The Best French Restaurants In LA

Our favorite spots for steak frites, coq au vin, and more.
The Best French Restaurants In LA image

photo credit: Jakob Layman

We owe the French for the Statue of Liberty, Léa Seydoux, and the very concept of a restaurant itself. Oh, and also for figuring out that baking a layer of cheese on top of soup makes it taste delicious. Yet somehow, French restaurants have a reputation for being sleepy and predictable.

Turns out, nothing could be further from the truth—and this guide is proof. You won’t find mothball-filled dining rooms or overcooked beef bourguignon at any of the places below. These are the most exciting French restaurants in LA.


photo credit: Jakob Layman


Santa Monica

$$$$Perfect For:Business MealsDate NightSpecial Occasions


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We’d happily dish out our own, non-professional money for a special occasion at this Santa Monica restaurant. And that's saying something—unless you come for a cocktail and a bathroom break, you're not leaving Pasjoli in Santa Monica without spending a couple hundred dollars. Pasjoli serves incredible French food prepared with traditional techniques, but the thing to prioritize here is the canard à la presse: a multi-course duck dinner that starts with watching the chef squeeze and juice the bird to make a duck gravy with cognac and wine, and ends with you eating piles of duck breast, duck bread pudding, and a perfect salad with crispy duck skin. It’s an interactive experience that will transform dinner into something you'll remember three presidents from now.

This spot is Permanently Closed.

$$$$Perfect For:Date NightDinner with the ParentsSpecial Occasions


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Run by the power duo behind République, this subterranean spot in the old Sotto space in Beverlywood is a traditional French bistro in every sense of the word. Unlike their other restaurants where influence is pulled from across the globe, the focus here is straight-on French homestyle cooking; simple, heavy dishes like caramelized onion tarte tatin, crusty baguettes topped with sardines, and beef short ribs served with golden potato mousseline that are so tender, you can slice through them with a butter knife. Eating at Bicyclette is an indulgence of the purest variety, and sometimes that’s all you want at the end of a long week.

Republique needs almost no introduction. Whether you’ve lived in LA your whole life or are just in town for a goat yoga intensive, chances are you’ve at least heard of this French restaurant on La Brea. The massive space looks like the courtyard of a church in the Burgundy countryside, and its varied menus (they’re open for breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch, and dinner) have everything from croque madame to pasta and crudo. But mornings are when Republique is at its best. The bread is hot, the pastries are fresh, and we'll happily wait in a half-hour line to eat plenty of both.

When you walk into Mr. T in Hollywood, it's possible you'll see a server setting food on fire to the beat of a Jay-Z song. That would be the comte and mimolette cheese flambé, which shows up in a few signature dishes at this restaurant on Sycamore that melds various international street foods with traditional French cooking. The flaming dairy isn’t the only attraction here, but it does tell you what you need to know. Mr. T sprinkles a little Parisian attitude into everything it does. Watch the action in the open kitchen from the seats at the counter, drop in with a date and snack on minty-sweet tuna crudo, or invite friends to crowd around a patio table for wagyu burgers, truffle mac and cheese, and chicken "mille-feuille."

If you want to eat French food, but also party late into the night, grab a booth at Gigi’s. An evening at this sceney French place in Hollywood will be filled with oysters, burgers, and delicious steak frites, but to make the most of it, we recommend showing up a little thirsty. Lounging around on plush green booths, sipping martinis, snacking on tartare, and listening to a table of influencers complain about how they had to wake up at 10:30am recently is the exact kind of entertainment you need after a hellish week.

At Juliet, you'll see some of the stereotypical elements of a fancy French restaurant on display: a pricey menu, lots of wine, and a little caviar tartlet. But we like this Culver City spot because it's polished but not pretentious. It's a good choice for a date if you're eating with someone who will get excited about well-made sweetbreads and a neutral-toned farmhouse room that could be in an Architectural Digest Youtube video. And unlike its sister spots Margot and Norah, Juliet has both style and substance. You won't get out for less than $75-ish per person, but if you're looking to eat lamb chops and try a bunch of French wines by the half-glass, you'll be thrilled.

You don’t need a reason to live large at Camphor, but that’s what you’re in for when you come to this Arts District restaurant. Everything is just, well, very nice. The glassware. The ice. The maître d’ who wants to know if everything is OK. (It is.) The panipuri-like amuse bouche. The fact that there is even an amuse bouche. But chances are you’re not dining out for antique cutlery and royal treatment alone. Camphor delivers on food, too. The French dishes often takes inspiration from Indian or Southeast Asian cuisines. Which means instead of eating big brasserie snoozers, you’ll have a best-in-class-burger, tingly gunpowder sardines, and a side of cheesy spinach that leans more palak paneer than standard steakhouse.

With a small, old-fashioned dining room and a quiet front patio, there’s nothing particularly flashy about this family-run spot in Pasadena—and that’s exactly why we like it. Perle keeps things simple, providing an unfussy, romantic atmosphere and a menu of well-executed bistro food. Our favorite dish is the frisée Lyonnaise salad, which comes topped with bacon lardons, poached egg, chicken liver mousse crouton, and dijon vinaigrette. It’s a savory, rich salad that’s still light enough to categorically remain, well, a salad. And that’s important, because you should also order the moules-frites with soft, garlicky mussels and crunchy fries, and the tangy French onion soup.

After several years of public discourse and a semi-failed historic preservation bid, it appears that Taix—in its current form—will eventually bite the dust. Now’s the time to pay your respects. The old-school French spot has been in Echo Park since 1962, and though it isn’t known for serving the finest French food in LA, you'll never forget your time inside the musty, chandelier-adorned dining room. Our favorite night here is Sunday, when they roll out their iconic Sunday Supper menu—split pea soup, salad, an entree, and sherbert—all for $25 per person. 

Located inside a strip mall at Highland and Melrose, this tiny French bistro is about the size of a small bedroom. Now just imagine that bedroom also had a bar. It’s loud, cramped, and you’ll definitely have someone hovering near you while you eat. But after you try the chicken confit, burger, or their silky-smooth omelette, you’ll learn to love the organized chaos. If you’re looking for more space though, there’s also a large front patio or a massive second location in Sherman Oaks.

For anyone who lives within a half-mile radius of Beverly and Crescent Heights, Marvin is your Cheers. For anyone else, this is a French bistro with food good enough to drive across the city for, and an atmosphere that’ll make you wish you had something similar in your neighborhood. Things can get a little pricey here (most entrees cost more than $40), so we recommend coming in with the intention of aggressively snacking instead of throwing down for a three-course meal. Just make sure you’re snacking on all of their toasts.

Do you ever need to go out of your way for a $16 bowl of soup? If it’s the French onion soup at Lumiere, the answer is yes. The upscale brasserie on the ground floor of the Fairmont Century Plaza is an all-around solid French restaurant and a great spot for a client lunch—a major necessity in an area like Century City. But it’s the soup that’s worth ducking out of your noon meeting early to experience. A gooey, half-inch layer of aged gruyere cover a light onion-filled broth with hunks of bread. One bowl is substantial enough to count as your meal, but if you want to balance your lunch with something green, try the surprisingly hefty tuna nicoise.

Mignon, a little French wine bar right in the middle of Downtown, is the ideal place for a date with someone you really want to impress. It’s low-lit, everything is made of mahogany, and there’s a lot of wine being poured. But on top of an impressive list of mostly natural European wines, they’ve got a killer daily Happy Hour from 6-8pm with $8 glasses of wine and $2 oysters, and giant charcuterie platters for only $25. If the date thing isn't part of the equation, come alone, read a book, and eat a ham and brie sandwich.

You could argue that Oriel is just a wine bar with food, and you’d probably be right. Regardless, we’re still going out of our way to eat French onion soup and bavette steak at this laid-back Chinatown spot any chance we can get. In a tiny space underneath the elevated Gold Line tracks, Oriel feels closer to a well-designed diner than a Downtown LA wine bar, and that’s ideal when you’re looking for a first date spot you haven’t been to a hundred times already.

Loupiotte in Los Feliz lets you know it’s a French cafe from the moment you walk in: the menu is printed on French comic strips, and the wine list has a huge number of French varietals. It’s a fine place to come at night for some seasonal risotto, or fregola sarda with vegetables, but our favorite time to eat here is the morning. The soft scrambled eggs with parmesan and tomato are great, as is the creamy parmesan polenta, which comes topped with a jammy egg and sautéed mushrooms. 

Monsieur Marcel has been open for over 25 years and is one of the largest and most well-known tenants at the Original Farmers Market at The Grove. The space contains several different concepts including a grocery store with its own cheese shop, a seafood market perfect for picking up fish to cook at home, and a sit-down bistro. It’s certainly a useful spot to hang out with a wine and cheese flight and dodge the manic afternoon crowds, but try and come to Monsieur Marcel for breakfast. Enjoying a cappuccino and a perfectly gooey quiche lorraine while watching the market come alive at 9am is something we never get tired of.

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