, the Getty Museum in Bel Air houses a wide array of historic artwork. The outdoor garden and grounds invites visitors to kick back and take in the epic views in between exploring exhibits. While you do have to pay for parking, entry to the Getty is free, and guests get to take a futuristic tram along the hillside to reach the massive museum.
Location: Bel Air
Petrossian Restaurant and Boutique is the perfect place to put your pinkies up and get fancy. This posh lunch spot specializes in all things caviar, proving why Petrossian Caviar is considered to be some of the best in the world. Take a seat in the luxurious and clean restaurant that serves everything from caviar frites to caviar scrambled eggs. There are also some caviar-free salads for those who prefer something light and refreshing. Menu items also include a classic Croque Monsieur sandwich.
Location: West Hollywood
Sip Wine and Enjoy Jazz at ETA
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Looking to get a taste of Parisian nightlife? Immerse yourself in smooth jazz while sipping on some champagne at Highland Park’s ETA. Those looking to score a nice deal on drinks and bites can arrive early for a special happy hour. From fresh-shucked oysters to $11 martinis, ETA’s happy hour is the perfect way to kick off a fun night full of quality booze and tunes. In addition to great wines, ETA serves up craft cocktails like a classic Negroni and the elegant Lavender Collins.
Location: Highland Park
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Craving a walk through the Luxembourg Gardens without the plane ticket? Take a drive to Arcadia and explore the vibrant and breathtaking Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden. The gardens are open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., making it a great activity for a crisp fall weekend. The winding paths take you past a huge variety of flowers, trees and greenery, and the collections are composed from all over the world. Baldwin Lake is one of the most popular parts of the botanical garden and has technically been around since the 1880s. Visiting these gardens are an idyllic way to imagine yourself in Paris without leaving LA.
Allie Lebos graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017 with a BA in Communication. While in school she was a staff writer at The Daily Nexus for nearly two years. Since graduating she has written for The Palisades Magazine, as well as Hidden Hills Magazine. Currently living in Santa Monica, Allie loves to indulge in good food, hot yoga, and daily walks along the beach; writing articles on travel, special events, as well as features on local businesses and individuals.