8 Restaurants (and a Cabaret) Celebrating Bastille Day: Liberté, Fraternité, Égalité, Pâtisserie | Squid Ink | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

8 Restaurants (and a Cabaret) Celebrating Bastille Day: Liberté, Fraternité, Égalité, Pâtisserie

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Wed, Jul 11, 2012 at 12:00 PM

  • Image courtesy Christine Haberstock and the Little Door
Once upon a time, France spent way too much money on the Seven Years War and the government coffers got tapped out. This meant the ruling powers couldn't pay the country's bills, and the absolute monarchy took a swift nosedive. The resultant shift in the social, political and economic environment threw the country into chaos and caused an even greater divide between the downtrodden and the people who wanted them to eat cake. So to speak. On July 14, 1789, the French people rose up against the tyranny of the ruling class by storming the medieval fortress prison known as the Bastille.

That day -- the flashpoint of the French Revolution -- is celebrated with La Fête Nationale (The National Celebration) in France, and is commemorated on July 14 every year. Bastille Day is celebrated with parties, massive displays of fireworks and feasts. If you're a French expat, or just someone looking for a good party to commemorate the gleeful guillotining of a bunch of entitled French nobility, look no further than the bars and restaurants below, listed in alphabetical order. Each is offering Bastille Day celebrations on Saturday, July 14. And some even have cake.

click to enlarge A.O.C. - ROB STARK PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Rob Stark Photography
  • A.O.C.
8. A.O.C.:

It's no wonder Suzanne Goin's cozy wine bar is pulling out all the stops for this French fête. After all, the name "A.O.C." stands for the French appellation d'origine contrôlée -- the term for the country's designated wine regions. It will feature a special, $45 Bastille Day prix fixe menu, including a goat cheese tartine with haricots verts à la niçoise, cherry tomatoes and anchovy-brown butter; a choice of either bouillabaisse (fluke, halibut, mussels, clams and rouille) or Niman Ranch steak frites (roasted shallots, arugula salad and sauce béarnaise); and either a cheese plate with trois fromages français or beignets with vanilla ice cream and bittersweet chocolate sauce. 8022 W. Third St., Los Angeles; (323) 653-6359.

click to enlarge Bouchon - BOUCHON BEVERLY HILLS
  • Bouchon Beverly Hills
  • Bouchon
7. Bouchon Beverly Hills: Thomas Keller's famous bakery, bar and bistro is offering celebratory specials in each of the Beverly Hills location's separate sections. From Happy Hour all day long at the bar, including $2 oysters and $5 Bastille Day cocktails; to blackboard specials and a free glass of Kir during brunch and dinner in the bistro; and a trois couleurs blue (blueberry), white (Champagne) and red (berry) Bastille Day macaroon in the bakery. Viva la différence. 235 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 271-9910.

6. Cabaret Versatile:

Can you Cancan? You can at Kenneth Hahn Recreational Park, from noon to dusk, on Sunday, July 15. This epic, eight-hour celebration by award-winning Cabaret Versatile is based on the theme French Bohême & Troubadours, and will feature a host of Parisian plaisirs, such as Cancan, feathers and glitz "à la mode de Paris." Dancer-choreographer Lola Ohlala has gathered an entire entourage of Bastille Day talents, performing in French and English. Singing, dancing, Cirque cu Soleil-type clown acts -- even an "Old-School R&B Funk voyage"! Révolution, indeed. Kids under 13 are free. $5 for adults. 4100 La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles.

5. Canelé:

A canelé is a small French pastry with a soft, eggy center and a golden, caramelized exterior. It's also an unpretentious, market-driven Atwater Village neighborhood restaurant offering a festive $39 prix-fixe dinner for Saturday's French fete. The meal includes a sparkling aperitif to begin the three-course meal: Pissaladiere with fresh market herbs (puff pastry with caramelized onions, nicoise olives, anchovies); bourride (mussels, clams and market fish in saffron fennel broth with parsley, aioli and toast); and a house-made namesake pastry with coffee, for dessert. The full dinner menu will be available as well. 3219 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 666-7133.

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