My favorite restaurants are the ones that make my senses compete. Will the waft of French baguettes win over my want for that candle? Will I stock up on Italian cheese and Beaujolais, or take a sun speckled seat with a steaming cup of Verve? The best choices are the ones we don’t have to make. Delightfully at Le Petit Marché, the new culinary linchpin at the intersect of El Centro and Melrose, the answer to all of the above gets to be yes.
A carefully curated collaboration over two years in the making, this corner café unites culture and community, croque madames and cocktails for forty-five, or so it seems at that gorgeous wrap around bar. Anchoring Larchmont Boulevard, the whole place is an invitation. The kind that blurs breakfast into to brunch, brunch into lunch, lunch into sunset beverages. French in feel and provision, it is a welcome add to a neighborhood known for its trendsetting ways and one block shopping.
Expect French overtones with multiple international influences. Chef Stephane Liot is the kind that can’t help himself. His native French roots have clear claim over his culinary heart, while global influences vie for his imaginative spin. In the end, we win.
I tried the California Bowl. Quinoa, roasted banana squash, roasted carrots, roasted peppers, basil lemon dressing. This thing was lunch perfection. Locally grown produce. Kale picked the day before. There is a difference.
To drink I had a Refresher. Cucumber, lime, mint, and bubbles (available with or without). Crisp and complementary to any meal I’d imagine.
Back to that bar. Master mixologist Chris Kramer holds court. Gone are the cloying, syrupy concoctions masquerading as refreshing. Here honey, agave, and almond replace any refined sugars. His infusions are altogether inspired. His advents, advertent or not, Instagram magnets.
As is the bar itself. Locals with their laptops have already laid claim, and it is made clear they are welcome to linger all day. Moms with their accompanying strollers have copped a squat in the corner. And the multiple patios make it all feel a little Rue de Larchmont like.
And so Le Petite Marché melds in where it appears to have always belonged. It is a restaurant, a café, a marketplace, and a bar. It is a bakery, a grocery, a butcher, and a mini-mercantile retailer. We can come for the smoked fish. We can pick up a fancy vintage (selections from Lou Wine Shop). We can select bread (Michelina) and pastries (La Chouquette), olive oils and spices (Monsieur Marcel) like we’re sauntering Seine side. Alas, we are here in the heart of Hollywood. And they are happy to have us hang as long as we so please.
Chef Stephane Liot hits that magical balance between knowing French cuisine and knowing his audience here at Le Petit Marché. The moules-frites may be on point, but so are the vegan alternatives. This artisanal showcase could not be better suited for its corner. We look forward to pulling up a barstool and enjoying it for a good long while.
Le Petit Marché, 5665 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038, USA.
Tel: +1(323) 380-6557
Take when parking and watch those signs and those meters. $8 Valet Parking is available on El Centro. The restaurant is open 7 days a week from 7:00am to midnight.
Type of Restaurant: Restaurant, Gourmet Market & Bar
Price Band: Medium
Insider Tip: Reservations accepted and walk-ins welcome.
Reviewer’s Rating: 9/10
Jolie Loeb is a Luxury Lifestyle columnist based in Los Angeles
Photographs by Jolie Loeb