At Bastide in West Hollywood, chef Alain Giraud pays tribute to Provence with a menu and a restaurant thoroughly in the spirit of his native region. He conjures up the fragrant lavender fields of Provence in his signature dessert, a vacherin glace. It looks like a fabulous albino porcupine: a mound of the seductively perfumed lavender ice cream heaped with softly whipped cream and embellished with fragile teardrop-shaped meringues and little spears of ruby strawberries.
As if that’s not enough, he lays on a crimson lake of raspberry coulis. To make the heady ice cream, Giraud steeps dried buds of imported lavender and vanilla bean in heavy cream. Alternate bites of this incredibly smooth ice cream with the tender powdery meringues and the bright slashes of berry. Altogether dreamy.