LITTLE NEXT DOOR…on Third
REVIEWED BY JOAN PINE
There is The Little Door and then the LITTLE NEXT DOOR – next door! Nobody gets them mixed up, as the next statement always is, “The Little Door” is more expensive! The Little Door was started 15 years ago, while the LITTLE NEXT DOOR is only six years old. Located on Third Street, East of Beverly Center, in Los Angeles, this area has become a mecca for new clothing shops, home decorating emporiums and, of course, trendy restaurants.
The LITTLE NEXT DOOR, a charming brasserie, brings a breath of Paris to Third Street, with indoor and outdoor seating, an extensive and decorative ‘wall of wine,’ a sit down bar, an ‘I’ll bet you can’t eat just one,’ pastry section, and a side wall filled with homemade jams and jellies that you can take with you or include in a stunning gift basket -- there is something here for every taste.
They are open from 11:00 am till 4:00 pm for lunch, and dinner is from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm. We decided to do lunch and sat outside under the covered patio. There were blue wicker chairs, posters, glass overhead lighting fixtures and lots of hanging greenery. It was totally atmospheric and comfortable!
The crowd was varied from regulars to a scattering of tourists. I have been here before and had the French Onion Soup, $9, which was to die for! It was served hot, with lots of melt-in-your-mouth-cheeses and the perfect amount of onions.
Today, we ordered the Mediterranean spread, $18, which was way more than enough for two people. There was spinach dip, romesco, hummus (the best ever), tzatziki, and roasted garlic mushroom tapenade. We loved the fresh whole wheat pita bread for scooping and devoured the big tasty salad in the center.
I had the chicken dish with wild mushrooms in a Madeira cream sauce with roasted potatoes, $20, and my friend had the grilled marinated daurade fillet (whitefish) with braised fennel (delicious), cauliflower, fingerling potatoes with a light pesto sauce, $22. I liked my chicken better than his fish. The green pesto sauce was smeared onto the fish like an afterthought and did not add to the presentation. Next time, I would just like to see the pesto on the side.
Although coffee seemed like a good idea, dessert seemed like a much better idea, so we decided on both. Since their pastries are so popular, we had to thank Romain Drocourt, their in-house pastry chef.
The chocolate éclair was so decadent and chocolately that I wasn’t thrilled about sharing. I was told that they also have vanilla and coffee fillings, but that’s for next time! We shared a three level pastry with raspberry macaroons on top and bottom and raspberries and cream in the center. As we were leaving, I noticed a beautiful apple pie with an intricate lattice topping, sprinkled with sugar. Nico, the owner, said that it was a rhubarb AND apple pie. He offered us a piece. Yum! He said that the plate was hot and to be careful. Of course I immediately touched the plate and it was hot and the pie was cold. I would have loved a cold plate and hot rhubarb pie, with a dollop ice cream – but that’s me!
They have weekly specials here, sandwiches, interesting salads and freshly baked organic breads. Chef T. Nicholas Peter calls his kitchen home and loves to please the customers. You probably don’t need reservations, but call anyway. Sometimes it is very crowded and sometimes the service can be slow. Call 323 951 1010. They are located at 8142 West Third and they have valet service.
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