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“WOW!”
Review of Ooh La La Bistro - CLOSED

Ooh La La Bistro
Cuisines: French
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
2 reviews
“WOW!”
Reviewed July 26, 2013 via mobile

The food was excellent!
Wonderful oysters on the half shell, great beet salad!
I think I've found a new favorite in Big Bear.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Moths35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

45 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    29
    8
    4
    2
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
324 reviews
204 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“A Great Value”
Reviewed July 16, 2013

I was in town for a short visit to fish. I thought it might be nice to enjoy an upscale meal. I checked out Ooh La La Bistro which was only open for 4 months. It was a Monday evening and the place was full. Reminded me of eating a meal in Paris, slow and tasty. The pre fixe menu includes cold and hot appetizers, an entree and a dessert. You can upgrade the entree for an additional $10-$15 which I felt was well worth it. Owners Rika and Guillaume Burlion make you feel at home and feed you well. I'd suggest a visit when you want to avoid the typical pub food which is omnipresent in town.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank BoboTravlr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Big Bear Lake, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Embarrased to give 4 stars instead of 5. Food was 5.”
Reviewed July 9, 2013

Run, don't walk here. Now. Prices are BOUND to go up and quantities are bound to go down. Right now, something is wrong because they're giving customers way too much for the price.
So, why not 5 stars instead of 4? Worst service EVER!!! Well, that's not true because to their credit, they were very apologetic, and even 'comp'ed' us more than they should have.
Ok. We went on the busiest night in the restaurant's short history, after 4th of July when we BARELY got in and probably shouldn't have.
I think at least 2 of their servers had never been to a nice restaurant and were completely clueless about service in general (the chef probably doesn't even KNOW what's going on because he's concentrating on putting out good food). In fact, service was so bad, it was practically comical and the other 3 tables around us were laughing about it, so we were too. So, perhaps I should have given them an extra star for entertainment??
Bottom line, the place may be the most UNDERPRICED restaurant I've been to in years. So, if you're thinking about going... you'd better go now while they're still trying to overdo it.
You know... that uncomfortable feeling that the place has to go out of business soon because it just can't afford to be serving so much quality food per person at one meal? It's a guilty feeling... like, "this would be a bargain at twice the price" type feeling. Instead of wanting to compliment the chef, we felt sorry for him for having to work so hard and get paid so little.
I'm dying to go back again this week to find out if the terrible service we got was truly only the result of them overbooking and doing all they could to accommodate their customers. If the service were better, I would certainly rank this restaurant one of the best I've been to for the money in the U.S.
I THOUGHT we were going to get an hors-d'oeuvre, a main dish, and a dessert for $27... typical at most fine 'prix-fixe' restaurants. But they brought us out 3 hors-d'oeuvres and by the time we'd finished those - all excellent - we were satisfied (if the meal ended there, we'd have been happy to pay that amount and go home).
But then the main courses arrived. And dessert followed.
And we were wondering how the chef could do it.
Rumor has it they've started a lunch menu too, so I'm going to find SOME way to get over there about once a week if I can.
Would you like to hear about the 'entertaining' service (really funny in so many ways)?
"Do you know what you'd like to drink?" came as we were sitting down, before we'd seen the menu. Oh, the ... was he a somelier? Or, assistant manager? In any case, he recommended today's special Pommard de Bourgogne wine at $120 a bottle. We explained that wasn't in our budget range. Then, after that question, we didn't see him or the waitress again until the first hors-d'oeuvre came. We ordered a modest bottle of Bordeaux.
Then the 2nd hors-d'oeuvre came. Still no wine.
Then, the 3rd hors-d'oeuvre came, still no wine! (20 or 30 minutes into the meal and we still had only water).
I refused it and told her, "no... you have to bring us our wine before we get any more food."
They took that meat loaf dish away, and 10 min later, brought us a bottle of Chianti. No apology explaining, "sorry, we're out of the Bordeaux," just... "here's your wine." Anyone who's ever served wine in their lives knows the first question you ask is, "Is this the wine you ordered?" or at least shows the bottle to the customer, waiting for their approval to open it.
In the case, he started to open it and I stopped him, "hey, no. That's a Chianti. We ordered the Bordeaux." That really seemed to fluster them. Then, they disappeared for 10 minutes.
Another waitress from another table asked, "is everything all right?" And we explained that we had been there for over 30 minutes, had gotten 2 hors-d'oeuvres but no wine yet. She was surprised and promised to go and get it for us herself. She disappeared too.
Then, someone brought us the first hors-d'oeuvre again. We told them, we already had this. We're waiting for our wine. So, flustered, they took it away.
Three or four minutes later, we still had no wine. But someone came and apologized. Then someone brought us the second hors-d'oeuvre. We told them, we already had this. Flustered, they walked away.
The maitre d came back and apologized profusely for not having the Bordeaux and asked us to order a different bottle.
More apologies and more things happening to the tables next to us, and funny comments between tables...
There was a LOT of arguing going on (others could hear) about our wine, who should serve it, what should be done, and that added to the confusion.
Anyway, the next really, really shocking thing happened. They FINALLY brought our California substitute wine (I won't say who) and they just opened it and poured full glasses. I don't think that has EVER happened to me, anywhere. It's customary, of course, to first pour a small amount of wine for the customer to taste and approve it. While even cheap restaurants serving $10 wine do this, certainly, it was a surprise to me that this $30 something wine was so ungraciously served. I didn't really care that much, especially since it tasted fine, but it was just so unexpected. WHILE they were apologizing, they were shloshing the wine unceremoniously into our too small glasses for the red it was.
But the comedy didn't end there.
The waitress came to our table and explained that we'd missed out on the meat loaf because we hadn't accepted it when it was served. That was the last one. So, everyone else in the restaurant would get that 3rd hors-d'oeuvre, but not us! We asked if they had something else to replace it with, and she explained that she'd TRIED to bring us a substitute... the same first and second hors-d'oeuvres we'd already had, but we'd refused them. I tried to explain, very nicely, to her that it's not normal to replace one item by reserving one of the dishes they'd already served us. More confusion.
Ultimately, she asked if she wanted her to go and ask the chef if he could make a special, one dish meatloaf, just for us. We felt embarrassed and didn't really want to trouble the chef, who was already outdoing himself for the amount we'd paid. We told her to just bring out anything, and that he didn't have to go to the trouble to recreate a very complicated dish for just us and that moment.
This story is getting too long. Suffice to say that, despite the comical and fully apologetic service, the food was over the top for the price.
Watch my star rating change in a few days or weeks to 5 stars because I feel it's unfair to give a place 4 stars when they're serving 5 star food.
I feel the future of this place will be to either reduce the number of hors-d'oeuvres OR raise the price, or probably both.
For now, it's one of the most underpriced restaurants I've been to in recent years.
I might mention before closing, that the most ironic of things happened at the end. The maitre d' comp'ed us for our wine. That's one thing in a $100 per person French restaurant.
Waiters are famous for comp'ing some items and expecting a big tip in return. But in this case, it's the RESTAURANT that loses on the one item they're inevitably making some profit on, the bottled wine. In the meantime, the terrible service ends up going home with a huge tip. Of course, I applied a huge tip... which was still less than the bill would have been had they included the wine. But ultimately, the restaurant serving the fantastic food loses money, and those giving the worst service ever go home financially very well off. What's wrong with this picture?
I'll go back. And often. Until the prices go up. And they will.
Until then... despite service issues, this is one of the best under $30 values you'll experience anywhere.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank dabeachcafe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arcadia, California
Level Contributor
44 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“C'est Magnifique”
Reviewed June 30, 2013

We had read the TripAdvisor reviews (very few were available at the time) which encouraged us to try Ooh La La. We found out that they have only been open for four months. We ordered from the pre fixed menu which was $27. It includes appetizers--6 of them which change from day to day. We had three cold appetizers, salad and two hot appetizers--all different versions of yummy! You may choose from quite a few different main courses and upgrade for an increased cost if you choose. I had the Paella which was delicious. By the way the bread served with the appetizers was super. Dessert is included and you may choose from three. We selected the Nutella mousse which is a chocolate lovers heaven. We can't wait to go back!!!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank DonnaandGene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simi Valley, California, United States
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“An adventure in dining”
Reviewed June 29, 2013

The waitress was not as knowledgable as she should have been for an upscale restaurant. The layering of food and flavors was delightful. With 4 cold appetizers and 2 hot it was a great start. The main courses were fresh, well seasoned and perfectly cooked. We finished with watermelon granita. Though we could have chosen vanilla cheesecake or chocolate mousse with strawberries. This food adventure was only $26.99.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Susan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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