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We love hole-in-the-wall restaurants with yummy food, but sometimes we crave classic fare in a beautiful atmosphere. For that, we love Bagatelle, the little French bistro that opened in December on La Cienega.

We swoon over the mirrored bar, white-on-white walls and booths and large black-and-white photos of yesteryear stars such as Paul Newman. We also appreciate the flattering lighting cast by elaborate crystal chandeliers and a booth in which neither DJ Tony Mendes nor his pop tunes gets in the way of conversation.

The menu, from Thomas Keller protégé Scott Quinn, includes savory dishes like goat-cheese-stuffed poached pears and roast chicken with truffle oil. A Franco-centric wine list includes a page of by-the-glass selections, and desserts range from great (banana cheesecake served in a jar) to over-the-top (a flaming ice cream sundae).

This is the West Coast outpost of a Manhattan spot known for Sunday champagne brunches where patrons dance atop tables. Though the La Cienega location is adding brunch in May, we know the real draw is here is a sophisticated evening out, n?est-ce pas?

Bagatelle, 755 N. La Cienega Blvd.; 310-659-3900 or

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