Zazou Redondo Beach Reviews
Nov 20, 2007
When we walked into the Zazou, the bar was a popular place to be...all locals unwinding after a long day. Near the front door was the Zazou "Wall of Fame" with autographed framed pictures of several L.A. Lakers. Perhaps the Lakers dine at Zazou since it is close to their practice gym in El Segundo? Anyways, since we dropped in early...like around 5:30 pm, the chef and owner Guy Gabriele sat us at the table of our choosing...right smack by the front window so we can see the goings on on the street. The sun had just barely set and the various storefronts across the street had their holiday decorations and twinkling lights on...it was nice. Since we were the first patrons for dinner service, the dining area was completely empty...we had the "place" to ourselves.
To quench our thirst, we ordered iced tea. Well the only iced tea they served was bottled pomogranate green tea by The Republic of Tea. Expensive iced tea...but it did taste great.
Zazou's on-line menu and in-house menu differ considerably. The in-house menu has an extensive seasonal menu which made deciding what to eat difficult...so many tasty choices!
The bread basket of rosemary foccaccia and olive bread was yummy. The bread was served with a light, spicy tomato sauce instead of butter. I should have requested butter.
To start we had Deep-fried Stuffed Squash Blossoms, Escargot in Herbed Garlic Butter Sauce, and North African Style Fritto Misto with Harissa dipping sauce and Lemon Basil Aioli. The squash blossoms were cooked perfectly...crispy, not oily with the cheese filling that was hot and ooey-gooey. And you know you can't go wrong when any food is cooked and served in herbed garlic butter sauce. Plus the butter sauce was perfect for dipping the bread! The fritto misto was composed of lightly battered and deep-fried calamari and smelt. The calamari and smelt, too were cooked excellently, crispy exterior and tender interior. I preferred the aioli over the harissa, a Tunisian chili sauce, because the lemon complemented the seafood better than the spice. My only gripe about the fritto misto was that there weren't that many smelts.
For our next course, we ordered soup. My cousin got the Soup Du Jour which was a butternut squash soup. I don't care much for squash so I ordered the mushroom soup. While my soup looked creamy, it was in fact very light and bursting with mushroom earthy goodness. It was perfect on a cold night.
The entree I ordered was the Center Cut Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola Merlot sauce and Pommes Frites. My cousin decided on getting something out of the ordinary for her...she ordered pork...the Kurobuta Pork Chop with Baby Spinach Salad. A sign of a good restaurant for me is if they can cook beef the way I like it...barely medium rare...and Zazou is a GOOD restaurant. My filet mignon was cut thick...so when I cut into it the center was red, bloody, and rare...mmm the best way to eat a great cut of beef! The sauce was equally fabulous...the sharp flavors of the gorgonzola and merlot gave each bite of beef a kick. The sauce was also a tasty for dipping my pommes frites. Kurobuta pork comes from a breed of Berkshire pig and has meat marbling comparable to Wagyu Beef. The pork chop was lightly battered then pan-fried. Surprisingly, the pork chop was moist and juicy. The only thing lacking on the pork dish was a sauce so my cousin used my sauce.
I believe every meal should end with dessert...and this meal was no exception. We ordered the Bread Pudding and Chocolate Monaco. The bread pudding was served warm so the custard was ooey-gooey. A big plus was the visible vanilla beans. Chocolate Monaco was a light chocolate and coffee mousse encased in a dark chocolate ganache. This dessert was rich and decadent...mmm so yummy!
Zazou is lovely restaurant to celebrate special occasions or a romantic and intimate dinner. According to Zazou's website, the upstairs portion of the restaurant is reserved as a banquet hall. Parking can be difficult...only street parking. The service by the wait staff was quick and attentive. Though I rated the restaurant as expensive, there are certainly affordable beginnings, entrees, and house specialties to accommodate more frugal diners. I definitely plan to dine here again!
Part of the To Live and Dine in L.A. travel blog
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