FRENCH BISTRO SHINES IN STUDIO CITY
The one and only Chef Paul Shoemaker has done it again. One of the hardest working chefs in the L.A. culinary scene, Shoemaker is now running the kitchen at the new French Bistro Montrésor in Studio City while still helming The FLATS in Beverly Hills while prepping the launch of his upcoming restaurant Verse—billed as a discovery of food, drink and entertainment.
Montrésor offers the grace and style of Paris in the 1920’s by serving traditional French cuisine with innovative technique and a whimsical flare. Montrésor means “my treasure” in English and the restaurant is the brainchild of actress, producer and long-time restaurateur, Lisa Long, and designer and partner Ann Booth Luly.
Long, originally raised in the Midwest, has made a name for herself in Los Angeles over the course of her 30-year career as an actress with over 77 film and television credits. As a restaurateur, her hot spots includeLa Loggia Ristorante, Barsac Brasserie, Firenze Osteria with Top Chef fan favorite Chef Fabio Viviani, and The FLATS in Beverly Hills with Michelin starred Executive Chef Paul Shoemaker.
Long met her now-business partner, Ann Booth Luly, 30 years ago on the set of a Pointer Sisters’ music video and the two hit it off right away. Luly has owned her boutique Hoity Toity in Studio City for 20 years and her stylistic eye conceived the very essence of Montrésor’s look and design, creating a fun French setting for guests to feel swept away.
Shoemaker was excited to get back to cooking traditional French cuisine with some innovative techniques he has learned along the way.
“I like to take a classic dish and have a little fun, give it some flair and get playful,” he explained. “I want to create something different, that stands out amongst the classics. It is simple and classic French cuisine prepared with modern technique and seasonal ingredients, accompanied by an eclectic wine bar.”
During our recent visit for dinner, we started with the bread and butter selection, which was stellar. Other phenomenal dishes included the Zuckerman Asparagus with truffle fondue, morel mushrooms, and miner’s lettuce, which was easily the best asparagus I’ve ever had. Hands down. And let’s not forget about the Foie Gras Torchon with black cherry, Moscato jelly, and brioche. Consider this one another must-have item. The presentation is lovely and the taste as impressive.
A French favorite for a good reason, the French Onion Soup here, prepared with gruyere and house-made baguette croutons, is out of this world good. It’s hearty, decadent and dynamite delicious.
An appetizer special during our visit included the pork belly with poached egg, which was spectacular—tender and so tasty. It should be noted that the menu changes often and the menus displayed online are samples only.
For our entrées, we enjoyed the grand gnocchi. The opening menu featured a lovely Black Truffle Winter Gnocchi served with a Reggiano foam, which has now morphed into the Potato Gnocchi with summer truffles and Reggiano. Likewise, the Wagyu Short Rib (cooked medium by default) with baked potato cream and chanterelles (wild mushrooms) was delectable.
If you save room for dessert, you can’t go wrong with any of the selections. The classic French Profiteroles served with an toffee almond brittle, vanilla ice cream and topped with chocolate and caramel is near perfect, and the delicate Crème Brulée served with a savory pistachio biscotti is as close to French heaven as you’ll ever get. And the Butterscotch Panna Cotta with Chantilly cream is simply divine.
Montrésor, which is neatly on Ventura Boulevard, aims to transport guests into another time and place.
“From the beginning, the vision for the design of the restaurant was to inspire a lively, yet romantic setting, leaving guests feeling reminiscent of the late 1800’s in the Loire Valley of France where the village of Montrésor is located,” said co-owner Ann Booth Luly. “I really tried to create a world of treasures.”
Job well done.
Montrésor is located at 11266 Ventura Boulevard. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm with Sunday brunch from 11 am to 3 pm. Call 818-760-7081.
Story By; Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy Of: Montrésor