Le Petit Paris
“Woah.” It’s the word that’s muttered under the breath of all who walk in. Glittering chandeliers reflect off gold-touched pillars, illuminating cotton-draped seating below. The grand staircase directs eyes to climb up, inviting imagination to wonder what’s above, as the wait staff parade across patterned tile that’s been charmingly chipped with history. It’s all so elegant, piquant — and so very French.
Le Petit Paris is set in the lobby of the historic El Dorado Hotel, the same hotel that Charlie Chaplin had once lived in, and is now transformed into a Parisian brasserie that’s guaranteed to make any downtowner feel fancy. Husband and wife, David and Fanny Rolland, introduced their Cannes-based restaurant concept to Spring Street in September 2015 with a bi-level, 350 seat restaurant; including two bars and a boutique — there’s nothing petite about this. “We want to make a new experience, Downtown is ready to receive us [our culture.]” says Fanny. After three years of planning, constructing, and adapting to American business practices and culture, Le Petit Paris said “bienvenue” to Downtown LA and we said “oui!”
“Everything is different for us, we had to adapt to the mentality, the cuisine, and the requests from the people” says Fanny. Brought in direct from France, chefs Jeremie and Baptiste serve traditional French cuisine influenced by a bit of the Mediterranean. Some dishes are still growing on American taste like escargot and steak tartare, but the Flambeed Truffle Pasta served in a parmesan wheel and the 34-oz dry-aged Cote de Boeuf is enough to make someone believe that France is a little piece of heaven. Foie gras is hard to come by in Los Angeles. An item that has varying degrees of delicious, yet Le Petit Paris surpasses all and makes theirs in-house, seared and served with cherry chutney. This delicate, buttery block of goose liver requires silence and respect for more reasons than one.
Every night there is a live DJ pumping up the ambience with scratches and beats, mimicking the South of France party vibe, but on Wednesday nights a live jazz band performs to woo couples on romantic dates. On the weekends, Lobster Eggs Benedict and Bellinis attract the lively brunch crowd, who snap photos carte blanche in the photogenic space. In true European fashion, the kitchen stays open until 11pm during the week and until 12pm on weekends. Le Petit Paris is Downtown’s answer to ‘open late, sans drive thru.’
Janica De Guzman