Le Petit Cafe

4.6
253 reviews
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$30 and under
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French
Established in 1994, Le Petit Cafe offers homemade French cuisine in a welcoming, informal atmosphere. This little bistro is located in east Santa Monica and offers separate lunch and dinner menus. The interior is charming and cozy, with small tables along the walls and an assortment of vibrant artwork by Californian artists. Many of the ingredients are sourced from local farmers and vendors such as Santa Monica Seafood and Ca'd'Oro Bakery.
Le Petit Cafe's executive chef and owner Robert Bourget has trained and worked in renowned restaurants in Europe and the United States as a saucier and chef. The menu reflects his experience and passion for creating authentic French cuisine. Favorite dishes at Le Petit Cafe include sandabs with a lemon caper sauce, calf's liver with sauteed shallots and the rainbow trout with almandine sauce. The day's specials are listed on a large chalkboard, adding to the delightful ambience.
What 253 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DC
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

The food was spectacular and the service was very adequate. Prices are fair. The only thing that may prevent our going back is being charged $20 for corkage. Dan Carmean

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JT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I really enjoyed my sand dabs I always order them when I am here. The service was very good, a very attentive waitstaff. The noise level was loud when we first arrived. There were only 4 of us when we arrived, the 2 of us and 2 ladies at another table who were just ordering beverages no food and they were quite loud. Interestingly enough after they left and the restaurant was full it was less noisy! I booked our reservation on Open Table forgetting that I made the reservation and my friend made the reservation for the theater next door so the owner couldn't find the reservation and I got a notice from Open Table that I would be charged. I spoke to the owner she changed it to seated and all was good! I have been here 3 or 4 times and I really enjoy the restaurant

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ZB
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place was fabulous - We had such a great dining experience. Thank you!

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FR
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a hidden jewel! Excellent food, friendly service, peaceful ambience and a great value.

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ML
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We often go to Le Petit as it's not a overwhelmed on a Friday night as other restaurants. The noise level allows adults to have a conversation (unless there is a horrible table next to you. The trout is sublime! Hope I am not ruining our future experience by giving them a rave review

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B
Los Angeles
26 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

My granddaughter and I were attending a play next door so we chose this place for food and location. I have filet mignon with pepper sauce. It was good, but had some gristle, which kind of reduced my enjoyment. My granddaughter had the salmon with dill sauce. It was heavy on the sauce and very rich. She liked it, but she couldn’t eat much as it was so rich. The berry dessert was delicious. The service was great and we loved the small French atmosphere. The menu was very limited.

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CI
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was pleased with everything about my experience. The food was delicious, the service was friendly, prompt, and helpful, and the ambiance was very lovely.

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LA
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place! It's charming, the service is very friendly and attentive, and the food is delicious and often unique, such as the mushroom salad! The sanddabs are wonderful, and hard to find on menus anywhere else. We often feel we've stepped into a bistro in a village somewhere in France...

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CS
Los Angeles
13 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve been going to this restaurant since it opened. EVERY time the food, service, ambience is Great!! Can’t wait to go again.

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f
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excelent good for couples. Good service. Love the food. Good wine. Pront and courteous service. Romantic

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S
Los Angeles
275 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

Superb food and fine service. The only caveat is that it is much too noisy and it's hard to converse. Don't they know that people want to talk with their friends???

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RG
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Such a nice restaurant. I will visit it frequently

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v
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

You have to try this place at least once if you like country French. Always make a reservation as it is almost always at capacity.

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f
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We've been coming here for years and our experience has always been consistently wonderful! Our favorites are the mushroom salad and poached salmon. We've tried lots of other menu items as well and they are all delicious. Seriously. This is also a great place to meet friends. Very friendly staff and management. Neighborhood gem but well worth the drive if you're looking for authentic French cuisine.

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w
Los Angeles
50 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just a lovely, charming and delicious spot. The food is traditional French, but very well done. One of us had the sand dabs, fresh and delicate, very lemony and capery. The other had the onion soup. We shared the chocolate tarte, rich and dark. Everything was thoroughly enjoyable and service was attentive but unobtrusive—a delightful lunch.

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S
New York Area
46 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Le Petit Cafe is a charming, authentic French cafe complete with French-accented staff and authentic French cooking. The food was delicious, the service friendly, and the atmosphere warm and cozy. Our only suggestion is that they serve authentic French butter (or at least non-frozen butter) with the crusty, tasty French bread. The frozen butter patties, broke the spell.

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R
Los Angeles
13 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Le Petiit Cafe is a great favorite of mine. The welcome is always very warm and the food delicious. I'm especially fond of the sand dabs and the calve's liver. There are many places in Los Angeles for great Italian or Japanese food but for affordable and truly inspired French food there is really only one place. Please don't change a thing!

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RG
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We had a lovely meal the other night before an event at a theater nearby. It was 6:30 on a Tuesday and the restaurant was probably half full, so the noise level was fine and we were able to have conversations over the delicious sand dabs and cassoulet white bean /sausage stew. Dessert was not to be missed either! It had been years since I'd been to Le Petit Café and now I will be sure to be back often.

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ME
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this restaurant! Consistently delicious and high quality French food.
I would run back for their sand dabs anytime.

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SH
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I am familiar with your restaurant & have eaten there many times over the years. I am disappointed that there is very little change in the menu lately. I used to especially like Bouliabaise but haven't seen it on the menu for several years. Do you no longer make it? What a pity. I had the trout...it was tasty but had way too much sauce on it. It was hardly recognizable. and swimming in sauce. You couldn't even taste the trout. When I go to a restaurant I expect the food to be at the very least as good as I can make it at home. Frankly I was disappointed. My guest was very happy with her steak however.

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f
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 3

We both have some hearing issues, and so, we really appreciated that we were seated at a table where sounds weren't bouncing all around us. :)

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EG
Los Angeles
51 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

If you can tolerate the noise level, it’s lovely. If you can accept that the wait staff is young and not terribly attuned to customers’ needs, it’s fine. So go early, go late, or take earplugs.

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MA
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our party of three shared the warm goat cheese salad which was baby mixed greens with 2 small toasted slices of French bread topped with warm goat cheese. It was the salad dressing that truly impressed. My main course was sandabs, cooked to perfection with an amazing lemon caper sauce. On OpenTable, I had indicated it was my birthday and though no one asked, they brought out a lovely flan topped with blackberries and a candle and sang, Happy Birthday. It was a wonderful experience.

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MK
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

VERY limited menu with a poor wine selection. Food was average, but there was no real layering of flavors. Service was poor. The deserts looked fabulous although I passed on all. Nothing about Le Petit Cafe should make you run out and try it. There are much better truly French restaurants in Los Angeles (e.g., Le Petit Four and The Little Door) .

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KK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always absolutely wonderful !

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LB
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Charming, friendly French cafe with great fish dishes and salads. The waitresses were efficient but friendly. Get there before 6 as it seemed crowded and noisier by 7 pm. We'd definitely return!

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LL
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

ALWAYS JUST THE RIGHT PLACE TO BE! GREAT FOOD, LOVELY SERVICE!

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DW
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place. Nicer now that construction next door is complete, so there is not a hole in the earth, just another building. My only complaint is I ordered one of the specials and then I was told it was not available. The staff sang "Happy Birthday" to my date and that was wonderful. The escargot was wonderful. The duck was wonderful. The trout was wonderful. The staff is top notch.

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j
Los Angeles
13 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was excellent like a small restaurant in paris

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GB
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was excellent !
Not said lightly . 👍🏻

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Wonderful restaurant and lovely decor. The two fish specials were identical except for the type of fish. Trout almondine and Sand dabs. Delicious though.

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Q
Los Angeles
25 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

The food, service, and ambiance were great. The noise level was unbearable. Please consider tablecloths and fabric hanging on walls to absorb sound. Consider washable carpeting or carpeting squares, all to absorb sound.

Quietseeker

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DV
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great ....
Wonderful ambiance; like being in France

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Q
Los Angeles
16 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Charming decor and excellent service. Food was very good except for the mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes were flavorless and had the look, taste & texture of instant mashed potatoes. I hope the potato problem is improved because the rest of the food was excellent.

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SS
Los Angeles
62 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

While the food we ordered was very good items on the menu were not available. At 6:00 pm the onion soup was sold out and the lamb chops we were told was a special was sold out as the waitress came back and said “sorry sold out”. I could understand later in the evening, but 6:00 pm? Tables are very close together.

I doubt we will return.

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W
Los Angeles
20 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 1ambience 4

Food was very good but the service was strange. When they served our main course one was missing. It was then they announced they were out of crab cakes and they forgot to tell us. The three of us with food shared with the “overlooked.”

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M
Los Angeles
48 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

I went there with my young daughter and we waited forever for our food. Arrived at 7 and left at 8:45 and we only ordered les escargots (which were very bland), Cesar salad and quiche and hot chocolate! No apologies for the mixup with the servers taking our orders and not communicating about what we had actually ordered. Restaurant was half empty so no excuse for ‘busy’ kitchen. Sorry but I’ve been to several casual and high end french restos in LA and this is one you can definitely miss trying.

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LR
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Food was excellent. Small restaurant homey ambience. Always a great choice

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BC
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent French cuisine. The duck and trout dishes were outstanding. Wine selection solid. Really a pleasure in this generally inflated, disappointing market, and a perfect thing to do before attending a theater event next door.

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N
San Diego
27 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

very nice neighborhood restaurant - limited wine list; service was a bit on the slow side as they got busier. Soup was very good but one of their evening specialty was medicore.

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