Walk into Loupiotte, and the uplifting aesthetic Sarah Bessade brings to her Los Feliz restaurant washes over you. Patrons are immediately steeped in her Parisian roots with fresh, bright color schemes and wall shelves filled with French-inspired trinkets both curated and personal. The vibes are refreshing, yet familiar.
Meticulous nonchalance dominates Bessade’s design style — everywhere you look there is intent, but the result is something otherworldly. The lighting is brilliant, but doesn’t seem mechanical.
The whole restaurant feels like it’s somehow being lit by one single, gigantic window. It’s like there should be a pie sitting on the window sill. Bessade and co-owner Antoine Blandin charm you in with their lullaby of a restaurant. Look around — things at Loupiotte are homey, yet oddly ethereal. They’ve got you right where they want you.
Loupiotte serves a spectacular breakfast, spearheaded by the pain perdu — French toast brioche with strawberry, basil, Chantilly cream and orange zest. It is both understated and exquisite. The orange zest immediately greets your nostrils with a quiet gusto, and the Chantilly cream adds a welcomed aromatic sweetness and decadence.
Creamy polenta is also a great example of French technique at work; no water boiled here — just cornmeal simmering in pure cream and melted butter, producing a rich polenta topped with a deep-fried egg and savory mushrooms. Polenta done right is a thing of beauty, and it should find its way onto more breakfast menus.
The scrambled eggs are done with such skill that you won’t be able to go back to a diner omelet again. A soft scramble that is most certainly emulsified with butter and then topped with chives — this isn’t mind-blowing innovation; it’s just exactly how eggs should be prepared. The crunchy, pesto country bread adds additional texture and is a suitable partner to the fluffy scramble.
For dinner you’ll see the aforementioned polenta made into fries — thick logs of buttery cornmeal fried and served with Espelette aioli. The oeufs mayonnaise are a French bistro classic; hard-boiled eggs,mayonnaise and bread matches the delicate and comforting nature of Sarah’s vision well. In fact, if you’ve got no introduction to French cuisine at all but are a lover of deviled eggs, the oeufs are a welcome sight.
Squid carbonara, butternut risotto and a Greek salad round out the dinner menu; they might seem a little basic, but they’re executed with respect and precision.
Loupiotte is going to grow, and I would expect the dinner menu to do so as well. Matter of fact, soon Bessade and Blandin will be inviting chefs in on Wednesdays to do pop-up dinners in addition to their regular dinner service. So, you will have the option to sample the work of up-and-coming culinary talents once a week, and there might be no better place to do that than this quiet little bistro on Vermont.
The way Bessade and Blandin designed Loupiotte feels genuine. After the success of her restaurant in Paris, Gabylou, Bessade moved to L.A. with a desire to create a home for both her customers and the community.
When Loupiotte is closed on Mondays, she works with the RightWay foundation, inviting foster kids into the restaurant to eat. There’s heart involved in her business; it doesn’t feel like it was designed by a restaurant group solely for cash. You can feel the sincerity in the building, and that’s worth supporting.
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