by: Serita Stevens

Photo credit: La Petit Château Restaurant

Nestled in the heart of North Hollywood South, just between Universal Studios and the famed El Portal Theatre and often used for executive lunches or after theatre repartee is the French restaurant, Le Petit Chateau.   Located at 4615 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, Ca 91602, they can be reached at 818 769 1812

An attractive French cottage style building, it stands out next to the tall monolithic bank buildings and car dealerships, which surround it.  The romantic quaint inside, decorated as a King’s hunting lodge, complete with beams and fireplace, has the hum of other worldliness.  You do, in fact, feel as if you’re in another century when you enter.

Almost upon entering, you inhale the aroma of the warm baking bread, which is offered once you are seated.  This went extremely well with the French onion soup or the vegetarian soup, which was the Le Potage du Jour that day ($7.50.)   Salads include mixed baby greens with house whipped vinaigrette, wilted baby spinach, classic Caesar salad or an endive salad tossed with gorgonzola cheese and walnuts.  Prices for the salads run from $6.50 -$9.00.  You’ll probably want to try their special toasted grilled cheese bread $3.00.

There are several vegetarian options including a steamed or grilled vegetable plate or pasta primavera with a cilantro pesto sauce.   It wouldn’t be a French restaurant without an offering of Escargot in Sauce Bordelaise or Les Ris de Veau Bonne Femme (pan boiled sweetbreads with beamaise sauce.)    Fish offerings include things like frog legs sautéed with garlic, parsley and brand;  large sea scallops poached in white wine and glazed with a veloute sauce; Shrimp Diane – large shrimp sautéed with garlic and brandy.  For those of us more conservative, they also offer fresh filet of sole piccata style and filet of butterflied trout with Jurancon wine sauce.   Meats include Long Island Duck, half chicken baked in cabernet wine, breast of chicken with capers, lemon and parsley or sautéed with mushrooms, artichoke hearts and white wine or pistachio crusted.   Some of the other offerings include calf’s liver, veal piccata, Filet Mignon Tips or filet mignon wrapped in a pastry shell or broiled, broiled New York steak,  steak tartare and for two Chateaubriand Bouquetiere is available ($64).  The prices for other entrées go from $18.95-$29.95.  As with most French restaurants, the sauces were on the heavy side, but you can ask for lighter sauce.

Desserts include several European selections and a full bar with some house specialties complemented the meal.

Open for lunch from 11:30 am, they are open until 10 pm, serving lunch until 4 pm. At that time, they switch over to the dinner menu.  There are extensive daily specials and they also offer a three-for-one offering. That is three items – appetizer, entrée and dessert for one low price of $37.   Ask also about their Prix Fixe theatre dinner menu.  (They are closed Sunday and Monday.)