If you have ever stayed in another country for a while, you know what homesickness feels like. It’s that nostalgic longing that can only be quelled by something that reminds you of home.
As you have been reading (we hope!), the French had quite an influence on Los Angeles both in the past and the current day. After going from downtown to the beach and all spots in between Finding France, we were tired and wanted to find a nice place to relax and remind us what we left in France. We found the place in Venice to sooth any French traveler’s yearnings.
French Market Café in Venice
If you say Venice to a French person in Los Angeles, they will probably tell you about this place. Since 1993, the French Market Café has been keeping their homesickness at bay. Agnes Martinez, the owner, is originally from Nice on the French Riviera. She welcomes you with authentic old style personalized service and the flair of Provence.
Pull up a chair on the quiet, lushly landscaped outside patio and you will find it is usually packed with laid-back locals –many of whom are European ex-pats– and enjoy a delicious omelet or their famous le cheval (breakfast sandwich) with a tasty espresso, or a rustic homemade soup, a succulent salad with a panini, or finish your day with a traditional beef Bourguignon or a chicken Basquaise with a glass of wine.
Not only do they have a restaurant, they have a small, but well-stocked store packed with some French food items that you just can’t find elsewhere in Los Angeles. Agnes also has food items from around Europe, but of course specializes in French products–wine, cheese, candy and beauty products. Walking around the store, Leah discovered quite a few surprises
Treasures Everywhere You Look
“Look, they have Palais De Thés – the high end tea company in Paris. They even have French artichoke spread – smooth and creamy with just a hint of anchovy cream. Wonderful on toast with a chilled glass of white wine!”
Around every corner, Leah smiled with delight. Things she had not seen since she left Paris were there in front of her.
Holding up a jar of Savora condiment Leah explained, “This is a classic condiment in France. It looks like mustard but it is not. It has a lot of spices and its good on chicken, on duck, on fish. It’s in every French household.”
On the same shelf she spotted another amazement. “Ah, they have Fallot Mustard, “ Leah told us. “This is from Beaune in Burgundy, and I just visited their factory where they make it and every single jar in this world. And they have probably a hundred different types of mustard. This is a pretty good collection, but if you ever run across this get it. It’s delicious.”
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The Selections are Personal
Leah asked Agnes about her selection of ex-pat treasures. Agnes said it is usually her pick.
“Just what you want to eat?” asked Leah.
“Yes, yes, “ answered Agnes. “What I can find as well. I am not buying directly from France. Pretty much something what you are missing or you are craving.”
One more thing took Leah’s notice. “French butter is the best. But don’t make the cardinal sin of getting unsalted. You want to get salted, unless you are baking of course, but this is the best thing you will ever taste.”
At French Market Café, Agnes and her team are proud to perpetuate the French food tradition and style. The Market also offers a large selection of publications, gifts ideas and much more. The wine cellar offers more than 100 different wines.
We will save you a spot at our table!
Find France for Yourself
2321 Abbot Kinney Blvd. #200
Venice, CA 90291