The soufflé is a dying art. While many restaurants have held onto classics like creme brulee, the soufflé is all but gone from dessert menus. Why? Because it's difficult. It's also delicious when done right. At Maison Giraud, the Pacific Palisades French bistro, chef-owner Alain Giraud makes a great case for the revival of the soufflé. There are occasional, fabulous seasonal versions on the specials menu, but the king here is the chocolate soufflé. Giraud makes an almost comically large version of the dessert, and it towers a good three inches above its round porcelain vessel, all air and fluffy egg and bitter chocolate. Dig into the warm, airy cake and what you bring back on your spoon is a mixture of sticky, sugar-crisped edge and hot batter center. It will have you crying, “Vive la soufflé!” 1032 Swarthmore Ave., Pacific Palisades. (310) 459-7562,
—Besha Rodell

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