Bistro Jolie Debuts at the Glen Center with a Menu Inspired by the Cote D’Azur
It’s pretty swanky.
- CategoryEat & Drink
- Written byJoshua Lurie
- Photographed byShane O’Donnell
- Pictured AboveThe spacious bar
A stone’s throw from the hilltop mansions along Mulholland Drive, the Glen Centre is known for its handful of longtime eateries, upscale shops and celebrity spotting—from A-list actors to aging rock stars. Everyone else, conspicuously on display at sidewalk cafes, looks like they could be a Hollywood dealmaker or aspiring starlet. It’s a small strip mall that never seems to change, with stalwart tenants Fabrocini, the jazz club Vibrato and the Beverly Glen Deli. Now there is something new: Bistro Jolie, which champions the French Riviera’s taste and feel.
Owner Thomas Plejer grew up in nearby Sherman Oaks and is a serial entrepreneur who has worked mostly in retail. His first restaurant, Bistro Jolie showcases, as he describes it, “southern French-inspired cuisine accented with California flair and seasonal sensibility.” To execute his vision, Thomas hired chef Cody Dickey, who worked at the high-end Carbon Beach Club in Malibu and for Bobby Flay at Gato in Manhattan. “For the menu, it goes back to the local farmers markets and what keeps the food alive,” Thomas says.
Share-friendly small plates include stuffed piquillo peppers bursting with albacore tuna that’s butchered in back and enlivened with spicy espelette pepper, scallions, capers, bell peppers and house vinaigrette. A trio arrives on crunchy crostini.
A Niçoise salad is crisp, fresh and amply sized. The chicken meuniere has just the right amount of zesty lemon sauce. Both dishes are perfect representations of what you’d get at a cafe along the Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes.
While steak frites is the most popular dish, Cody loves to steer diners toward his fig leaf-roasted king salmon. My server called this “the dish that best represents what he’s trying to do with the menu.” I can taste why. A rosy, medium-rare filet appears atop seasonal ratatouille—pattypan squash, baby zucchini and eggplant slathered in zesty tomato sauce and dressed with tangy sauce verte made with pureed herbs and verjus (unripened grape juice).
Other entrées are reminiscent of the Mediterranean, but with an original twist. Thomas favors duck confit “in the vein of traditional bistro fare,” starring quacker cured in pink peppercorns and orange zest. Cody then garnishes the crispy, bathed-in-fat results with charred orange and Spain’s prized Ibérico ham.
Gateau Basque cake keeps pace for dessert. This delicacy from the Pays Basque region of southern France sports flaky slices, contains pastry cream, and comes plated with brown sugar vanilla cream and sweet-tart Luxardo cherries.
The Mediterranean influence extends to ambience and decor. “I’ve always cherished my summers spent in the French Riviera,” Thomas says. “There is something special, not only in the scenery but also with the class, elegance and casual approach they have to deliver unforgettable experiences.” He mimicked the aesthetics of Club 55 and Eden Roc—both in the south of France—to deliver an airy restaurant with wraparound patio and dining room bathed with sun rays that stream through a skylight, lined by live plants. Brass sconces and other elegant accents lend sophistication to the space.
With Bistro Jolie, Thomas has diligently tried to transport diners to the French Riviera, delivering a unique LA experience in the process.
Bistro Jolie | 2922 Beverly Glen Cir, Bel-Air | 310-773-9484 | bistrojolie.com
Orlando Araujo was longtime chef at Label’s Table in Woodland Hills, which recently closed, and helped to revive Famous Label’s Delicatessen in Tarzana.