A Little Bit of Paris on Ventura Boulevard

One of my favorite haunts for breakfast and lunch on Ventura Boulevard is Nesmon Café in Sherman Oaks. Located between Dixie Canyon and Fulton on the block anchored by Menchie’s and Casa Vega, it’s a little French oasis amidst a very busy street. Owner Nily Yefet-Shalom says she has always dreamed of having a café. […]

One of my favorite haunts for breakfast and lunch on Ventura Boulevard is Nesmon Café in Sherman Oaks. Located between Dixie Canyon and Fulton on the block anchored by Menchie’s and Casa Vega, it’s a little French oasis amidst a very busy street.

Owner Nily Yefet-Shalom says she has always dreamed of having a café. “Through my travels in Europe, especially Italy and France, I’ve always found cafés the most appealing because they are outside. I enjoy conversations over food … I just fell in love with that.”

Nesmon Café is a tiny space with an open kitchen where every nook is occupied. Glass counter display cases are filled with tempting, fresh-baked cakes, tarts, puddings and pastries, some made on the premises and some imported from a French baker.

The “boutique” surrounds the café. Vintage wares, such as teapots, canisters, aprons, cake plates, and platters, fill wall cases alongside select imports of gourmet salt, jam, oil, crackers, tea, books and other epicurean items. Pick up a basket and create a personalized gift (wrapping is complimentary).

There is a surprisingly large selection of French and Mediterranean theme dishes, with vegan choices on a separate menu. Order at the counter, then sink into a comfy chair inside. Or take a seat at an outside bistro table, and your food will be brought to you.

Crepes are a specialty and made fresh to order as you watch. Choose from a selection of sweet and savory. Favorites include the classic Suzette (butter, sugar and orange liqueur); La Crepe (sweet butter and caramel); Parisienne (Nutella); Marcel (strawberries and white chocolate); and Confiture (fresh fruit preserves).

Savory crepes all have a touch of béchamel sauce and include L’ouef (eggs, mozzarella and tomatoes); Maison (eggs smoked salmon, crème fraiche and chives); Verde (eggs, spinach and mozzarella); and Vegi (variations of grilled vegetables and brie or camembert cheese).

Eggs are also prepared on the creperie and have similar fillings to the crepes. All egg dishes are served with salad, French bread and jam on the side. Especially decadent is the Croque Madam (smoked salmon and sunny-side up eggs on sourdough topped with mozzarella, chives and béchamel sauce).

Baguette sandwiches and tartines (open-face) are served with salad or chips. The Tunisian baguette is most unusual for Los Angeles, but just like one you’d find in France or Israel, prepared with a hardboiled egg, cucumbers, olives, pickled lemon and harissa for a perfect hint of spice.

I’m a big fan of the tartine oeuf (egg salad) with olive tapenade. Other tasty tartine and sandwich selections include smoked salmon, Caprese, club and hummus. 

Additional offerings include salads, such as beet, vegetable, Caesar, chimichurri chicken and Niçoise (beautifully plated and my “go-to” dish for lighter fare). There are fresh soups and quiche daily, as well as French pizza, pesto pasta and even a cheese board.  Chicken dishes are perfect for pick up and dinner-to- go.

There is a full coffee bar that ranges from a basic Americano or cappuccino to macchiato and café caramel. You can get real mint hot tea here too. The cold drink selection includes fruit smoothies, lemonada (lemonade, mint and crushed ice), French soda and more.

Nesmon Café is available for catering at an outside venue as well as private parties on the premises, including tea parties perfect for kids and adults. (Just ask about the special menus!) If you can’t make it to France and just need a quiet respite, Nesmon Café might just give you the quick fix you need. 

Nesmon Cafe, 13333 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 818- 855-8818. Open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Order at counter. Free Wi-Fi.

Sit inside or outside.

Order at the counter and your food will be brought to you.

Crepes are made to order.

Parisienne crepe filled with nutella and strawberries.

Croque Madam with smoked salmon.

Omelettes are served with jam, cheese, gherkins, bread and butter.

Fresh oatmeal and fruit.

 Nicoise salad made with Italian tuna.

 

Tunisian Baguette

Dessert case features homemade sweets.

The boutique and marketplace is filled with gifts and gourmet items.

Put together a gift basket with boutique items.

Cake platters are made by owner, Nily Yefet Shalom.

There is a changing inventory of specialty gift items.

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