Where the outer reaches of Santa Monica end and Brentwood begins can be confusing to the passerby but any confusion ended when we arrived at the gate of L'Ami Restaurant. And we use the word "gate" literally since and iron gate does guard the entrance of this picturesque restaurant.
Inside this description continues with blue painted ceilings, passageways decorated with fixtures from an earlier era and open air terraces.
Just as inviting is the bar lounge with white shearling covered bar chairs for conversation around the fireplace.
Our party was greeted by General Manager Tropez Aubour and Chef Francis Bey and after some conversation it was decided to let Chef Bey chose our French and Mediterranean styled appetizers and entrees.
So soon before us was the Mezze Appetizer with homemade Pita, flatbread, kibbeh, falafel and Spanekopita. Also grilled Octopus, broiled mussels with crispy bread crumb and spinach and the beets-burrata tower that included baby arugula and candied walnuts. Also an outstanding Foie Gras au Torchon. which we all agreed was one of the best we had ever experienced. Our entrees started with Chicken Grand Mere that included mushrooms french beans, bacon, pearl onions and fingerling potatoes. To go with it the wild mushroom farro risotto.
Other entrees on the menu include Scottish salmon, roasted Maine lobster, baby lamb shank, and filet mignon.
Service here is impeccable with the table swept clean after each course to be replaced with fresh china and silver. The wine list is large and offers selections from the best wine producing countries, world wide.
Our wines was Barons de Rothchild 2014 Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina.
Summing up L'Ami presents a classic French cuisine in a quiet, serene ambiance and an elegant graceful decor.
We immediately decided that this was indeed a five star restaurant.
L'Ami is located at 246 26th Street in Santa Monica and open six days a week. For more information call 310 310-8064, web www.lamirestaurant.com.