Cafe Bizou has been a favorite love of ours for many years. We find ourselves driving over the hill a few times a month just to have a romantic dinner there together. It brings back fond memories, allows us a chance to catch up on old times and always welcomes us back no matter how long ago our previous visit may have been.
Cafe Bizou’s scrumptious French cuisine will make anyone’s mouth water, senses heighten and heart skip a beat. Despite the fact that there is no Happy Hour at Cafe Bizou, this eatery is still high on our Savor Hour list. For starters, their corkage fee is $2. TWO DOLLARS! And that’s EVERY NIGHT! (Time to take a trip to the wine locker)! This not only makes the bill much easier to handle, but it also allows for more room to enjoy the items on the menu. We usually bring our own wine to dinner there. When we do, we also bring two of our large Riedel wine glasses as well to enjoy our wine. It’s just something we stared doing a couple of years ago, and it sort of stuck. You can always order a glass of wine off the menu, of course, as well. Ranging from $7 to $10 per glass, there are several options available if you don’t bring a bottle in to have corked.
Once evening approaches, all of the candles are lit on the tables, restaurant lights are lowered giving the entire establishment a romantic feel, and orders of culinary excellence begin pouring out of the kitchen by the smiling waitstaff, soon to be devoured and enjoyed by dining patrons. There is an option to seating areas as well. Multiple dining rooms offer an elegant experience either inside the restaurant at tables draped in white tablecloths and a wall of mirrors, or inside their front enclosed “patio” area, which offers a less formal, yet very comfortable “booth” seating alternative. Both are lovely and offer different views and feels. Personally, we’ve dined in both areas and recommend them both.
Hand-Shaken Refreshing Chilled Martinis
High quality martinis and other cocktails can be ordered from the bar. Their House Martini list offers eight martinis for $8 each. If you’re not in the mood for bringing in a bottle of wine to go with dinner, you can always opt for one of these divine adult beverages. Offerings include their Cosmopolitan, Sour Apple Martini, the Lemon Drop, the Bikini Martini, the Chocolate Martini, the Key Lime Martini, as well as the Red Delicious and Pomegranate Martinis. A nice variety of flavors at a very desirable price. Two of my favorites are their Lemon Drop Martini and the Bikini Martini. The Lemon Drop, made with Absolute Citron shaken with fresh lemonade served with a sugared rim. It’s the perfect amount of tart, an ample supply of sweetness. Delicious! The Bikini Martini is prepared with Malibu Rum, vodka, pineapple juice, and a splash of Grenadine then garnished with a maraschino cherry in the bottom. SO INCREDIBLE! Then there’s Cafe Bizou’s creative take on the traditional apple martini…the Red Delicious Martini, which literally tastes like you’re biting into a Red Delicious apple! I honestly do not know how they do it!
Let’s discuss what else is great besides the smiling staff, incredible cocktails, and romantic, cozy environment at the Sherman Oaks Cafe Bizou. Let’s talk dinner! To begin, a bread basket and glasses of ice water are delivered to your table shortly after you’re seated. (We always ask them to toast our bread because we like it warm, which they are more than happy to do). Soft, full of flavor and tempting enough that on more than one occasion, the two of us finished off the entire basket and started on a new one! The bread is delightful and delicious and comes served with a porcelain container of individually-wrapped butter.
To make matters even better, Cafe Bizou’s appetizer list astounds with quality, variety and flavorful options. The Tuna Tartare and the Baked Mushrooms are two of our favorites, but if you don’t like tuna or mushrooms, then there are the Chicken Potstickers, Lobster and Salmon Ravioli, Crab Cakes, Veal Sweetbreads, the Seared Sesame Ahi Tuna, the Ginger Jumbo Shrimp and also a Combo Plate, which includes Baked Mushrooms, Lobster and Salmon Ravioli and Tuna Tartare. Speaking of Tuna Tartare, it is one of the most delectable Tuna Tartar appetizers anywhere in the Valley. Crispy thinly-sliced toast accompanied by slices of smoked salmon topped with heaping mounds of fresh Tuna Tartare, then finished with a cucumber slice garnish and lemon in the center. Refreshing, flavorful and a true value for the price, this one is a classic signature of the restaurant. One sure to not disappoint.
Soups Of the Day – Tomato, Potato Mushroom and Vegetable Tomato
Another highlight of Cafe Bizou’s menu is their option of having a bowl of their Soup of the Day or Romaine Salad with a Dijon honey mustard dressing for just $1 with any entree purchase. (Above, the Tomato Soup, Potato Mushroom Soup and the Vegetable Tomato soup.) You can kick that up a notch and order their Caesar Salad for just $2 with any entree as well. TWO DOLLARS! And it’s not a side salad. This is a very nicely-portioned Caesar Salad for a mere two dollars. Add that to your entree and it’s just sublime.
$2 Caesar Salad With Entree
Another recent treat that has been brought back to the menu is the escargot appetizer (photographed above.)Incredibly tender, luciously buttered and the perfect amount of garlic in the sauce. If you haven’t had Cafe Bizou’s escargot, you simply must try them soon. If you’ve never tried escargot, then this is the place to break yourself in! You can’t go wrong with these. Served six to an order, they’re just perfect.
Cafe Bizou’s entree selection choices are rather extensive. Ranging from Entree Salads to their Prix Fixed Menu to the Daily Specials and other delectable features including seafood, grill items, pasta dishes, and many others. I’ve added a link to their website where you can see their menu in detail, but I would like to highlight a few of our favorites below. (Okay, maybe several)!
Alaskan Sand Dabs Sauteed In a Caper Butter Sauce with Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Vegetables
Lake Superior Whitefish with Linguini Pasta, Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Basil in a Lobster Sauce
Shrimp and Slipper Lobster Tails with Mushroom Risotto and Fried Leeks in a Red Wine Lobster Sauce
Pan-Seared Salmon with Citrus Salsa Accompanied by Grilled Eggplant and Vegetables
Sesame Coated Salmon Served on a Bed of Potato Pancakes and Mushrooms in a Red Wine Sauce
Alaskan Halibut with Vegetables and Mashed Potatoes in a Tomato Garlic Sauce
Grilled New York Steak Salad with Romaine, Endive, Watercress, Tomato, Blue Cheese and Grilled Red Onions in a Honey Mustard Dressing
Chicken Balsamic with Sauteed Chicken Breast, Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus and Pearl Onions in a Balsamic Sauce
Crispy Potato Scaled Salmon with Spinach, Mushrooms and Tomatoes in a Port and White Wine Sauce
Grilled Salmon Salad with Papaya, Grilled Red Onion and Passion Fruit Dressing
Steak Frites with Grilled Tomatoes, Asparagus and French Fries in a Burgundy Wine Sauce
Hungry yet? Well, be sure to leave room for dessert, because Cafe Bizou offers a varied selection of sweet indulgements such as their Flourless Chocolate Cake, Creme Brulee, their Profiteroles and others to tempt you. We’re not big dessert eaters (most of the time), but two of our favorites here in the past have been the Flourless Chocolate Cake and the Profiteroles.
Trio of Sorbets – Raspberry, Mango, Pineapple
Fourless Chocolate Cake With Vanilla Ice Cream
Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks has ample delicacies and flavor sensations to please whatever your culinary desires may be. If you haven’t been to this fine palatable institution for some time, it’s time to revisit. If you’ve never been to this French cafe, then it’s time to try it out. Abundant portions, mouth-watering options, stellar service and a cozy, relaxed atmosphere make this a plus for Savor Hour!
- DECOR / ESTABLISHMENT: Charming, romantic and captivating. This French Cafe will romance you as well as your taste buds all the way through your meal from beginning to end.
- FOOD / DRINK: Fresh French cuisine prepared in style, luscious and memorable dishes to suit any cuisine connoisour, and incredible hand-shaken cocktails from the bar will make anyone a return customer!
- LOCATION: 14016 Ventura Boulevard San Fernando Valley, California 91423
- HOURS: Cafe Bizou is open for business for Lunch Mondays through Fridays from 11:30 PM – 2:30 PM, for Dinner nightly from 5 PM – 10 PM, and for Saturay and Sunay Brunch from 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM.
- SERVICE / STAFF: From the moment you call for a reservation, the voice on the other end of the line is welcoming and polite. (If you get Liz, you’ll see why we love her so much)! Upon arrival, you are greeted with a smile, shown in and seated, as glasses of water and fresh bread are brought to your table. The servers are happy to see you and delighted to take your order, then deliver your meal with elegance and grace.
- PRICE / VALUE: Two thumbs up! (Make that four if you include both my husband and me)! Desirable setting, diverse menu selections, generous portions and an efficient and professional staff.
- CORKAGE: $2 CORKAGE!!! EVERY NIGHT!!! (What more needs to be said)?
- CONTACT INFO: Phone – (818) 788-3536, Website - www.cafebizou.com
- PARKING: You can park at any of the available metered parking spaces on nearby streets, or take advantage of the Valet upon your arrival to the restaurant.
- TOTAL BILL: $48.77 (Including tax), for a bottle of excellent wine, the $2 corkage fee, a bowl of the delicious Soup of the Day, a plate of scrumptious escargot in a buttery garlic sauce, the Sesame Coated Salmon entree and the Shrimp and Slipper Lobster Tail entree. Incredibly reasonable expenditure for such a delectable and appealing involvement!
* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.