1733 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA | Directions 9040134.009079 -118.491985
Neighborhoods: Downtown, West LA
French, Sure. – OK foodies, here goes. You may not know this about me, but in a past life I worked as a professional chef in NYC. That being said I do know a thing or two about food, even though I have been known to frequent fast food dives.
We were promptly seated in a nice table at the back of the restaurant, just shy of the room in the back that probably gets used as a private party room, but looks like an afterthought.
I will agree with all about the decor and the accoustics, which were blah to say the least. The table beside us was so loud I thought they were sitting at mine.
The decore is sparse with a few French themed posters and a giant chalk bobard full of things on it that were hard to see through the disorganized way they were put on there. Apparently there are interesting things on it if you can actually read them.
To be honest I kept feeling like I got old before my time and was sitting in an old age home cafeteria. Sorry, but yes, most if not all of the patrons were well over 65.
We had a lovely server who really knew her stuff and was a great help in ordering our meal, albeit disappointing to say the least, but more on that in a minute.
The tip off was when we came in and I saw that the chef was at the bar (For whatever reason) and not in the kitchen. You know it is a slow night if the chef is out of the kitchen at 8:00, which is supposed to be rush hour.
Now, the food... In a word, blah to blah plus. What self respecting French Bistro will have salt and pepper on the table? I'll tell you... none. French cuisine is supposed to be cooked so well that the patron will not need anything else. And the salt was in it's original container. Made me feel like I was in some run down dump.
The table ordered as follows: Warm goat cheese salad, turkey meatballs, 2 lobster bisques. The goat cheese was so soft it barely held up and was overwhelming. The turkey meatballs were gummy, and the lobster bisque was not what you would expect. It was very briney, not so creamy (As instructed by our wate person) and no lobster in it to mention, something I would expect for the price.
Next course, lamb stew with couscous and root vegetables, veal picata, hamburger, and seafood chiopino. The chiopino had the same liquid form the lobster bisque, hmmm. Veal picata was spicey... since when? The burger was OK and then there was gnocci ala bolognses. So in a word... blah.
Sorry folks, but there is no way I am going to go back to this place. It just didn't hold up to what I heard about it.
Peter Burstyn is a former chef from NY and is now an insurance agent with Farmers Insurance. Visit farmersagent dot com/pburstyn
Good, could be better – First, the pros: romantic atmosphere, loungy bar, fun, flirty Frenchmen. The "mixologist" is hilariously energetic and his concoctions are probably the best thing about the place. Try the mango mohito with red pepper flakes. YUM! The cons: the food is solid but uninspired. Presentation is better than the actual quality of the dish. I had the scallops, which were slightly overcooked, and served with an avocado puree that tasted good but had browned and was visually unappealing. Service is friendly, but inattentive. Our waiter brought the wrong credit card back to our table THREE TIMES. Very apologetic, but this is colossally bad service.
Food was okay, tables were unclean – My boyfriend and I went to La Cachette for lunch. Both of us were unimpressed with the mixed mushroom soup, which tasted like pureed dirt. The mixed market seafood gratin was good; the sauce complemented and enhanced the flavors of the seafood. The cassoulet, on the other hand, was surprisingly bland given the array of splendid, usually flavorful meats included in it.
While the food was decent, the ambiance was pretty unpleasant. We were seated at a table with dirty paper sheets. When we asked that the sheets be replaced, the server reluctantly changed only the sheet directly in between us (there were two covering the table). The tablecloth under the sheets were wine- and grease-stained. The water brought to our table had food particles in it.
The place seems to have potential, but my personal experience there was extremely disappointing.
Happy hour with La Cachette Bistro – Hey, my name is Jackie and I am working with LCB. If you are in the Santa Monica area stop by for our great happy hour specials from 4:30 to 6:30, M-F. You can get some great dishes like Hawaiian Ahi Burger on Brioche or Organic Grass Fed Beef Burger with Fig Chutney for $6. See you soon!
She ain't what she used to be – It had been years since my beau and his friends had been to La Cachette but they had some fond memories. My beau craved French for his bday so I arranged a celebration with the friends there. While waiting for our pals, the friendly chef/owner told us that the location will be closing and they will reopen in Santa Monica as more of a bistro. He said that the hard to find location had been hurting their biz. We noticed mostly white hair loyalists in the faded dining room.
The service was great and we had no complaints about service. The food, however, was absolutely flavorless. there was a tremendous lack of salting. I had the special foie gras and it was bland. I ordered cassoulet, the most French of all dishes, and it tasted like Refried Beans. We sent the cassoulet back and the chef apologized, agreed with our finding and sent back a substitute that was not much better. Nothing that the four of us ate was enjoyable, including lackluster desserts. It appears that not only is the chef delegating too much prep to the unskilled but he, himself, has lost all sense of taste.
It is not the location which has diminished their business.
Everything we had was not good. Yet the bill was crazy high. We could have eaten at Melisse for the same amount and had a world class meal in an elegant environment.
Trez Disappointing – If you're looking for fine, traditional French cuisine, look beyond La Cachette in Century City. The name translates into "the hideaway" and it is indeed off the beaten path on little Santa Monica Blvd, tucked into a neighborhood of apartments.
The setting is perfect for a date night out. The lights are dim, the decor very soothing with soft whites hues and plushy seating.
We started with a martini and Cosmo at the tiny bar to unwind and slowly roll into the evening that we wanted to enjoy and make last. When we finally sat down, Leslie started with a generous plate of beef carpaccio, served chopped with a sugary balsamic-pomegranate glaze that over-whelmed that meat completely.
I opted for a smoked trout dish which was light and pungent with an almost-herring-like vinegar taste over micro-greens. Good, but not great.
The entree selection is very French provencial. The menu reads like you've just stumbled into a farmhouse near the south of France. Lamb shank, veal stew, venison chop and several steaks along with some traditional French seafood dishes that you would expect from that lower region.
I opted for the Cassoulet. If you're unfamiliar with this dish it's a thick stew infused with soft, white beans, like Navy beans swimming alongside fork-sized chunks of duck and lamb. The meat was tender and the broth thick and rich. If you could imagine a cold, rainy night in the French countryside, this would be the dish to order. But its sheer decadence and heavy stock made a little go a very long way.
Leslie opted for the Bouillabaisse. We were in Nice one time many years ago which claims to be the town that invented this dish which is France's white-brothed answer to Italy's Cioppino. In fact, we specifically ate a restaurant where the owner - a character in his late 70s - claimed to have practically invented the version of the soup that has become world famous. There, the broth was light and fishy, with a hint of saffron and the taste of the sweet ocean.
Unfortunately, La Cachette's version was a thick, fishy mess. It had the consistency of carmel pudding, complete with a semi-thick layer of skin on the top. This being one of their signature dishes, we were surprised that it had the taste of something made many, many hours ago and left to sit.
With every entree hovering near $30 there is no quarter given to mediocre dishes. La Cachette is a hideaway best left hidden.
Very good but pricey – The service here was very goodl. Our waiter was attentive and he knew the menu well hence was able to give a lot of helpful suggestions.
For appetizers, we got the yellowtail special and tuna tar tare, both tasty. My girlfriend got sweetbread which was cooked just right. I ordered the country dish of the week, which was venison. A bit gamey but cooked just the way I like.
Dessert was a snuffle, a tiny bit undercooked, but still very good.
This is a very "expensive French restaurant" and generally quiet with soft music. A bit dressy, but not over the top.
I recommend it, but only for special occasions when you want to spent extra.
The La Cahette Restaurant is amazing!
Service was very nice, it always seemed to be there if you needed anything.
The French cuisine was incredible! It was very authentic.
I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone!
Welcome to Wonderland – Beautiful, we were promptly seated and the food was delicious. The service was a little bit slow but who cares when you enjoy a meal like this. It s pricey but it s worth it, I recommend this place for the food and the atmosphere.
Such a Delightful Meal!! – I had such a great experience here at la cachette. the service was great and the food was amazing. I started with the White Aspargus with chopped egg whites and a white truffle dressing which was soooo good and light enough that i still had room for my entree which was the lobster salad..its an appetizer that i had as an entree..also amazing and then I had the apricot tart for dessert..perfect. I really like this place and think most people think of it as a hidden gem. Once you start coming you keep coming back.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of La Cachette Bistro on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.