“Lazy Tuesdays” at Bagatelle

Last Tuesday marked the first “Lazy Tuesdays” promotion at Bagatelle (www.bistrotbagatelle.com) in West Hollywood. While the title might implicate a laid back, relaxing meal there’s nothing “lazy” about it unless you consider the dinner is a set four-course menu, prix fixe at $45 per person and that it’s served family style.

The menu will change seasonally and vary each week, but on Tuesday, it looked like this:

First Course
Summer Melon Salad
with Lemon Crouton, Terviso, Fennel Vinaigrette

Second Course
Smoked Trout
with Roasted Beets, Marcona Almonds, Medjool Vinaigrette

Third Course
Marinated Hangar Steak
with Sweet Corn Succatash, Bagatelle Thousand Island Dressing

Fourth Course
Bagatelle’s Banana Cheesecake

It was recommended we try their signature bottle of Bertaud Belieu Rose for a reduced price of $45 per bottle, to which we obliged, along with sampling their signature cocktails, many of which can be shared among a group in a scorpion-like bowl (we decided to pass on that).

Here’s the deal. The food was terrific – the main course far outshining the rest and a reason to return for more. Keep in mind — with a set menu, this is not the best choice for vegetarians unless you make arrangements in advance. While not a dessert lover there’s a few I can’t refuse, one being Bananas Foster and Bagatelle’s banana cheesecake is more like the classic NOLA dish with a side of cheesecake and that suited me just fine! The cocktails were excellent, my personal favorite being the “Fuzzy Bee” made of Hendricks gin, lavender honey, fresh lemon, and champagne.

But… and there is a big but…

I suppose had I checked the website in advance (which features house music), or was more in-the-know about Bagatelle’s famously wild brunches in New York, I might have been prepared for the one thing that didn’t well, vibe, with me.

Let me be clear — I have no problem with house music. In fact, I think it can be rather fun to get down to. But not while dining, and especially not in a restaurant with gorgeous chandeliers, white tablecloths, romantic candlelight, and among friends with whom you’d like to converse. To be fair, my friends and I still had a lovely evening; just not the one we were expecting.

This is not a critique on Bagatelle alone however. It seems to be a trend across the country and the world in fact (I recently had this very experience in a hotel in Africa of all places!) where to be “cool” means to play swanky, electronic music that begs a party-like atmosphere. To that I say, “No thank you!”

If I wanted that atmosphere, I’d head down the block to Greystone Manor with my dancing shoes on. To dine with a DJ spinning in the background is just not what dining is about to me. It’s like having a television in a restaurant that is not a sports bar – it doesn’t belong. And certainly not when a dining experience is marketed as “lazy.” “Crazy Tuesdays” would be more appropriate.

What I expected was some soothing Louis Armstrong, perhaps something classic like Edith Piaf, or even more upbeat music with a New Orleans twist — jazzy, bluesy — but not a DJ and not house music that makes you want to eat fast, chomp furiously, and imbibe like your cocktail is a shot.

It’s not Bagatelle’s fault – all the “cool kids” are doing it; I just hang with a different crowd. It could be age, it could be simply preference. I’m sure there are plenty out there in the 21 to 27 age bracket who would disagree with me… The sames ones who showed up after 9 pm for dinner, but chose to drink instead.

What I can say is that I’d return to Bagatelle for the cocktails on a different night. I’d even return for the delicious food. But next time I’d like to actually enjoy the food and let it digest properly, so if “DJ Fist Pump” is in the house, I’ll take my four courses home and eat in peace.

If you go check it out tonight, please let us know your thoughts!! Tweet us @ThePacificPunch.

Bagatelle West Hollywood
755 N La Cienega
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(310) 659-3900
About Lindsay Taub:
Lindsay Taub is an LA-based writer/editor who covers travel, lifestyle, culture, music/arts, food, wellness, and more. She calls Los Angeles home when she's there, but prefers to leave the city for the mountains and open spaces as often as possible. She loves cooking, gardening, live music, hiking with her three rescue dogs, and rustic luxury. Follow her on instagram/twitter @lindsaytaub and follow the Pacific Punch @ThePacificPunch or email lindsaytaub58@gmail.com. Learn more at www.lindsaytaub.com and www.voyagevixens.com .***


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