Santa Monica, Nov. 20—BROWN WOOD PANELLING, mirrors, shelves of bottles, oysters, banquettes, tile floors, long aprons. You're in a brasserie. You expect a short menu, a comfort level, quick quiet service. On our way over, steak frites, I thought, then remembered I'd had a fine steak just last night. Well, maybe chicken.
But we were not in Paris; we were in Santa Monica, at Anisette. I had a chicken sandwich with a side of fine French-fries, thin-cut and well salted. When the waiter asked doubtfully if I'd like catsup with them I joked that I'd prefer aïoli. I'll bring some right away, he said. It was stiff, creamy, and quite garlicky, just the way you'd want it. Lindsey had a butter-lettuce salad with a nice vinaigrette and some pumpkin-filled ravioli, not exactly brasserie food to my way of thinking but, she said, delicious.
Pacherinc du Vic Bihl, Mas de Felines, 2008