Tuesday, June 15, 2010

(Still) Searching for Croque Monsieur: Little Next Door, Los Angeles

It was all through impromptu texting and the awesomeness that we call BBE (Black Board Eats 30% discount codes) that I managed to meet my friends Joan of the Hungry Hungry Hungry Hippo and fabulous Writer-Actress-Producer-Model friend Ruchika at the Little Next Door one evening for drinks and treats. I had been to Little Next Door once before after church with my Greek parea but was fasting from animal products so I only tried the lentil and beet salads. This time I came back with vengeance!

Rose Hibiscus with Prosecco: almost too pretty to drink, but we even ate the blossom!

Fresh French Bread and Spiced Olive Oil + Balsamic

We started off with the Gnocchi in Truffled Mushroom Cream Sauce; a whirlwind of earthly mushroom flavor, rich cream and doughy gnocchi with just a tad of crunch from the adorning walnuts. The sauce danced on my tongue and coated my mouth in a very good way. We did not let it go to waste by sopping up the remaining deliciousness with our spare French bread slices. Joan and I both liked this dish the best.

Gnocchi Truffle Shroom Yummies

 I had high expectations for the Croque Monsieur ($12) with grilled ham and cheese on whole wheat bread. But it wasn't really a sandwich. It was just one side of a sandwich and lacking the battered crispy lust that a Croque should/could have. When I lamented to my friend Diana the next day about my disappointment she informed they recently changed their Croque structure into that of an open face design. Boooooooooo!!!

Croque Monsieur: I'll keep dreaming (and searching) for now

 The Leek and Gruyere Tart ($8.50) served with house green salad that Ruchika ordered was cute enough and made for a perfect little bite. I had a bite and really I love leeks and gruyere so this tart could never ever do me wrong.

Leek and Gruyere Tart

And another tasty beverage :)

Ruchika has a keen eye for not so fresh pastries and the majority seemed to be looking a bit funky that evening except for the simple choux a la creme which she spotted as a winner. My mom used to make Cream Puffs once in a while when I was a kid and we'd eat them all within hours of their oven exit. These were super fresh - just like the ones I had as a kid. The cream filling was not too heavy and had a robust vanilla flavor. The sugar on top looked almost offensive but it wasn't cloying.

'Fo Choux!

I still want to find a really good Croque Monsieur if anyone knows of a good place (outside of Paris), please comment with advise!

Little Next Door
8142 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048


weezermonkey said...

You did a great job with the photos in this post!

Diana said...

My favorite croque (since LND changed theirs!) is the croque madame at Campanile's Grilled Cheese Night. We must go some Thursday before you leave for Portland!

Banana Wonder said...

Weezermonkey - Thanks, and that means a lot coming from you!

Diana - Yes, please we need a TALF GC night!

Ivy said...

Looks like a great place with fabulous food. Pity the croque Monsieur didn't meet your expectations.

Kung Food Panda said...

You know, that gnocchi dish looks awesome!!

Just FYI, the croque monsieur at Petrossian is fantastic! :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That is a great place! Those gnocchi and choux look to die for! I'm sorry to hear that you are still looking for the perfect croque-monsieur...



Banana Wonder said...

Ivy - Highly photogenic food :) Still searching for the CM! Any ideas?

Danny - Good to know, and darn, I was just at Petrossian

Rosa - that gnocchi was scrumptious and extremely rich! So good!