Chez Mimi
246 Twenty Sixth Street
Santa Monica, CA 90402
310. 393-0558

“Chez Mimi” is the life-long creation of the consummate restaurateur, Micheline Hebert, and it’s only a short drive to Santa Monica, just across the border from Brentwood. Surprisingly hidden behind the traffic of 26th Street, an ornate wrought-iron gate leads you into an old brick courtyard and series of cottages straight from the countryside of France. Ivy covered walls and trickling fountains complement the aroma of scented firewood burning in the various fireplaces. Classic French doors lead to low beamed ceilings and cozy rooms that feel as if you’ve been instantly transported to another, less chaotic and romantic world.

Mademoiselle Micheline was brought to Los Angeles ages ago as a cook and nanny for a famous French Canadian chanteuse. During her two-year employment, the rich and famous begged her to cook for them, and when her employer went back to Canada, “Mimi” stayed on and created “Chez Helene”, the predecessor of Chez Mimi. Beautiful and robust, her name on the restaurant is appropriate in that everything this place exudes is as a result of her exquisite omnipresence. Proudly always earning a well deserved “A”, Mimi ensures that every detail of your service and meal are executed with perfection. In fact, Mimi’s desk is in the kitchen, so she is sure to be aware of everything.

Over a candle-lit table with a spray of delicate flowers, make sure to enjoy the Pate de fois maison (fois gras) and the bisque de tomate. We have eaten at restaurants all over the world, and Mimi’s French onion soup is the best we’ve ever tasted. She confides in us that her secret lies in the fact that she adds beer to her recipe, but she won’t tell us what else causes the gruyere laden masterpiece to stand out amongst the crowd.

As the fireplace crackles and your hand reaches over to your mates, break free long enough to order one of the many mouth-watering sensational entrees such as the Leg of lamb with herbs de Provence, Fresh trout with almonds or the homemade spinach and ricotta raviolis, served with tomato basil sauce. The bouillabaisse is authentically fantastic, served as a rich fish stock with lobster tail, large shrimp, clams, fish served with rouille and a side of toast. What would a French restaurant be without it’s duck, and Mimi prepares the breast with black cherry sauce that is to die for, along with a side of wild rice. The simple elegance of her dishes compliments the country aesthetics of the environment, all lending a helping hand in furthering your romantic interludes!

And if you think your lover is sweet enough, think twice as the desserts are divine! We particularly adore Mimi’s homemade Gateau au chocolate, which is adorned with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a dollop of cream. It’s not for the abdominally conscious, but it will send your taste buds into overdrive. The crème brulee never disappoints and the lemon pie is fab. If keeping your figure for post date-night encounters is a must, she even serves up a Monte Carlo cheesecake, which is low calorie and low fat.

But the sweetest part of the evening is the chance to give Mimi a kiss on both cheeks and thank her for crafting an evening you will always remember. Some things never change, and we’re grateful for the always consistent, always wonderful, always enchanting “Chez Mimi”.

Posted by The Dining Duo | 2:25 PM | , , , | 0 comments »

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