Cozy and Intimate Soleil
Soleil has a doll house cuteness, one of those special places you might have found while on a vacation; remembered for its delicious bistro-type menu. It would be hard to drive by the restaurant without noticing the tables dressed in white linens; enclosed in their latticed patio with a back-drop of large French glass doors. It’s a cozy intimate place where one could appreciate the primitive charm of ceramic sun-symbols on the walls (all reasonably priced for sale from $5 up) and a sky blue ceiling that sparkles with an artistically painted moon and stars. As it get darker outside, the ceiling becomes more alive. The restaurant is charming, and the owner is very French!
Being that the Westwood area is a college town, the menu features a special section where one can design their choice of Linguini or Farfalle for $8.95, with selections of Pumpkin, or Chicken Ravioli for $10.95. The diner may then choose his or her favorite sauce for the embellishment. Choices are Olive Oil & Garlic, garlic butter and marinara, (no charge) Alfredo and various creams, Arabiatta, (spicy) and Checca, ($2.50 each). Add-ins are priced at $1.50 or three for $4, including pine nuts, mushrooms, onions, anchovies, mixed vegetables, goat cheese, or sun dried tomato. However, if you want chicken, Italian Sausage, shrimp or salmon added, it's an extra $3.95-$5.95. People seem to love the concept, it's fun.
Saturday and Sunday brunch begins at 10:00am to 3:00pm, featuring all kinds of egg dishes, including "Benedict," along with French toast, omelets, (also create your own) and "Crepes." Other egg items include the French Burrito stuffed with a scramble and bacon. The omelets are interesting, with various ingredients, like goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes, (which I had) chicken, mushrooms, smoked salmon, Italian sausage and the list is endless, including "Ratatouille." All omelets are served with French fries and salad. In addition there are a fantastic variety of sandwiches priced from $5.50 to $12.95 (for steak, with Brie cheese).
There's always excitement of some kind at this place, such as on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, from 11:30am to 3:00pm, lunch is $10! Some selections are Italian sausages over wild rice; half roasted chicken with French fries; Lasagna; also vegetable omelettes,
You might want to call for the dates of their "wine tastings" from 1:00-4:00pm. It takes place on Saturday's once a month; also Wine Tasting Dinner's about every two months!
The regular menu has terrific salads, where one can add a chicken breast, shrimp, or salmon, and the portions are large so consider sharing. In fact, their Rose Salad is a whole head of butter lettuce with Dijon vinaigrette dressing and walnuts. Or you might try the Caesar. My favorite is the Soleil mixture of greens with Gorgonzola cheese tossed in a fantastic balsamic dressing, The vinaigrette was so delicious that we were sopping it up with bread after the lettuce was gone. We also had crab cakes on a bed of lettuce. Even the appetizers get rave reviews.
Entrees range in price from $13.95 to 22.95 for great tasting New York Steak, and one can add Tiger Shrimp to the order for an extra buck! One of my favorite entrée's is Duck in Grand Marnier a'la Orange. However, there's also Lamb Shank, Steak Piaiola over pasta, and double chicken breast with shrimp, beef stewed in wine sauce and vegetables, also lamb chops. And each entrée is sided with vegetables and potatoes. Everything is prepared a'la French.
Moreover, if you're thinking of having a party, Soleil will do lunch for a minimum of 20-people; no minimum for dinner. Off the premises catering is available with free delivery for more than 30-people.
1386 Westwood Blvd., LA, CA; (3l0)44l-5384; Major credit cards accepted; delivery available (walking distance); take-outs;
Free parking next door at Borders, or on the street. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 5:00pm. It's joyous eating in a nifty place, where you can get a dollar’s worth for a buck, … at last! Lunch with French fries and salad, sandwiches, or pasta, $10.95-$13.95. Terrific desserts, $5.95. In addition, lo-carb diets are available. www.soleilwestwood.com or FAX (310)441-5395. As a neighborhood bistro, it doesn't get better, go for it. Zagat rated Soleil as one of the best restaurants in Westwood.