Written by Greg Thompson
The remodeled façade of Faux Pas Bistro is marked by the very well done ‘faux vintage’ sign. Manager Jessica Davis met us at the door and pointed out more faux retro touches inside. But there’s nothing faux about the updated but traditional bistro fare and well chosen wines, craft beers and spirits served by a snappy staff in smart striped full bistro length aprons
A lot of events lately serve something that resembles sliders (mini-burgers) or mini-pizzas. Invariably they’re lukewarm at best and flavorless (the results of freezer to microwave technology?) accompanied by pleasant but unremarkable beverages. So forgive us for at least subconsciously anticipating the same at Tuesday’s press event introducing Faux Pas Bistro on Third Street.
What a nice surprise when our barman Don Jeans poured a crisp, clean St Supery Napa Sauvignon Blanc. Great nose and fruit with citrus notes that contributed to the good acid balance and finish. The 100% Napa grapes are sustainably farmed by the 3rd generation of the same family that has owned the estate since since 1920.
Don said they didn’t want to have the ‘same old’ as he poured another rarity these days, a spicy fruity off dry Alsatian Gewurtzraminer. Domaines Schlumberger Gewurtztraminer ‘Fleur’ is produced in Alsace, a part of France that has often been a controlled by Germany. So the wines are German style like Gewurtz and Riesling with brand names like Hugel and Trimbach.
These wines complemented bites of sashimi grade tuna tartare with confit of fennel and shallots, roasted bell peppers, and chives on a Belgian endive. We had missed this ahi course but Mercedes Barba was able to resurrect a few rounds for us, We next had another off dry wine blended with Gewurtztraminer. The Torres Esmeralda is mostly muscat but the gewurz spiciness is prominent along with hints of orange.
Back to those sliders and pizzas…
The Marguerite Pizzette Sous Chef Ramses Walker brought from the kitchen was a surprising burst of flavor: Marinara Pesto on a soft but crispy crust. I don’t even like olives but the lone olive was divine. The Blanc was equally tasty, topped with artichokes and white truffle oil. With our pies we had Cupcake- bright crisp sauvignon blanc from the Marlborough valley of New Zealand.
Then we had a Conundrum… do we stick with whites when the mentioned sliders looked so thick, hot and juicy? They were- and bursting with the medium rare flavor of a blend of premium ground meats. Even the medium well patty was juicy. Chef Oz Ramuco made a special plate of medium well sliders for the guests that were coveting mine.
Kyle Clayton was Johnny on the spot with glasses of Conundrum from Napa Valley’s Wagner family. (Caymus). A full flavored complex blend of five white varietals that stood up to the blend of meats,
For the well done beef we chose to choose red. The house red is unique itself, a very approachable velvety red wine blend made by Girard. Full bodied with great fruit, it’s called Flirt and has an abstract artsy image of a flirtatious lady on the label.
For our next flight Kenya kept us supplied with Croque Monsieur lollipops. I’ve enjoyed traditional Croque Monsieur from Paris to Toronto to Tokyo (kuroku misuru). Like the best of them this breaded lolli filled with ham (Black Forest) and melted Gruyere Cheese was perfected by the addition of Creme Béchamel. The wine was a Wente Reisling bursting with complex fruit. Though a few guests perceived sweetness, it was off dry.
At this point more of us stepped up to Faux Pas Bistro’s FULL BAR to try the rum punch, or Mimosas made with Blood Orange or Guava and Jalapeno.
A few very well chosen tap beers include a very hoppy IPA (India Pale Ale), the popular Blue Moon and, rarely seen this far from the Bay area, Anderson Valley’s Boont Amber Ale!
The finale was Tiramisu tasters for dessert! An Italian classic with a twist!
Photo by Felix Salzman, Look BookLA.com