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San Diego Restaurant Reviews

   La Vache

By Amy Covington

Bon Apetit, avec une torsion Américaine (Good Apetite, with an American twist).

Gourmet food, creamy cheeses, savory wine c'est la vie for the French. What many of us do
not know is that the exquisite delicacies of the French have known "common" gastronomers for a mere century. Cuisine Bourgeoise, once an exclusive privilege of the upper echelon of French society, made its way tothe common table at the birth of the 20th century.

The advent of modern transportation, the train in particular, evened the epicurean playing field, allowing peasants to partake in previously unattainable gourmet cuisine. Tourists spurred French chefs toa ccommodate differen palettes, helping evolve the French dining experience into something new, or nouvelle.

La Vache, Hillcrest's premiere French bistro, serves up France¹s finest exports, with a twist to satisfy our American taste buds (and appetites).



A rare find is a restaurant that can ace breakfast, lunch and dinner La Vache is a hole-in-one when it comes to all three.

La Vache has something to please every gullet, whether you fancy a unch served with a basket of warm, crispy croissants and a glass of champagne, or you¹re in the mood for an salad with hearts of palms, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, topped with pine nuts and grilled, succulent scallops; or a fresh seafood pasta, heaped with salmon, seabass and shrimp then sautéed in olive oil with garlic, Parmesan
cheese, sundried tomatoes and pine nuts

The eclectic, yet approachable, menu offers hunger relief for the sophisticated and casual diner alike; from the adored dietary staples like
eggs and bacon, pizza, and filet mignon, to tres framages (three cheese).

Omelettes, salmon benedict or Croque Monsieur (country ead, butter, a dab of important mustard, ham, béchamel sauce & cheese, served melted and open faced with sautéed potatoes).A French restaurant is not one at all without certain menu items, such as Escargot and Frogs Legs. Enjoy your sliver of the good life with a little garlic butter and a touch of cream while waiting for your Boeuf Bourguignon (chunks of beef simmered in red wine with mushroom, onions, bacon, and potatoes and tomato puree) or Fisherman's Casserole.

If you don¹t have time to leisurely dine on La Vache¹s outdoor patio nibbling on amphibian legs, you can choose from the dizzying array of salads, including the Salade Maison (house salad), Shrimp Aioli or calamari salad, duck or chicken spinach salad or salade Nicoise or Shepherd¹s salad. Try one of La Vache¹s French country soups along with your greens; the Crème de tomate will not disappoint. What is a great French meal without a perfectly paired wine?

La Vache offers California and French wines by the glass and bottle. French restaurants have garnered the stigma of being elitist, but La Vache eaks through the stereotype with their cozy, casual atmosphere and affordable pricing.

It may not be Paris, but La Vache is the next best thing, n¹est pas? Well, you will have to see for yourself.

Hours: Sun. Sat. 10 a.m. 10 p.m. Payment accepted: Credit cards and the green stuff; no personal checks accepted. Indoor and outdoor dining accommodations Pricing: Appetizers range from $5.75 11.50, soups $3 6.50; most salads around $8 8.75; sandwiches around $8; and entrees $11.75 18.50.

Tuesday night is Prix Frixe ($16.50) from 5- 6 p.m. on parties smaller than 8. Parking: There is a small lot in front that is shared with neighboring merchants; metered street parking available.

                                                                                                                                               Photos by John Leonffu



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