French dinner here, and a French dinner there

We started talking about taking this trip for Kristina’s thirtieth birthday more than four years ago. We new that it would have to be something that we planned for…for a while. So when she finally made it to thirty (a “destination” I’m already half done with – but we won’t get into that), it seemed only fitting that, for her actual birthday dinner, we do it French style.

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La Frite Cafe is a little French place on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, CA. It’s next door to several other eateries and, honestly, it’s pretty easy to miss. We were there thanks to a clutch recommendation from a student of mine. Perhaps because of the competition, or perhaps because we were there on a Tuesday night, we had, as you can see, very little trouble getting a table – even though I made a reservation. Quick tip: Always, if they allow it, make a reservation. It takes 2 minutes and can save a ton of headaches.

So we had heard this place was great (thanks, Joey). And the reviews online were excellent. So we were expecting a pretty great meal. La Frite Cafe did not disappoint.

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We both started with a cup of French Opion soup and we shared a bottle of wine. Our server was delightful, bearing with our indecision and letting us sample several wines before we finally landed on a nice Napa Merlot. His patience was much appreciated and it helped us settle on a wine that was big enough to hold up to a couple of pretty hearty quintessential French dishes.

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Kristina got a traditional Filet Mignon that was cooked to perfection and served with a generous helping of green beans and mashed potatoes. While the dish isn’t exclusively French, they put some French sauce on there (I can’t remember the name of it) that was delightful…which totally made it French.

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Mine was the more traditional Coq Au Vin, which was served on a bed of cooked spinach and potato wedges. The sauce was a rich and loaded with mushrooms, just the way I like my sauces.

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The desserts were wonderful. I got a chocolate cake and Kristina got the orange crepe pictured above. It was a pricey evening, but well worth it. The food was wonderful – and there was a lot of it – and the ambience and the staff were incredible. It was a great place to spend Kristina’s thirtieth and I highly recommend you give it a shot, you know, if you’re ever out that way.

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