“Well, food is everything to me. My passion, my job, my love, my life.” –Stephane Bombet
Only a month after its opening in West Hollywood, I was delighted to meet with restaurateur and owner Stephane Bombet to discuss and sample Terrine. With culinary A-listers and inspirational concepts and design, the L.A. brasserie genuinely stole my heart. Bombet, the man most recently behind Downtown’s celebrated Faith & Flower and my host for the evening, was humble, yet clearly passionate with a friendly disposition – exactly the kind of guy you’d like to find behind the scenes at Terrine.
“Opening a restaurant is a lot of work,” admits Bombet. “Why make things more difficult? I wanted to create something classic and comfortable, with simple yet high-quality dishes where you could bring your children, your brother, your sister, and your mother – elevated comfort food.”
Bombet’s inspiration hails from France’s typical brasseries, where one can easily and comfortably have an enjoyable meal. With Terrine, he sets out to create the most reputable brasserie in Los Angeles – a neighborhood institution that will triumph the city’s dynamic food scene with rightful conviction. In addition, while Terrine may be on the crest of an LA food movement, Bombet affirms that Terrine’s concept is an ode to the classic, and not a cursory novelty.
Faith and Flower opened in April – a huge success. Bombet wanted to open another restaurant with more creative involvement. He designed Terrine to be classy, yet comfortable – a suitable juxtaposition for Los Angeles – in the Beverly Blvd. space.
Bombet was very excited to describe the creative process involved in the realization of his design concepts for Terrine. While he acknowledges the remarkable aesthetic of Faith & Flower – created by design firm AvroKO, his pride in Terrine’s space, formerly Pane E Vino and Sirena, is warranted. The space and its design is already lauded by patrons and critics alike.
The restaurant’s décor fits the bill for Bombet’s vision. The open patio space, softly illuminated, comfortably seats roughly 100 guests surrounding an iconic Magnolia. It is comfortable and very pretty; a paragon of what fine LA dining spaces should look like. After mere moments in the patio, you’re likely to forget you aren’t sitting in a friend’s lavish courtyard. Inside, an exposed brick wall and a handsome copper-top bar with red leather stools are generous hat-tips to classic brasseries and satisfy LA’s undying urban-rustic aesthetic.
Upon entering Terrine, you are greeted by impeccable service that is neither stuffy nor pompous. By the end of the evening, all of Terrine’s servers and front-of-house staff seemed more like old friends while maintaining the same level of well-timed, outstanding table attendance.
Oh! The Food
Bombet’s goal was to create something comfortable, new, classy, and accessible. It’s difficult to believe, but he has managed to hit all the marks with the opening of Terrine. Teaming up with Chef Kris Morningstar has proven to be a major success.
The Assiette de Charcuteries (meat plate) included some of my favorite food samples of the evening. Especially memorable was the truffled chicken liver; however, the entire assiette is certainly one of the best in the city. In celebration of its sanction, I was also lucky enough to sample some of the house-made foie gras terrine, which is sourced from farm raised, organic geese. The foie gras was perfectly silky, rich and incredibly flavorful, enkindling in me euphoric and elated pause.
Bombet explained to me that he and Chef Morningstar originally conceptualized over 70 dishes, which were refined to a selection of a dozen masterful entrées appropriately categorized Piéces de Résistance. “I don’t want to disturb the creative process,” Bombet explains. “I like to give [Chef Kris Morningstar] creative freedom and I’m very happy with the outcome. Even when I don’t think a new idea will be so great, I take a step back and let it happen; very often I am extremely happy with the results, and in that way we work well together.” The boudin blanc, nicely balanced with parsnip puree, roasted apple and cipollini onions was moist, bright and absolutely delicious – one of my favorite piéces. The rest of the sampling included truffle agnolotti, mussels mariniere in a crème fraîche sauce, bavette steak with red wine jus, and a must-try side of baby carrots almandine.
The succinct dessert menu, constructed by Chef Morningstar, really put the finishing touches on my already lovely evening. For a sweet dessert, I can most highly recommend the birthday cake: chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, sea salt, caramel, toffee – need I go on?
All of the thoughtful dishes vibrantly balanced simplicity and flavor in a comfortable and subtly elegant manner, truly paying homage to Bombet’s vision for Terrine.
The restaurant also famously serves up an impressive wine menu mastered by General Manager and Wine Director François Renaud, of the esteemed Tasting Kitchen and Palate Food + Wine. While Renaud can perfect your meal with a perfect pairing, the menu also features some rare and unique wines that hold their own.
Behind the bar, Ryan Wainwright, who burgeoned at the Tasting Kitchen, crafts creative and balanced cocktails. The cocktail menu speaks to Wainwright’s artistic prowess as a mixologist, with nuanced adaptations true to classic beverages. I personally recommend the rum Honeysuckle – rum, lemon and honey; simply perfect.
In short, Terrine is a must-try that Los Angeles can be proud to call its own. Stephane Bombet: you had me at Terrine.
Publisher’s Note: We predict Terrine will become one of Los Angeles’ finest eateries and a celebrity mecca. Book early and be patient. Your wait will be worth your while.
8265 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Reservations 323 746 5130
Photographs courtesy of Jesus Banuelos
Thank you to Rachel Dubin at Wagstaff Worldwide