While staying at Hollywood Tower in LA visiting a friend, I decided it would be a great idea to visit La Poubelle and meet the owners. The Franklin Village located French Brasserie /Hollywood fixture was only a ten minute walk from the tower. I had heard a lot of great things about the restaurant for years from friends who love the place. It’s actually a shock that I never paid a previous visit, considering I lived in Los Angeles for eight years prior to moving to New York.
La Poubelle exhibits the essence of a Parisian brasserie aesthetic well beyond any themed décor that could ever be purchased. After all, the Marais is about as far from Hollywood in style as it is in miles. Yet, passing through the threshold of La Poubelle one weekday evening felt like 5,561 miles had gone by in a matter of footsteps. Upon being seated I was quick to notice the space had a unique and cool vibe for Hollywood. Not that Hollywood doesn’t have any cool or unique spots to offer, but I have found more and more that newer restaurants in LA border on the gaudy -far from the case at La Poubelle. I also couldn’t help but notice that everyone in the restaurant, patrons and staff alike were all so gorgeous looking. The staff contributed greatly to my sense of well being by imparting the idea that they were to guide how I was doing rather than just what I would order. I ended up trying the Escargot, soupe à l’oignon and Frisée aux Lardons. All were delicious, beautifully prepared and had that authentic French brasserie essence.
I met founder Jacqueline Koster who moved to LA from France in the sixties and worked very hard to open La Poubelle as a creperie all the way back in 1969. Her lovely daughter Francoise now runs the restaurant and you could truly sense a strong sense of loyalty from the staff towards both mother and daughter. I enjoyed some wine with both Jacqueline and Francoise in the piano bar/events space located next door to the brasserie. We discussed everything from business to relationships. Francoise mentioned a business venture she’s working on in New York City and we talked about her Pit Bull rescue efforts around Los Angeles. Some of the stories she told me about going out to rescue dogs from abusive situations almost brought me to tears. Jacqueline gave me great advise relating to ‘man-issues’, I was having. I was so happy to meet both of these awesome women and it made me understand why they have such a loyal following. After several glasses of red wine too many, I decided it was time to go. I said goodbye to everyone, put my headphones on and listened to La Foule by Edith Piaf, as I stumbled back to the Tower.