La Bohème, Palo Alto- 1/23/2016

La Bohème is a new French bistro located on California Avenue in Palo Alto, they opened their door about 2months ago.  LA Bohème got really good reviews on Yelp but because they are so new there are about 10 reviews so it is really difficult to make a good judgment but time will tell....  Reservation is really difficult to come by as everyone wants to give it try.  I called them a few weeks ago to make a reservation, left them a message but they never heard back from them so I assume they were totally booked.  Thanks to Phuc and Huyen who dined there last Friday and was also able to score a table for 12 at 6:45PM for the whole group.

Last summer (2015), La  Bohème took over from the defunct  Chez Franc, a high end hot dog eatery.  Restaurateurs Bernard Cartal and Max Roucoule From Pastis, a French restaurant next door, have partnered with Malek Kaci, Marie Pierre Bac and Phillip Leroy to open a bistro that is more Parisian in style.  You can read the whole article Here.

View of the front of the restaurant.

The interior of La Bohème is really cozy, tables are set to be very close, with booth seating and a bar at the end of the room.


We arrived a bit earlier and we were seated close to the front window.


Reading the menu...

Lots of French posters on the wall.


Bar on the left and the opening you see under the "metropolitan" is the kitchen.

View of the Dinning room from our table.  The restaurant was full of customers.


 Phillip Leroy (far left) and Malek Kaci both co-owner took a picture with us. Philip loves French wine so Phuc brought some French wine tonight for us.


Two bottles of Chateau Calon-Segur from Saint Estèphe (Bordeaux)

Our favorite white wine: Kistler Chardonnay.


The bread was so good. 

They brought it out while it is still hot and was delicious with butter.

Phuc serving white wine...



The menu is definitely French Bistro.


The Appetizers

Moules et Palourdes Gratinées (Mussels and Claims gratinées with garlic) -$10



Filets de Sardines du Marais-(Fresh grilled Sardines) -$12


Escargot (snail in garlic butter)- $11

Too bland for my taste, not enough parsley, not enough garlic.

Hanh and Tuan shared a Salad Lyonnaise

Os à Moelle gratiné façon Lutece (Breaded Bone Marrow gratiné with sea salt and served with a baked tomato)-$14

Out of all the appetizers we ordered I like the Mussels and Claims gratinées with garlic and the Bone Marrow the most.  Both dish are decent.



Good or no good we polished everything!


Main Dishes

Tartare de La Vilette (Finely minced uncooked lean beef in a marinade of eggs, onions, capers, cornichons and spices)- $27

Steak tartar which was highly recommended by Phillip did not disappoint- Trung really enjoy this dish and it was perfect with a glass of French wine.


Tournedos Bordelais (Filet Mignon served with Red wine sauce)-$28

Hoa said the steak was decent, the French fries could been a bit more crispier.


Lotte L'Armoricaine (Sautéed Monfish with fennel, white wine and Fresh tomato sauce)-$25


This is the worst dish ever!  I think they used frozen Monkfish as the consistency was supposed to be like Lobster, here is was overcooked, mushy, tasteless and it was so blend that I barely touched this dish.  The presentation was also not appetizing!

Carré D'agneau Tour Eiffel (California Rack of Lamb with garlic butter sauce) - $35

Minh ordered the Lam medium rare and it was overcooked.  We told Philip that the meat was overcooked so he came back with 2 racks of lamb that was cooked to Minh's liking.


Magret de Canard (Grilled duck breast with green pepper sauce)-$25

The duck is cooked properly and it has good flavor.


Moules Frites (Mussels in garlic white wine sauce served with French Fries)-$16

Generous portion of mussels!  The mussels were actually pretty good, the white wine garlic broth was pretty aromatic.


Ris de Veau (Sweetbread with brandy mushroom sauce)-$24

Maily ordered this dish and she said she liked it.  Compare to Le petit Bistro she said it is better here.


Phuc was raving about the Grand Marnier soufflé so we ordered 6 soufflés for the whole group.

The soufflé came with a shot of Grand Marnier and whipped cream. 

Very good soufflé!  We all enjoyed it.


All of the 5 appetizers we ordered I only like the Mussels and Claims gratinées with garlic and the Bone Marrow.  The escargots did not meet my expectation, the grilled sardines were just okay.  Most of the main dishes are okay with the exception of the Monfish which was really a horrible dish that should be removed from their menu.

  The restaurant was so full and I think the kitchen had difficulty adjusting to the fast pace environment, it might take them a while to get it together and be more consistent with the food.  However what La Bohème lacked in delivering their food it definitely make it up in service.  Philip was very warm, welcoming, and he really made us feel like we were dining at his home.  The jury is still out on La Boheme so let's see in 3 months when there is no more curiosity, we will find out if people will come back regularly.  Will the kitchen be able to maintain a consistent standard for customers to be happy?  Stay tune on this one....


La Bohème

415 S. California Avenue

Palo Alto, Ca 94306

(650) 561-3577

Filed under: Restaurants





Our house


Photo Gallery

 Mon  petit coin