Authentic French Bistro In Playa del Rey Makes Top-Ten Lists

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Still giddy with delight at having been asked by LA Times Chef Noelle Carter ("Culinary SOS") for their recipe for French brie apple soup last spring, Bistro du Soleil's owners, executive chef Jean Claude Sakoun and his wife Gloria hardly expected to learn on 9/11 that 223,000 users of have voted their eight-year-old operation to be part of Los Angeles' "top ten best." is an active online reservations system, with a high-end demographic. culled data it had collected from its users since 2005 based on their culinary experiences. Allowing them an unlimited field of possibilities, they surveyed these users about restaurants with which they had made reservations using their service, and through that identified the top ten in multiple categories. Out of tens of thousands of restaurants in the entertainment capital of the world, the Sakouns' Bistro du Soleil scored top marks:

Best food. Scored #2
Best overall dining experience. Scored #9
Best value for your money. Scored #1

Bistro du Soleil has established its presence in Playa del Rey over the last eight years (and sixteen days). It is located in the neighborhood landmark former "Cliffhouse" building at the corner of culver boulevard and the two vistas del mar, close to the beach. Loyal regulars - and several come as many as five to six days per week - will tell you that the bistro is the real deal. Replete with French expatriates, who are not an easy crowd to appease, recent returnees from sourjourns on the seine, and the newly fascinated come to the bistro when they crave a hint of la France.

Found in an erratically-shaped wooden cottage "house" that sits on a wildly impractical long, narrow triangle of land at the sharp turn whipped-around by commuters to and from the south bay, the enticing flavors and experience of dining - whether dinner, lunch, or weekend breakfast are an inconceivable magic coming from such a small yet seasoned kitchen. However, executive chef Jean Claude Sakoun is a veteran of the Los Angeles restaurateur scene, having both owned Café Reni (Santa Monica) and having founded Café Pierre (Manhattan Beach), among other operations, in the past. The key kitchen staff have been with Sakoun for an average of 25 years, the chefs for 28. Soups and rolls are made fresh daily, sauces per order, vegetables sauteed at the time needed, and salads assembled only as requested. No steam tables or warming trays here; if you want scrambled eggs for brunch, the eggs are fresh and made to order -- always worth a wait!

The bistro is like visiting a favorite aunt's cozy, inviting beach house. One is enveloped and relaxed. Routine is punctuated with periodic celebrations common and not: St. Valentine's day and Bastille Day join the holidays with special prix-fixe menus, persistently inventive and perennially reasonably priced, and the bistro occasionally plays host to private affairs such as small weddings, and evening small business cocktail parties. With a fully stocked premium bar, Bistro du Soleil is ready to relax, rejuvenate, and refresh you. They also feature a domestic and international wine list.

Bistro du Soleil is open daily for lunch and dinner from 11 am to 9:30 (Su-Th) or 10::30 (Fr-Sa) and opens for breakfast at 8 am on weekends and national holidays.

Where the food speaks French, at the corner of sunsets and wines…Bistro du Soleil.

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Gloria Sakoun
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