There is a restaurant that I am very fond of. It has been around for quite a few years. That in itself, is an accomplishment.
Mistral. A upscale french bistro in the heart of Sherman Oaks, CA.
Disclaimer: this meal was expensive. Very expensive. That being said, the meal was excellent. Service, food quality and atmosphere: all 5* (in Yelp lingo).
This restaurant has stood the test of time. And for a reason. They do what they do VERY WELL. For starters, they treat all diners with french gougeres. They are light, airy and have a hint of blue cheese.
We recently visited for a birthday dinner so we were willing to splurge. Filet mignon and other steak choices range from $40 to 50. Chicken around $30. Add escargot, wine and easily we’re into $300 for 3 people.
But here’s why it’s worth it. These people care. They float around the room, making conversation with each table. Making the experience very personal. That’s not easy to find anymore.
And the food, wine and service are consistently good. The ambience is authentic cozy french bistro. There are no airs or pretentiousness. The service is friendly. Neighborly. As if you visit every week.
Bravo, Mistral. I’m not sure how you get away with charging what you charge. But it works. The place is always packed. And the diners seem genuinely happy. Qualities not to be taken for granted in this very dynamic and often changing restaurant culture in the city of Los Angeles.