Cafe Livre Instead of Eat. Good. Clean. Food.; Opens Nov. 1

Cafe Livre with four of its dishes.
Cafe Livre with four of its dishes.

When we first told you back in August about the Farid Zadi/Susan Park/David Haskell project that will combine a brasserie, a retail section of prepared foods section and, eventually, a cooking school, it was called Eat. Good. Clean. Food. The awkward name has become the restaurant's motto, and the concept, which has been rechristened Café Livre, will open November 1st.

Technically it's Café Livre et Le Marché (restaurant + market), but the idea is the same. The concept is "fast casual bistro" with everything packaged for take out. The core menu is Zadi's "with a strong emphasis on French dishes and a smattering of dishes from other Mediterranean cuisines," he tells us.

A slider from Cafe Livre.
A slider from Cafe Livre.

That means sandwiches like egg salad tartine and flank steak with horseradish ($9-13), proteins like Tuscan roasted chicken and poulet au Riesling ($7.50-24), sides like roasted vegetables and Gruyere mac 'n cheese ($4.50-12), cheeses, charcuterie, fresh juices, fruit tarts and baklava cigars. Look for Algerian and North African items on weekly menus.

Though the target market is people who want a solid meal made with good ingredients but don't have time for a sit-down lunch, Cafe Livre does have 30 seats with indoor and outdoor seating. Zadi describes it as "chef's cooking, made from scratch in a quick service context." (Remind anyone of another newish Culver City eatery? We're thinking of L'Epicerie.)

Cafe Livre will offer lunch and very early dinner to start, opening from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. on most days. They'll add breakfast after that. Zadi also hopes to host small chef's dinners until the enclosed patio in the back is renovated.

Cafe Livre also shares space with a couple other businesses: The Wild Thistle (organic and fair trade teas and coffees) and Freshly Baked (cookies). It's a methodology that has turned out well for Zadi, who first opened his culinary school, Ecole de Cuisine Los Angeles, by using shared space. He made enough money from the school to invest to earn the start-up costs for Cafe Livre. The second kitchen at Cafe Livre will eventually be Ecole de Cuisine's home.

[@elinashatkin / eshatkin@laweekly.com]


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