Dining details: Bastide


Rating: *** 1/2

Location: 8475 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, (323) 651-5950.

Ambience: Elegant and romantic contemporary restaurant set in a small house with walled, lavender-scented garden in front, the setting the creation of Paris design guru Andrée Putman. The new chef is Paul Shoemaker, former chef de cuisine at Providence.

Service: Exceptionally attentive and informed.

Price: Appetizers, $22 to $26; main courses, $36 to $40; desserts, $12; eight-course chef's menu, $125 per person; wine pairings, $110 per person.

Best dishes: Menu changes frequently. Japanese tai sashimi, spiny lobster, wild French turbot, Sonoma lamb, veal, Kobe beef, chocolate cream, caramelized pain perdu.

Wine list: Extraordinarily wide-ranging and exciting. No outside bottles allowed.

Best table: One at the edge of the garden, or the chef's table looking into the kitchen.

Special features: Wine bar open during restaurant hours; all wines $18 per glass.

Details: Open for dinner from 6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Free valet parking.

Rating is based on food, service and ambience, with price taken into account in relation to quality. ****: Outstanding on every level. ***: Excellent. **: Very good. *: Good. No star: Poor to satisfactory.

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