Wednesday, March 31, 2010

La Cachette Bistro: Salmon Sausages and Rum Brunch

La Cachette was a long-standing restaurant in Century City, where chef/owner Jean Francois Meteigner served California-influenced French dishes for fifteen years. Now the restaurant has found a new home as La Cachette Bistro on Ocean Avenue, where you can take in the ocean breeze on the patio.
They wanted to promote their lunch prix fixe deal, so they invited me over for lunch. It was impossible for me to make it there during the weekday, however, so I ended up coming in for a Saturday brunch instead.

The lunch prix fixe on Monday-Friday gets you Soup of the Day or House Salad, One of Three Entree Choices, and Dessert of The Day for just $15. Pretty good deal, no?

Soon after we were seated, Marc Danays, the bartender came over to greet us and offered some libations. I had brought 0ne of my roommates with me. She's originally from Cambridge and she and Marc noted their common accent and the two of them hit it off immediately (Marc worked at major clubs in London).

We decided to let him make whatever he wants and these are what we got:
"Bubbly Love" (gin, lime, pomegranate liqueur, topped with champagne) for me.
"Deep South" (rum, OJ) for my roommate (who told him she liked rum lots and lots).
Both drinks were sweet and refreshing, but I ended up liking my roommate's drink more. Mine was a little bitter, perhaps the combination of the herbal gin and the rosemary was a bit much for me. There's also that whole "drink OJ during brunch" habit hardwired into my brain.

Some eggy bread with a sweet crust to start.
We really wanted to sit outside and enjoy the sun and breeze, but since it ended up being a rather windy day, we both started with some soups.

My roommate got the Smoked Tomato and Shiitake Mushroom Soup ($6)
The chunks of shiitake were very good and brought the dish up a notch. The soup had a nice smokiness (in the words of my roommate, it reminds her of when she puts bacon in tomato sauce).

Lightly creamed Lobster Bisque, served with Rouille ($7)
No lobster chunks here, but you can definitely taste the lobster. A thin but flavorful bisque.

At first I went for a standard brunch fare:
Organic Egg Benedict on Brioche, with House Smoked Salmon (or Ham), served with Baby Mixed Greens ($18)
The smoked salmon used here was on the meatier side and had a good smoked flavor. The brioche was nicely flaky and the egg was poached well - runny without being too much so.

My roommate never had a croque before so that's what she ordered.
Croque Monsieur on House Baked Bun with Bechamel, Swiss Cheese, Organic Ham ($14 + $2 for egg). She got the egg- so technically she got a Croque Madame.
I tried a bite and it was a pretty good although a heavier version of the croque, given the thicker, richer buns used in it. Even so the bread was pretty air so the dish was not overly dense. The ham was also smoked in house and was great. My roommate loved it and it was her favorite entree from the table.

Chef Meteigner decided to send out another dish that he wanted us to try:
Scrambled Eggs Wrapped in House Smoked Salmon, with House Made Salmon Sausage, Capers, Onions, served with Mixed Greens ($17)
The wonderfully moist scrambled eggs are indeed wrapped inside the salmon:
I'm glad he sent out this dish as it turned out to be my favorite. The lemony frisee complemented the salmon very well. I loved the moist and runny scrambled eggs. Most notably though was the salmon sausages made from smoked salmon, fresh salmon, and a bit of white fish. The sausages were light yet flavorful.

Instead of a normal palate cleanser, Marc sent out one in alcoholic liquid shot form. A palate cleanser cocktail? I think Marc's on a mission ... to get us drunk :p
This was made with thyme, lemon, and a rather special vodka: Zubrowka, a bison grass flavored vodka from Poland. Sweet and smooth. Dangerous.

Then came desserts.

Floating Island w/ Caramel & Hazelnut Pistachio Almond Nougatine ($9)
This was a fluffy meringue sitting on top of a pool of Crème anglaise and topped with pralines. We both absolutely loved the praline.

Homemade Rum Baba with Pressed Pineapple and Creme Fraiche ($8)
After biting into just the rum baba, we thought it was definitely a good rum baba, but it wasn't until we found out what was in the little tin jug that this dessert become amazing. No, not maple syrup.
Rum.
Jamaican dark rum. Just a spoonful of dark rum ... and a little piece of baba. Oh yes.

Maybe it was the overflowing libations we had but we both really enjoyed our experience here. The patio had a classic French bistro look with the added bonus of So Cal sun and sea breeze. Chef Meteigner's food was good, especially the delectable house made salmon sausages, as well as their house smoked salmon and ham. Both of the classic desserts we had were more than solid. Give me some eggs, salmon sausages, and a rum-soaked baba, and I'm good. If only I can make it here during the week for their $15 three course lunches.

La Cachette Bistro
1733 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 434-9509
www.lacachettebistro.com
La Cachette Bistro on Urbanspoon
La Cachette Bistro in Los Angeles

8 comments:

weezermonkey

I want that baba.

The bisque is thin because it's non-dairy!

burumun

Hi Weezermonkey,

I remember you really liked the baba at Cafe Pierre. You should try this one too! :)

Diana

Those eggs wrapped up in the salmon look absolutely precious! But the croque definitely looks over-the-top -- eek!

Exile Kiss

Hi burumun,

Nice! :) I'm glad to hear La Cachette's new incarnation is doing well. That Salmon stuffed with Scrambled Eggs looks delicious. :)

SinoSoul

dangit, this looks SO much better than the HH food we good. good lookin' out!

Aaron

That's a huge brunch. Don't know if I can handle that much food for that meal. Is the Century City location gone now, or is this a second one?

burumun

I didn't end up finishing my eggs benedict - but I did clean up the scrambled eggs + salmon sausages :P

The Century City location is now shuttered up. They originally planned on keeping both open, but that didn't work out.

Lori Lynn

I enjoyed the old location years ago, it's been off my radar, love to try this new spot, especially with out-of-town guests.
LL

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