A slice of France can be found in the El Dorado building in downtown Los Angeles. Le Petit Paris offers French food on a grand scale. The expansive restaurant has multiple skylights, a mezzanine level, and a lounge. The open space sparkles with gorgeous chandeliers and intimate bistro tables. The vast menu includes a wide assortment of traditional French dishes such as escargot and the most popular dish is a cognac flambeed truffle pasta in a wheel of Parmesan cheese. Pursuitist checked in with restaurateurs David and Fanny Rolland to see how this restaurant came to be and what they love about DTLA.
Why did you decide to bring Le Petit Paris to Los Angeles?
We have another Le Petit Paris restaurant in Cannes (south of France), but we wanted a new experience and we love LA. The best way for us to start a new adventure was to bring our knowledge and do what we know best. We try our best to please our American clientele and make it an authentic experience.
How did you discover the El Dorado building? What changes did you make to the space?
Our friend and broker in DTLA, Alex Limandri, brought us to the El Dorado, and we immediately fell in love with the beauty of the building and its architecture. We changed everything on the interior. It was not a restaurant, so we built the kitchen, and set up everything for a restaurant. But we wanted to keep the authenticity of the building as much as possible as it is a historical treasure, the stairs, the columns, the floor tile….are historical too.
Do you think the perception of French food has changed over time?
Not really. For American people, French food means onion soup, escargots, croque monsieur, beef bourguignon…. and when a French restaurant opens in America it needs to have these dishes on the menu because American people want to experience them.
What’s next for you? Another restaurant or something different?
This restaurant is very huge and there is a lot of work. So, for now, there are not any more projects.
How do you think Los Angeles is changing? What makes you most excited about the city right now? We have been in DTLA for 7 years and we have seen a lot of new construction, more people, more restaurants, etc. It will be very exciting if DTLA becomes like Manhattan (New York), even if it is on a smaller scale. We are very excited to see this city continue to grow with a lot of stores, terraces, people walking in the street, tourists, and more and more activities.
What do you like to do for fun in Los Angeles? What do you recommend for visitors to the area?
We love to go to the beach, Santa Monica, Manhattan, Venice, Malibu. We are used to being near the Mediterranean Sea! We recommend that visitors to stay longer than just 3 or 4 days! There are so many things to do in LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice, Santa Monica. We love hiking in the mountains, going to the theaters, LA Live, and museums, as well as the art district. And of course, come visit Le Petit Paris. On Wednesdays, we have a special Jazz Menu and live jazz music from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM. We also have Happy Hour from 4:30 PM to 7:00 from Sunday to Friday with $1 Oysters, bottomless rosé and other food items starting at just $5!