11.06.2007

Restaurant Review #194: Cafe Bizou, Sherman Oaks


Sesame coated salmon with potato pancakes and mushrooms in a burgundy wine sauce

Despite having eaten at over 200 restaurants in Los Angeles, when my parents come to town, I have a hard time figuring out where to take them. My adventurous tastebuds don't appear to be genetic, so my knowledge of local Japanese restaurants is lost on them. Thankfully, Cafe Bizou turned out to be a place that satisfied both my parents' desire to eat food they were familiar with in a restaurant unique to LA and my desire to eat something flavorful and well-prepared.


Halibut with vegetable strudel and mashed potatoes in a tomato garlic sauce

We made a reservation for dinner on a Friday night and were glad we had, because plenty of people were waiting when we arrived. There isn't actually much of a place to wait though, especially when it's raining outside, which made the entrance pretty cramped. Within the restaurant, the tables are better spaced than in most of LA's eateries. That being said, we had a difficult time creating enough space for our plates, glasses, and bread basket at our table for four.

All entrees and pasta dishes have the option of adding a cup of soup of the day or a romaine salad for $1. I'm not sure if I think the extra dollar is gimmicky or a good way for folks who don't want either to save a bit of cash. For a dollar, though, the portions were generously sized.


Steak au Poivre: Sliced steak served with mashed potatoes and vegetables in a brandy cream sauce

The best entree of the evening was the salmon (lead photo). Coming from someone who doesn't really care for salmon, that's saying a lot. If I go back, I'll definitely order this dish. The other two entrees we tried were also solidly prepared, albeit less unique. The vegetable strudel that accompanied the halibut could have used more flavor in the form of cheese, butter, or even a little extra salt. The steak was perfectly cooked, and every dish was attractively presented.


Flourless chocolate cake

The dessert choices were pretty standard. Amusingly, my parents thought that flourless chocolate cake was for people with dietary restrictions, so I ordered it so they could see what they were missing out on. Moist and lightweight instead of dry and heavy, the flourless chocolate cake was superb. The tiramisu, which I normally think is a dessert menu cliche, was extra moist and had clearly earned its spot on the menu.


Tiramisu

The best part of our meal at Cafe Bizou was, well, everything. If you're a regular reader (or a regular diner, period) you know how difficult it is to find a restaurant where the food, the atmosphere, and the service are all done well. For an evening out where there's something for everyone on the menu and everything works and tastes as it should, Cafe Bizou is an excellent choice.


Cafe Bizou
14016 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
818-788-3536
Cafe Bizou Menu
Cafe Bizou Map

Hours:
Lunch M-F 11:30 - 2:30
Dinner daily 5:00 to close (oh, I hate when places say that!)
Brunch Sat, Sun 11:00-2:30

Prices:
Appetizers and Soups $3 - $9
Entrees $13 - $20
Martinis $7 Wines by the glass and the bottle, or BYOB and pay corkage
Cafe Bizou on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

Chubbypanda said...

I've been getting pretty jaded with salmon dishes, but that's one I want to try. What an interesting combination of flavors.

Michael said...

I too like a restaurant that has a well rounded menu when I’m taking guests out to dinner. The Cafe Bizou sounds interesting, and well worth putting on my list of restaurants the next time I head to LA for a get together.

Mansi Desai said...

wow, the place looks good from your pics:)especially the desserts!