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Los Angeles Times
A croque-madame fit for La Dijonaise
March 18, 2010

Dear SOS,

My husband and I have breakfast nearly every weekend at La Dijonaise in Culver City. He never orders anything except the croque-madame. It's that good! How fun it'd be to be able to make it for him myself!

Sarah Alexander
Los Angeles

Dear Sarah: La Dijonaise's take on this classic French comfort food sandwiches rich béchamel sauce and ham between two slices of pullman bread, then tops it with cheese, which is melted to gooey perfection. Top the sandwich with a fried egg (this is what distinguishes the "madame" from the "monsieur") and serve immediately. Yes, it's unapologetic goodness on a plate.
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Citysearch Editorial Review
By Allyson Goldin
Editorial Rating: Recommended

Casual bistro fare in the heart of Culver City

The Scene

This renovated warehouse possesses all the casual friendliness of an authentic Parisian bistro, complete with friendly waiters with heavy French accents. Sky-high ceilings, large picture windows and hardwood floors warm up the restaurant’s capacious space.

The Food
La Dijonaise’s menu is a throwback to classic bistro fare. Since portions are generous, enjoy a hearty meal with a bottle of French wine from the restaurant’s eclectic list. Escargots arrive hot and buttery, loaded with lemon and parsley. Traditionalists will enjoy the steak au poivre vert, glazed in peppery cream sauce, and the tender veal shank, dressed in a tangy mustard seed sauce. Lighter eaters should opt for one of the menu’s 14 salads, while vegetarians will find themselves limited to a plate of fresh fruit or the crepes Florentine. Desserts are exceptional, especially the individually sized mousse-cakes that are round and colorful like miniature hatboxes.

Casual but charming café

Located in the old Helms Bakery Building on Washington Boulevard, this stylish French bistro offers up a menu of decent café fare. The escargot is particularly wonderful, served without shells in garlic butter so hot it sizzles. Perennial French favorites such as Quiche Lorraine, Ratatouille and Duck with Cream Sauce are always good, though not always available. The décor is chic and stylish with cement walls, dark and light touches of wood and modern-art light fixtures. Service can sometimes be erratic, but the locals who frequent this popular bistro just smile and say, “C’est la vie.”


“Delicious food for breakfast, lunch and dinner” is what fans find at this “authentic” French “bistro in the heart of Culver City”, where “they make croissants the way they’re supposed to be made”, “wonderful crêpes” and “delicious coq au vin”; “everything is Farmer’s Market fresh” and prices are “reasonable.”

Los Angeles magazine
Simply the best: thumbs up! We salute the 101 greatest things about L.A.
August, 2003

The standard by which to judge all croissants is in nearly every boulangerie in the 7th arrondissement. The crust should be flaky, the texture light, the taste buttery. On this side of the Atlantic, it’s a shame that a pastry with such simple ingredients can be prepared so badly. Pascal Donzel, French transplant and owner of La Dijonaise bakery in Culver City, knows that skimping on even one item or cutting corners in a two-day process will result in a flaccid boomerang. Assuming a 5,700-mile flight is not in your immediate future, stop by early for his croissants — he makes small batches that are gone by lunchtime.

Culver City Observer

October 9-15, 2003

“Get a Life…A Night Life That Is!”
By Thomas Young and Maureen Tobin

Joie de vivre (zest for life). Expect lot of it at La Dijonaise Café et Boulangerie, Culver City. This simply fabulous French restaurant is worth putting on your “favorites” list. Accolades go to Pascal and Thanh Donzel who have owned it for almost 3 years. They are one inspiring team and know exactly what it takes to run this successful, admired restaurant. Of course La Dijonaise is Zagat reviewed, along with KCAL and the Travel Channel. Most recently they were honored in Los Angeles Magazine Top 100 as the best croissant in town. Though the croissants are amazing, with Pascal making all the marvelous pastries, each entrée and meal is a celestial experience and the prices are so very low.

Arriving here, you first notice the stunning space in the historic landmark Helms Bakery building with its expansive windows, high ceilings and wide open feeling. Dine inside or outside on their delightful patio. Either way, the atmosphere is sublime. The menu is extensive along with a satisfying wine list. We suggest you indulge in the escargot, soaked in the best garlic butter. If you are an onion soup aficionado, it is unsurpassed. Thomas had his favorite Boeuf Bourguignon which is definitely a house favorite, steeped in Pascal’s favorite sauces. Maureen had another house specialty, the Poulet Dijon, incredible flavors and the tenderest, juiciest chicken. We both took half home but of course we found room for desserts, in a class by themselves, which summoned us and made our eyes roll in bliss. Whether you come here with your paramour, family, friends, know that your experience will evoke a wondrous sense of well being.