It is difficult to find a decent French restaurant in Los Angeles, except for the tourist traps. Belle Vie is a UFO on Wilshire Blvd, where you immediately feel transported to a Parisian bistro once you walk in. Vincent, the friendly GM with a thick French accent, has a heavy hand when he pours wine, and enjoys sharing his passion for biodynamic ones. The wine bottles, on top of that, are a bargain — there’s even a Saint Joseph for 60 bucks! In the kitchen, Cédric Nicolas (previously in a Michelin-starred Parisian restaurant) improvises daily specials depending on the market and his mood. There’s a great jambon-beurre ($9), a coquillettes gratin, beef bourguignon tacos and grilled octopus — and so much more on the blackboard, bistro-style. Vive Belle Vie!
Address: 11916 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Opening hours: Tuesday-Saturday 12-10PM
Reservations: (424) 832-7375 or OpenTable
Price: Entrées $12-24
Neighborhood: Brentwood / West LA
Best for: Dinner