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A D-word about Bouchon and Other Post-Thanksgiving Musings

DAMN is the word.  What took me so Damned long to Dine at Bouchon?  Sure I was there for opening week in November 2009 for cocktails and to suss out the vibe.  I still remember that evening at the bar. Upon walking in, I saw a friend having an intimate dinner in a far corner, not with his wife. Awkward.  I never went back.  Now that Bouchon Delivered a sumptuous Dinner on the most un-sumptuous of restaurant nights - Thanksgiving - I lament my Delay. 

Thanksgiving Dinner was outstanding for any night of the year and gets bonus points for serving up a menu that hems a French-inspired restaurant into American classic cuisine.  Leave it to Thomas Keller to set a standard for what could have been simply acceptable Thanksgiving fare.  And for those thinking me naive that he, the Demigod of Divine California cuisine, would have influenced Beverly Hills Bouchon on Thanksgiving, think again.  He Did.  As if that wasn't enough to blow our collective minds, the cost of the meal was $38 per person.  Seriously.  Was it that much less at Du-pars? 

I have cataloged Bouchon anew.  It is better than the homogenized annex I'd imagined it to be.  Not that anyone wants to look at any more turkey but if you can stomach it, here are two of the Dishes I photographed with my less than ideal iPhone's camera.  If it doesn't look pretty, several of the items were served family-style and I was not into plating - I was into eating!

Organically raised Diestal Farm turkey with sweet potato gratin, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, brussel sprouts & bacon lardons, cornbread, cranberry relish and turkey gravy. Those thick dark meat slices in front were made roulade-style which is why they look pieced into a whole.  The green bean casserole was bathed in house made mushroom soup.  Not pictured is our added-on spiced pumpkin custard tart with creme chantilly.  

Whole roasted prime rib with creamed spinach, roasted fingerling potatoes, young carrots, Yorkshire pudding & sauce Bordelaise. Priced above the turkey at $49 - well worth the Dollars more.

On another positive and significant note, our server Todd was a passionate pro.  His expertise and Detailed answers to my queries added Delight to our experience.  Most Definitely, Todd is a would-be restauranteur whose chef-worthy passions overflowed.  Engaging servers, sommeliers and managers as I Dine around figures prominently in my overall impressions of a restaurant.  While most are pros at charm and/or efficiency, many servers are Dining-room-bound while Dreaming of other careers.  Todd our server and Andrew our sommelier are restaurant Devotees.

THANKS Bouchon for GIVING us eye-opening surprises.  Consider me a new if not overDue fan.

Ilene Wendy


235 N Canon Dr, 
Beverly Hills, CA 90210