The way I found our anniversary bistro-that-I’m-not-going-to-review-because-Azz-wasn’t-there was by googling “French restaurants near me.”
This was also how I happened to find out about Figaro Bistrot, which does allow dogs, so guess who’s going to Les Feliz for Father’s Day?!?!?
But first I have to tell you something funny.
Last week, Mike was walking to the park with Azzy. A car drove by, honked, and somebody yelled out, “Best in show! Wooooooooh!”
So they get to the park, and somebody who was there yells, “You did it!”
Somebody: “You guys finally got a night off!”
The only reason I started blogging is because I like to write. It makes me feel good, and I wanted to generate some writing samples.
This is cool, too, though.
Back to Figaro.
We decided to check it out not only because we needed a place to go on Father’s Day, but because 1) we want to dig deep and check out a place we’ve never visited before, 2) it’s French, 3) did I mention it was Father’s Day?
We had to go somewhere, so in keeping with my preoccupation du jour — French food — this was totally the obvious choice.
I looked at the menu online to make sure they had enough boring stuff that Sasha would eat, and I was delighted to see that it is also a bakery, so Sasha could have pain du chocolat to his heart’s content.
I have to admit, though, I am a little flummoxed by “bistrot.” I was going to come up with something clever to write, like “What they lack in linguistics, they make up for with their linguine,” except I didn’t know if their linguine was any good, and, also, they don’t serve linguine :(.
I know, I know: You would think they didn’t serve linguine because it’s a French restaurant, but you would be mistaken. They have fettuccine and two kinds of gnocchi. Who knew?
I decided to google “bistrot,” just to be sure I wasn’t being all judge-y — maybe “bistrot” means “bistro” in French, for all I know.
Google came up mostly empty-handed, except to say that “bistrot” is an alternative spelling to “bistro.”
It’s a bit of a shame, really (perhaps a relief to some!), because I had conjured up an amusing metaphor for google having come up completely empty-handed, but I’ll have to save it for a different occasion. I’ll leave it in my notes.
So onto the other part of the name: Figaro? That’s the guy from Seville, right? That barber? Oh, well, I’m sure they have a good explanation … .
So I made our reservation online, but I had a weird feeling about the interface, so I called them the next day to confirm. They didn’t have the reservation, so the friendly person on the line took my reservation over the phone.
Maybe they just hadn’t checked their inbox yet, but if I were you, I would go ahead and hit “call” instead of reserving online, just to be safe. They open at 8:30am every day, so you have no excuse, and it’s actually a lot less work than typing in your info, etc.
I was officially excited!
French+Food+Fathers+Family = SUNDAY FUNDAY! I worked long hours on Sundays for many years, so I never let a Sunday adventure pass me by anymore.
Now, a word about Mike: He deserves to be spoiled every day.
Mike is the best dad in the world. The man has changed many more diapers than I have, and I’m totally serious.
Added bonus: Our son looks exactly like Mike, so that saves us a trip to Maury. Does it get any better than that?
Mike is the nurturer in our family, and my job is to help everybody with their math, make medical decisions, generally order everybody around, and deal with bullies (my least favorite, but don’t mess with my cub). Thankfully, the bullying only happened in TK, and it was in a different town, so we are past it now.
It’s definitely a role-reversal if you look at it in the traditional sense, but it works for us.
But let’s get back to the star of this outfit (no, not Mike).
Azzy hasn’t been to Los Feliz yet. This delights me, because I know he won’t try to squeeze into the front seat and drool on my Sunday best if he doesn’t know where we’re going.
It ended up being very close to us, and we found a spot even closer, parked the car and made our way over to Figaro with Azzy bouncing along happily in front of us. I really should have named him Trotsky. Can dogs have middle names? Azriel Trotsky. That has a stately, dignified ring to it.
The dog-friendly area here is made up of a long row of little tables clustered on the sidewalk where you can people-watch as you nibble on your croissant. So French <3! I liked it right away!
We had a bit of a rocky start, though. The restaurant reserved a table for us at the end of the row, which would have been perfect for our beast — except a couple of rude people ignored the “Reserved” sign and helped themselves to our table.
I just can’t with some people.
The staff tried to get them to move, but, in the wise words of Ron White: You can’t fix stupid.
I toyed with the idea of plopping myself down at the table with Azzy and telling them calmly and matter-of-factly that I reserved that table, and I was going to sit at that table (yes, I do have that kind of nerve when somebody is straight-up wrong).
Instead, I decided to keep it classy, restrained my inner b***h and walked off to the side to calm myself. Not today, Satan. Not today.
The tables were tiny, and they had put two of them together for us before we got there. Now that we had to sit elsewhere, there was only one free table, and it was right in the middle of everything and everybody.
We squeezed in and contorted ourselves like a couple of yogis doing a half spinal twist, with me trying not to sit on some lady’s lap. Azzy’s wagging tail kept getting really close to people’s food, so I held it down and took the opportunity to point out the usurpers splayed out comfortably at the end and to explain that they stole our table — the one that would have kept my dog’s tail out of their food. I hope everybody got a good look.
Luckily, the people next to us were leaving, and they happened to be sitting at another end, so it worked out, and we got to put Azzy at the end of the row of tables so people could eat their food unmolested.
I was going to get a mimosa, but it seemed apropos to have a screwdriver after that debacle. It was delicious. It really makes a huge difference when one uses fresh-squeezed OJ.
They offer the standard brunch fare, plus a few extra gems like a banana crepe with Nutella, for instance. I didn’t feel like having anything fancy, so I just got deux oeufs (two eggs).
Le brunch items are served with potatoes and greens (there was bread already on the table). Any place that serves greens with breakfast is going to get a big thumbs-up in my book. The greens were very simply dressed, just how I like them.
My over-easy eggs were cooked perfectly. I’m really picky about the runniness of my yolks, and Mike tried for years to perfect his over-easy eggs for my benefit. He never quite got it right, and one yolk always broke, so I finally told him that poaching my eggs would also be satisfactory.
Mike got the croissant sandwich. He is a connoisseur of such things, and “there was an over-abundance of cheese, which is always good,” and it contained pieces of Canadian bacon, which Mike said were perfectly spaced throughout, so he got exactly the same amount in every bite.
Sasha wanted the pain au chocolat, but they were out, so our charming server took him to the pastry display to pick something else out.
Since we were now out of earshot, my wicked boy seized his chance and selected a chocolate chip cookie. I started to protest, but it was Father’s Day so I let it go.
He quietly wolfed that thing down before I even had a chance to take a photo. It looked tasty, and I guess he liked it. I think he also wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to change my mind about letting him eat a chocolate chip cookie for brunch. He also got a Sprite, which was served in a carafe.
The whole time we were there, Azzy’s head stuck out from under the table enough to attract a bunch of admirers. A couple of people came over to pet him as they were leaving, and a lady passing by on the street came over to give him some love, too. Then a lady sat next to us with her little dog, and Azzy made friends with her and her dog, too.
They have a happy hour here, and it would be fantastic to sit and people-watch with a glass of wine and a snack. The HH food menu looks pretty awesome, and they even have one of Mike’s favorite IPAs.
I can’t wait.