The grand eclair at Le Petit Paris in downtown L.A. is $22.(Amy Scattergood / Los Angeles Times)
The croque monsieur from Le Petit Paris in downtown L.A.(Amy Scattergood / Los Angeles Times)
The Le Petit Paris signature salad comes with a poached egg, crisp potatoes, croutons and smoked duck breast.(Amy Scattergood / Los Angeles Times)
One of the images of the Eiffel Tower at Le Petit Paris in downtown L.A.(Amy Scattergood / Los Angeles Times)
The main dining room at Le Petit Paris in downtown L.A.(Amy Scattergood / Los Angeles Times)
The staircase at Le Petit Paris in downtown L.A.(Amy Scattergood / Los Angeles Times)
Name: Le Petit Paris.
Concept: A French restaurant by Fanny and David Rolland, who opened their first Le Petit Paris, a Parisian brasserie in Cannes, 15 years ago. Le Petit Paris in downtown is in the lobby of the El Dorado building, where Charlie Chaplin once lived.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth: You can order a $22 éclair. It’s not dipped in gold, nor does it come with a glass of Champagne. The grand éclair just happens to be the size of your forearm.
The pâte à choux has a crisp exterior with a light, chewy center, and rather than a classic chocolate glaze on top, there are dollops of chocolate pastry cream, a heavy dusting of cocoa powder and raspberries. And in the center of the éclair, more chocolate pastry cream.
Your new go-to lunch order: The goat cheese and caramelized apple millefeuille or the croque monsieur. The millefeuille is a tower of warm goat cheese layered with thick slices of sweet caramelized apple, served over a mixed green salad dressed with a honey vinaigrette. The croque monsieur is a classic version of the French ham and cheese sandwich, covered in plenty of bubbly cheese.
What’s that on the walls and on your placemat? The Eiffel Tower. In case you forget this is a French restaurant, there are multiple black and white images of the Eiffel Tower in the dining room and images of the structure on every placemat to remind you. There’s also patio furniture, and a single red rose on each circular, white marble table. The chandeliers sparkle, the staircase is grand, and the entire room will make you think of “The Great Gatsby.” And in case you don’t make the Gatsby reference yourself, there’s an image of Leonardo DiCaprio, as Gatsby, behind the bar.
The service: Friendly. The host and multiple managers speak French, so if you’re planning a winter trip to Paris and would like to brush up on your French, this is the place to do it. Your waitress, who doesn’t happen to speak French, is attentive and willing to make suggestions.
Info: 418 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, (213) 217-4445, www.lpparis.com.
Forget the plate. I’ll have the cheese cart. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_