Santos Uy, the owner behind wine bars Bacaro and Mignon, tackles a new obsession tonight at Papilles, his attempt to import the Parisian bistronomique movement into an East Hollywood strip mall. As detailed on the restaurant's website, Uy was inspired to highlight the culinary movement by a recent trip to France, where he was so taken with the abundance of high-quality, economically accessible new bistro cooking that, upon returning to Cali, he even considered enrolling into cooking school. That's just about the time Santos' friend, Tim Carey, a former San Diego fishmonger and veteran of Tony Ensault's kitchen at Patina, stepped in to push him away from the idea, taking up the exec chef keel at Papilles.
It is now Carey's job to translate an obsession spawned by Uy's vacation onto L.A.'s plate, as Papilles will have to contend with terrific and reasonably priced French favorites like L'Epicerie, Madame Chou Chou, and Le Saint Amour and tangle with loyalties to proven, if notably more expensive, neighborhood Gallic phenoms like Church & State and Cafe Stella. That is, at least until Walter Manzke opens his own bistronomique-based restaurant in Downtown next year. Carey's assignment steepens the more owner the throws out his stated aim to provide "Michelin-star" quality cuisine, raising both the stakes and expectations.
To fulfill Uy's vision, Papilles plans to offer constantly changing three-course pre-fixes priced between $25-40, with options like braised veal and beef cheeks, Idaho ruby trout with red quinoa, house-cured opah belly, artisanal cheeses, and a curated selection of French wines, both by two weekly carafe options and a few others by the bottle (do not try to bring your own, you've been warned).
Taking over a decrepit location of Raffalo's Pizza, Papilles will begin on this ambitious endeavor tonight at 6:00 P.M. Following the opening, the restaurant will operate Monday through Thursday, 6:00-11:00 P.M. and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Sunday will be the restaurant's only day-off.
Papilles, 6221 Franklin Ave. Hollywood.