Spoiling Myself at Café Degas

I had planned to post this meal a while ago, but you-know-what happened and it didn’t feel right. Yesterday, while scrolling though my Instagram feed, I noticed Café Degas is up and running once again, and I thought now was a good time to share my excellent brunch experience, the first brunch of my 50s!

Because one fantastic meal is not nearly enough to celebrate five decades of me, I made reservations for the “day after my 50th Birthday” meal at Café Degas. Though I have not graced its tables nearly enough, this romantic French restaurant twinkling under the trees on Esplanade Avenue is easily one of the finest our city has to offer.

With masks in place, we flashed our LA Wallet passport to take our tongues on a trip to France, conveniently located in Bayou St. John. After ordering, we were greeted by a warm pistolette (made by Duong Phuong Bakery, I suspect) and lots of sweet cream butter, and though I could’ve easily scarfed it all, John and I wisely saved most of it to soak in the sauce of our soon-to-arrive appetizer. There are only a few places to get outstanding mussels in this town, and let me tell you the moules-frites at Café Degas is high on that short list. The tender mollusks swimming in a buttery leek and fennel broth (that I promise you’ll be tempted to drink) are served with a pile of hot, fresh-out-of-the-fryer and well-salted “frites.”

Feeling the need for the breakfast side of brunch, my entree was a creamy, custardy mushroom and gruyere quiche served with a small side salad dressed in Dijon vinaigrette. John ordered duck crepes, but received duck leg confit in a red wine, mushroom cream sauce. While he considered hailing our server to report the mishap, the aroma deterred him and he happily tucked in.

You can bet your bottom dollar my next sentence will be “we weren’t leaving without dessert.” Damned skippy! Leaving a French restaurant without getting dessert is just a big, fat mistake . . . and we were celebrating! My Community cappuccino deserved a side of Floating Island, didn’t it? A delicate pouf of meringue glided to my lips on a butter yellow, sweet pool of crème anglaise. Dizzied by experience, we went home for an unintended nap. Food-wise, I’d say this decade of my life is already looking pretty damned good!

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