Monday, October 5, 2015

Storefront Report: Figueroa scores a crêpe connection

Chez Antoine | Photos by Nathan Solis

By Nathan Solis

From the kitchen of Chez Antoine wafts the aroma of a ham and cheese crêpe. It sounds simple enough. But when chef Guillaume Sabbadin presents a sunny side up egg nestled in the fold of a crepe that encompasses the entire plate, it’s clear that Chez Antoine is bringing something entirely new to Highland Park.

How many places on Figueroa Street serve authentic French crêpes? The proportions are more than generous, enough to split between two people. Sabbadin hails from the south of France and has many different ideas for the menu.

He wants to expand the pastry selection, offer more blends of flavors. Right now it’s the hallmarks of French cuisine that Chez Antoine offers: onion soup, tuna tartare, boeuf bourguignon, and delectable profiteroles.

Along with the entrees Chez Antoine offers imported fruit ciders held in intricate bottle holders built by owner Antoine Ronda, also owner of HASCAR Auto Body on York Boulevard.

Ronda’s family are the main inspiration for Chez Antoine. When Ronda’s family emigrated from Portugal to Paris in the 1950’s it was his mother’s dream to open a restaurant. Now Ronda’s daughter, Amber, acts as host and waiter at Chez Antoine.

Nathan Solis is a Highland Park resident who writes about and photographs the L.A. music scene. You can find more of Solis stories, reviews and photos at Smashed Chair.

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  1. I’ll definitely give it a try. Currently, it seems there’s an overabundance of pizza, burger, and hispanic joints. Good to see more diversity of food choices entering Highland Park.

  2. Sounds like a great new business for our neighborhood–I only wish it had a vegan option or two on it so my friends and I could actually eat there :) I’ve yet to find a French restaurant with anything vegan on the menu but maybe this place could be the first!!

    • Of course, typical militant vegan attitude. “Why can’t this restaurant/cooking style cater to MEEEEEEEEEEE??”

      If you knew anything about France or French cuisine, you’d know that butter is the mainstay of almost all French dishes, and modifying the content said dishes would severely affect the way the food cooks, tastes and comes together. Also, the French find veganism/vegetarianism pretty laughable. I think only about 2% of the French population abstains from meat.

      If you aren’t willing to modify your diet, then why should restaurants modify long-established cooking methods to suit your tastes and needs? Cooking is an art form, and asking a French place to offer vegan options would completely molest the creative and cultural integrity of the food. There’s plenty of vegan food in LA. It’s not like you’re being forced to eat here.

      • Butter is not the mainstay of Mediterranean French cuisine, as far as I know.

      • You’re trolling pretty hard there. There was nothing “militant” in Madison’s response, but there’s more than a little dickishness in yours. Live and let live.

  3. Sandra Figueroa Villa

    Antoine and his family have contributed much to their community. This new restaurant is a great addition to Highland Park. Brunch is superb…and I do recall vegan option. You can call and check. My family will definitely be back.

  4. Tried Chez Antoine for the first time the other night and was happily surprised. Everything we ordered was very good, as was the service. A brave choice, opening a French restaurant in this neck of the woods — I wish them every success. I’ll go back soon. Have to get some more of those dark, garlicky frites.

  5. Yum! Can’t wait to try a french vegetarian and vegan crepe. I’m sure the owners realize and are sensitive to the fact that they are in Los Angeles…and not France…and will offer a multitude of choices for the people in the neighborhood.

  6. I also hope there are vegan options, since I am vegan and I live in the area.

  7. I’d like to try this restaurant. You’re review makes it sound intriguing. However, no address is provided. Contact info for the restaurant would be helpful. Thanks

    • Hi Paula,

      Chez Antoine is located at

      5511 N Figueroa St
      Los Angeles, CA 90042
      Neighborhood: Highland Park

      And they are closed on Mondays. Cheers

  8. Lived in the neighborhood over 30 years and never had a choice for French cuisine in HLP; always had to go to the West Side. Now, so cool that i was able to take my kids to Chez Antoine and introduce them to crepes and pommes frites! They thoroughly enjoyed it as well as the pomegranate cider- awesome. They even got to hear me order in French! Amber is very attentive and friendly. Would be nice if Antoine would introduce himself to his patrons, but maybe he’s more of a “behind-the-scenes” type of guy.
    I also like that they’re on Fig and not York;helping to make Fig just as cool to hang-out on…even with kids

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