Having just returned from Europe, it was comforting to find a slice of France in Southern California at .
With tightly woven wicker chairs found at similar establishments throughout Paris, the eatery’s atmosphere is cozy, inviting and comes close to a French café dining experience. There is even outdoor seating along the sidewalk. However, at Champagne you order and pay for food at the counter, then find a table and wait for the meal to be delivered.
The Parisian salad ($8.50) caught my eye with sliced apples, dried cranberries, candied pecans, blue cheese, shallots and mixed greens tossed in balsamic vinaigrette. All the flavors worked well together and I enjoyed the natural sweetness of the fruit with the occasional nutty crunch.
I also ordered the half quiche combo ($8), which comes with soup or spring salad. Quiche options are smoked salmon, classic quiche Lorraine or spinach and goat cheese. I opted for the spinach and goat cheese with a cup of tomato basil soup.
Other soup choices were French onion and the soup of the day, which happened to be a corn chowder on my visit. The tomato basil soup was a good selection—the tomatoes helped to cleanse my palate after bites of the savory quiche. The goat cheese was not overpowering and the spinach was prominent throughout.
The kid's meal ($5.75) was a big hit with my kids. They all enjoyed the thinly pressed grilled cheese sandwich (panini-style), accompanied by French fries (or a fruit cup) and a drink. Other kid’s meal choices include French toast, a turkey and Swiss cheese sandwich or a cheese crepe.
I could barely keep the kids from ogling the myriad of enticing desserts and pastries. I noticed a mini-dessert special—three desserts for just under $6. We chose three mini-cream puffs that actually counted as only one dessert, a strawberry cheesecake parfait and a coconut mango mousse cake. The cream puffs were airy, filled with a cream that wasn’t too sweet and topped with a thin layer of icing.
The parfait was a bite of cheesecake, fresh strawberries and whipped cream. My favorite was the tropical-tasting coconut mango mousse cake, which was fluffy and creamy. A sweet ending indeed.
8919 Santa Monica Blvd.