Staci, Jason, and I took a spontaneous meander along Hollywood Boulevard last Sunday in search of late-night foodstuffs. Without benefit of an automobile, we’ve learned not to be too picky about our neighborhood’s culinary choices, especially when we depart on such quests after most shops have been shuttered shut with faces of Hollywood past to sleepily wait for Monday morning. Sure, we could have ordered from one of a million Thai places that deliver ’til whenever-o’clock, but getting out of the house was our primary goal.
Good thing, too, or we might’ve missed a gem in our very own garden!
Much to our delight, we found a place that’s open late (2 am on Sundays, for crying out loud! 4 am on Fridays and Saturdays!) and has an atmosphere of warm, sophisticated coziness. The welcoming glow of Brasserie Les Voyous (which can be translated into something like “the bad boys,” “rascals,” or “mischievous ones”) invited us to get off the dark street, come in, and leave our cares behind. Residing in a courtyard space in Janes Square that was formerly held hostage by several of the Boulevard’s ubiquitous souvenir shops, Les Voyous reclaims the potential of its surroundings with confidence. Paintings by local artist Aiysha adorn and perfectly compliment the walls, and an outdoor patio runs along the restaurant’s length in a way that balances and integrates itself with the seating inside.
Our waiter, Chris Ivancevic, was most helpful in providing us with fine conversation and a refreshing assortment of whiskey (and whisky!) while we pondered the extensive menu and its tempting wares…
Oh, haven’t I mentioned the food? I saved the best for last! That night, Chef Christophe Bonnegrace and Sous Chef David Mathiason whipped up a mean carte du jour. Although we avoided some of the more adventurous fare (Moelle et pain grille, also known as Bone Marrow with Toast), Jason and I each decided on the Salmon in Mustard Sauce and Tomato Provencale while Staci went for the Mushroom Quiche. Remember what I said about not being picky about Hollywood’s late-night culinary choices? Phooey on that noise; the bar’s been raised! What we experienced was simply the most scrumptious fare any of us have had, ever. Sure, we ain’t food critics, but we know what we like! Salmon so mouth-wateringly tender it practically melted on contact, and quiche with a crust so deliciously firm and buttery — these are the inspirations of legend!
Nova Scotian transplant and Les Voyous’ Owner Viviane Amyoony stopped by our table to make sure we were enjoying ourselves, and then hung around to chat with us well into the evening. Friendly and elegant, Viviane has spent every waking moment of the past year in planning all the details of this splendid little restaurant, and her diligence shows — Les Voyous is clearly her labor of love, and it is a child well cared for. The only complaint we had for her was that the complimentary bread should be served warm (aren’t we whining little crybabies?), and she agreed, saying that they’ve been looking either towards having it provided by a (currently undiscovered) local bakery or perhaps into making their own. Les Voyous is a work in progress (having been open for such a short time), and this is just one of the developments Viviane is overseeing towards what we know will be a happy solution.
Having lived in the neighborhood for the better part of a decade, we’ve seen good places come and go. Let’s hope Les Voyous is as resilient as nearby Musso & Frank’s and we’ll be toasting to its success 85 years from now! Vive Les Voyous!
6541 Hollywood Blvd., #102