It's hard to give Le Petit Chez Mimi 5-stars when I give Pasjoli 5-stars. But if you want simple but good French cuisine, in a simple, home-like and charming atmosphere, then this place is for you. Whereas Pasjoli is on busy Main Street in Santa Monica, Le Petit Chez Mimi is located at the storefront of a business park, at the T-intersection of Yale and Colorado. I pass by all the time either on the way to work, or running errands, but this place always looked closed: Only open for dinners Tues-Sun, and brunch on Sundays. Therefore I made an effort to finally try this cute little place with my family. The restaurant, the food and the service is very reminiscent of eating at a local cafe in Paris. You know, you walk around, look around and finally pick a place for dinner, any place, because so many of the restaurants in Paris are good. This is how I felt of my first experience at Le Petit Chez Mimi. Many who dined tonight (Friday night) seemed to be regulars and locals. The service staff dressed casually (blue jeans) and the service was good. Whereas Pasjoli, the wait staff are uniformed and professionally trained - what you expect from a Michelin recognized establishment. With Le Petit Chez Mimi, its simply good food, not particularly IG worthy in its presentation. Surprisingly, the prices were higher than I expected. I guess I was expecting a simpler, quaint French cafe to be more reasonably priced. But I guess this is to be expected for French cuisine. Now for my food review: -Escargot. Not bad. I've had better. I felt it needed salt and more of that greenish garlicky sauce (pesto-like.) Please excuse my lack of knowledge of the correct ingredients. -Onion Soup. Excellent! One of the best French Onion soups in town. The portion size was perfect. Sometimes, the portions are so big, you dont have room for the remaining courses, but theirs was perfect. Nice gooey cheese! -Entrées: the 3 of us had 2 different steaks and one pork chop entrée. Again, all were tasty and the steaks were perfectly cooked, but the pork chop was overcooked. This place isn't Michelin-worthy because of the simple presentation (not much presentation at all.) -Dessert: The Tarte Tatin was excellent. It was like warm apple pie with fresh cold whip creme. It was perfectly spiced, slightly tart, and not overly sweet. Someone posted on Yelp! that this was an "award winning" dessert. Hmm, it maybe?
I’d give it 3.5 stars. All of the dishes we tried were fine to good. Nothing was spectacular. Service was solid. Pepper steak was probably the best thing we had. The sauce is creamy and tasty. Pass on the frog legs in the future but glad we tried them.
Delicious. The best calf liver I’ve ever had! Endive salad perfect. Strawberry shortcake phenomenal. Apple tart too. Quiet and calm atmosphere. Delightful ambience. Highly recommend.
Two stars - just for the kind service (zero stars for the food). We ordered the leek and potato soup, tomato soup, snapper, and mustard chicken; all of it completely mediocre. Each dish was shockingly bland, under seasoned, overwhelmingly unspecial. My husband and I love to frequent Santa Monica’s local fine dining establishments to support local businesses, but this is truly beyond saving. He accurately compared it to retirement home food - correctly cooked with no flavor. At the price, I was massively disappointed and will not be returning. If you have this kind of money for quality French food, I would instead recommend you hop over to Pasjoli for a true culinary experience.
The interior is charming. The cuisine is hearty and comforting. I would describe the Thursday dinner clientele as "mature francophone". Dinner entrees are in the $30 to $50 range.
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