Restaurants like this one are a dime a dozen in the Los Angeles area. An eclectic California cuisine menu full of foreign words handed to a well-heeled clientele sitting in a smallish but comfortable dining room of modern, minimalist décor.
But there's something beneath the surface here that makes Café Pierre worth a visit.
There's a quiet confidence and sophistication permeating this place, located just blocks from the ocean. It seems one would need confidence to offer such a variety of meats and fish prepared in such creative ways.
Pumpkin ravioli? How about roasted duck with butternut squash risotto and Pinot Noir sauce. Or butternut squash & ginger gnocchi with rock shrimp, fava beans, red peppercoulis and fried basil.
These detailed listings are verbatim from the menu, which owner Guy Gabriele describes as "3-star California/French." He also boasts a "4-star wine list with extensive wines by the glass." We found this to be true.
My husband chose the lamb ossobucco, slow cooked lamb shank over carrot chipotle mashed potatoes with glazed shallots and orange tarragon sauce ($16.95). I had the roasted pork tenderloin served over a lentil cabbage ragout with mustard rosemary sauce ($16.50). Both were excellent with a fascinating mingling of flavors and perfectly cooked, butter-tender meat.
My only criticism would be an over emphasis on starchy vegetables with little, if any, of the healthier green, leafy kind.
Service was appropriately low-key and efficient, meeting our expectations for a restaurant of this caliber. In fact, our server presented me with a pleasant surprise after my husband announced we were there to celebrate my birthday: a gift certificate for lunch. I look forward to using it.