The good life…French style…at the Farmer’s Market of Los Angeles.
If there’s one thing that sucks about going to the Farmer’s Market can be finding a decent meal there.
And let’s be clear, there are plenty of decent meals there, but what I’m talking about is a nice, sit down meal that you can take a date to and not feel embarrassed afterward. Usually, the Farmer’s Market is good for finding quick and cheap eats. Yes, I can bring someone to Ulysses’s Voyage, and I have brought someone to the Gumbo Pot.
Now, I have someplace else I can go to…Monsieur Marcel (The Restaurant).
Now, I have it on good authority that there is no good French Food here in Los Angeles. (That wasn’t a dig, Chef Lefebvre said as much on an episode of The Layover). I have no idea if that’s actually true or not, but the places I’ve been to, I’ve enjoyed: Cafe Beaujolais, Cafe Bizou. But I don’t have a sophisticated French palate. I haven’t grown up with this stuff as my birthright. All I can do is have my meal, and see if I have a good time.
I had a good ol’ time at Monsieur Marcel.
The French value sitting back and enjoying the moment. They like sitting back with a nice glass of wine, or a cup of coffee, and just people watching.
Monsieur Marcel is uniquely designed for that. The restaurant alone occupies two stalls in the Farmer’s Market. One of them is a proper sit-down, white linens place. The other is a bit more of a square bar, with all the seats pointed out, looking over the Farmer’s Market.
Like I said, people watching.
That’s where I was. I kicked back with my meal, and all the sudden, I didn’t mind waiting a bit for my meal to be properly prepared (it was). I didn’t mind throwing on another glass of wine as I waited. I certainly didn’t mind when they offered me another basket of bread, butter and crackers.
Yeah, the French have got it all figured out.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: I was unoriginal. I just wanted to kick the tires and see if they could handle the basics. They could. I got a French Onion Soup, which I can never resist. Now, people do love them some cheese, but to me, that’s only the appetizer before you dig down into the broth, which in this case was fantastic. It was properly sweet and lovely, instead of an assault on the salt-senstitive part of your taste buds as I’ve had at other places. I followed that up with a Filet Mignon, about the same size as the Petit Filet Mignon at Arroyo Chop House, only this was covered in a Peppercorn Sauce. And like Arroyo, it was properly cooked, a genuine Medium Rare if I ever saw one, and was as melt in your mouth good as Arroyo’s. I also had, as mentioned above, two glasses of the House Merlot.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Just know going in, Monsieur Marcel is not an inexpensive proposition. But the quality of the food makes up for that, and the service was good too.
Also, bear in mind that if you sit at the Bar part of the restaurant…while you’re looking out, all of the Farmer’s Market is looking in. If that wigs you out for any reason, best ask for a table.
And don’t worry about more bread coming…it is. It’s coming whether you need it or not. It’s hand cut by the waitstaff.
Also, as you can see, there is a website for the Restaurant, but it’s currently under construction.
The Farmer’s Market Lot is full. Trust me. It’s probably full as you’re reading this. You could be in Dubai reading this at 4am in the morning, L.A. Time, and yes…the Farmer’s Market Lot is still full.
6333 W 3rd St #150
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel: (323) 939-7792
Monday-Friday: 11:00am – 9:30pm
Saturday: 10:30am – 9:30pm
Sunday: 10:30am – 8:30pm