*** As of 1/01/2013, the Woodland Hills La Frite location was renamed ‘The French Connection’. Still featuring the same great menu.
If you know about La Frite Restaurant in California, then you know about great French cuisine at a reasonable premium in a comfortable relaxed atmosphere. With two locations in separate cities within the San Fernando Valley, these establishments are serving up some pretty spectacular French fare and at the same time providing pretty spectacular service as well. I was so excited to finally write this article. It took a little while to get this written and posted because I wanted to include the Woodland Hills La Frite Cafe in addition to the Sherman Oaks locale to show just how great they both are. I’m happy that I am finally publishing this now.
In Sherman Oaks, customers are silently greeted by a cutout of a smiling swine suited in a tuxedo holding a menu wearing a black cap exhibiting the name of the restaurant on the front. Outdoor covered patio seating is also available at this location in addition to indoor dining. The vibrant yellow and black La Frite sign is also situated atop the eatery and displays a chef flipping French crepes out of a skillet…
La Frite Cafe’s sister property, located in Woodland Hills, CA prominently shows off the same classic yellow and black colors on its canopy welcoming patrons to dine inside. Below, indoor seating in the front dining room, tables in the lounge area in the back of the restaurant and a view of the comfortable booth lining a wall across from the bar…
Cocktails at both locations will leave a satisfied smile on your face. Below are a few of the cocktails we’ve enjoyed on numerous occasions…
Above, a Lemon Drop Martini, the potent Cantaloupe Martini and a couple of classic La Frite Cafe Bloody Marys we enjoyed at the Sherman Oaks property were creative, cold and spirited. Below, at the Woodland Hills location, we indulged in the Blueberries Wild Martini (top left photo below). Stoli Blueberry, Three Olives Cake Vodka with a graham cracker rim and fresh wild blueberries…it was as thought someone had liquefied a blueberry muffin and served it to me in a martini glass…with a kick, of course! You simply MUST try this martini if you enjoy the flavor of blueberries. Additionally, we sampled a couple of tastings of the Coconut Dream Martini (top right photo below), which was incredibly sinful with Smirnoff Coconut and White Chocolate Godiva. Are you kidding! My husband and I appreciated the flavor of the islands in those as well. On another visit, we were highly pleased with the Apeachy Cosmopolitan, a Cantaloupe Martini and a straight Blueberry Martini (lower photos below), which were equally savory…
Now that we’ve covered a few of the liquid assets of each La Frite Cafe, let’s get down to the business of fine French cuisine. At the Sherman Oaks location, we have happily devoured such items so tasty and incredibly fresh that we could have sworn we were whisked away to a little cafe somewhere in France. Take a look below at the numerous offerings we thoroughly enjoyed…
Baked Brie with Provencal Herbs Served with Garlic Bread and Marinara Sauce
Above, the Baked Brie with Provencal Herbs (served with garlic bread and marinara sauce for $17.50) was baked to exquisiteness. Coated with Provencal herbs and deliciously creamy and melty when cut into, this starter was a truly divine beginning to any French meal. Another highly enjoyable appetizer we recommend is the below Mousse De Canard, which is a homemade duck liver mousse with sherry gelee, cornichons, cherry mustard and a sliced toasted baguette…
Mousse De Canard
Epinarde Et Artichaut Crepe
La Frite Cafe is known for their extraordinary crepes. So I had to try at least one. I chose the Epinarde Et Artichaut, which is their crepe filled with spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese and herbs. Can I admit that I was momentarily transported to a small cafe in Paris…a table for two outdoors as the light of the day was fading into evening…a full bright moon rising overhead and the loving gaze of my husband focused on me and where we were together alone as we seemed to be closing the eatery down being the last patrons there….
…oh, sorry…did I do that again? That’s definitely a sign that the cuisine at La Frite Cafe is significant, I suppose. When a mere taste of something you’re eating does that to you, there MUST be something to it.
Spinach Salad Et Pould
Here’s one scrumptious salad…the Spinach Salad Et Pould ($12), which is comprised of tender grilled chicken breast, chilled fresh avocado, baby red and yellow tomatoes, roasted crunchy croutons, shaved red onions and a Champagne vinaigrette that you will fall in love with at first bite. Healthy and guilt-free, this salad is a perfect selection for a hearty meal that won’t leave you feeling overstuffed. I have it frequently and always enjoy it.
The bread offering at La Frite Cafe is exceptional. If you really want true French Bread, this is the place to get it. The soft, tender excellently-baked dough just screams to be eaten. I didn’t even add butter to it. It’s just that good!
We took advantage of the Woodland Hills La Frite Cafe Happy Hour one afternoon. The menu above shows what terrific deals were presented to us. We also appreciated the long-stemmed roses in tubular glass vases on the tables weighted by clear and blue floral marbles. So simplistic, yet such a statement!
Happy Hour Caprese Salad
We started with the Caprese Salad ($6). Chilled creamy buffalo mozzarella and fresh sliced tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette then topped with shredded basil and served with crostinis.
Did things get a bit out of hand with the next item we ordered? Perhaps. But if there was a specific item we enjoyed on this particular visit that just wowed our taste buds and heightened our senses with flavor and excitement (and lots of butter), it was the Escargot Stuffed Mushrooms ($5) below. We got a little nuts and after the mushrooms were devoured, we started dipping pieces of hot French bread into the buttery colorful sauce! It was so incredible, I think we temporarily lost our minds (in a good way!)…
Happy Hour Escargot-Stuffed Mushrooms
Happy Hour Ground Top Sirloin Sliders
Craving a little heavy cream sauce on your burger? Try the above Chateaubriand beefy bites, and I guarantee
you’ll think you’ve escaped this world and gone to heaven. The Ground Top Sirloin Sliders ($7), are prepared with garlic, mushrooms, and slivers of crisp bacon. This pair of tasty beef sliders gets two thumbs up from SavorHour.com!
On another trip to the Woodland Hills La Frite Cafe, we experienced more French cuisine happiness…
Chopped Smoked Chicken Salad
The Chopped Smoked Chicken Salad ($13) is refreshing and nearly enough for two people. I couldn’t finish it myself, even after giving a portion of it to my husband to eat. There’s a lot of food in this menu option. Freshly-chopped smoked breast of chicken is gently tossed with lettuce, fresh tomatoes, chilled ripe avocado, red onion, feta cheese and pine nuts in a house vinaigrette dressing. I actually took about a third of this salad home with me because it was such a generous portion for lunchtime.
Big Boy Blue Sandwich
The Big Boy Blue is another famous menu item at La Frite Cafe ($13.50 at the Woodland Hills location.) A large handmade lean ground sirloin burger smothered in melted blue cheese served open-faced on French bread accompanied by shoestring French fries. My husband ordered this. He has always enjoyed this sandwich in the past, and this time was no exception to that record. How can anyone not like anything covered in melted blue cheese, right? But add that to La Frite Cafe’s outstanding burgers and their phenomenal French bread, and you just cannot go wrong.
Whether for Happy Hour over creative savory chilled martinis and tastes of France off of the small bites menu, or for a full meal at Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner, there is definitely something for everyone at either one of the La Frite Cafe locations in the San Fernando Valley. We certainly will continue to sing the praises of the flavors of France every time we visit.
- ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Both establishments are noticeable for their black-and-yellow striped canopies and quaint cozy exterior look. Inside, they each welcome diners in with a classic traditional French motif and comfortable seating which includes booths, individual tables as well as bar seating.
- FOOD / DRINK: Spectacular authentic French cuisine available at both locations that you will not soon forget. A fantastic restaurant for revisiting time and time again for entertaining family and friends or business associates, taking some time for yourself to relax and enjoy amazingly-prepared authentic French cuisine and cold refreshing cocktails. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are also available for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Ask your server about those when you stop in.
- HOURS: Sunday – Breakfast and lunch is available daily from 11AM to 4PM, while dinner is served every evening from 4PM to 10PM during the week and from 4PM to 11PM Friday and Saturday nights. You can also enjoy a great champagne brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 11AM to 4PM.
- SERVICE / STAFF: We’ve never had a bad experience at either of these restaurants. We’ve been to both on several occasions at different times of the day, and the customer service and dedication shown has never appeared compromised in any way.
- PRICE / VALUE: No problems with prices at La Frite Cafe. The prices will satisfy you just as much as their fine French cuisine.
- CORKAGE FEE: $7 per 750ml bottle at both locations.
- CONTACT INFO: Woodland Hills Location – Phone: (818) 225-1331, Sherman Oaks Location – Phone: (818) 990-1791. The website for both locations is www.lafritecafe.com
- PARKING: The Sherman Oaks location offers patrons complimentary parking next to the building, while there is Valet Parking available at the Woodland Hills restaurant. Metered street parking is also available in front of both locations alternatively.
- TOTAL BILL: We have spent varied amounts at both locations of La Frite Cafe. I think the most we’ve ever paid was close to $200 for a party of four after a business meeting. On most occasions, my husband and I never could total more than $35 for two entrees and a few cocktails for the two of us in a single sitting. We’re very satisfied with the resulting prices for such terrific and rewarding cuisine.