While I have been busy with school, I have escaped to Paris to enjoy some delicious meals. My classmate planned a really sweet all-girls brunch at the LaDurée on Champs-Élysées. There was a fire last year at this location and they just reopened in October. We were lucky to sit upstairs and see LaDurée in all its remodeled splendid glory.
For 36.50 euro, you get orange juice or grapefruit juice; fruit salad; hot chocolate, tea or coffee; three pastries; bread rolls; three macarons; yogurt; two mini sandwiches AND scrambled eggs. Talk about a ton of food! Everything was so incredibly good and I especially loved the pastries. I had a moment at the table with my almond croissant. The only thing that was lackluster (besides the not-so-great service from our waitress) were the mini sandwiches. They were dry and pre-made. But, I definitely wasn’t running short on food. I think we all rolled ourselves home after that brunch. I know LaDurée is so touristy, but I would say it’s worth going at least once and getting the brunch. It’s a real Parisian experience sitting in this gorgeous room and drinking your tea out of delicate, pastel-colored china.
I’ve been craving Korean food and my blogger friend, My Red Kitchen, was kind enough to introduce me to Dawa, located at 5 Rue Humblot in the 15th arrondissement. I had high hopes and Dawa met expectations. It’s a small restaurant owned by Koreans and it’s got that hole-in-the-wall feel to it. MRK and I shared hot kimchi stir-fried with thin slices of pork (also served with a cold side of tofu), japchae (stir-fried noodles with beef and vegetables) and we each ordered our own beef bibimbap (stone pot rice). I am literally obsessed with japchae and bibimbap and both dishes totally satisfied my craving. I had zero complaints about the kimchi too. We demolished our food and ate every last grain of rice and leaf of kimchi.
Last night, I celebrated another one of my blogger friend’s birthday, Diane! We had bar bites and plenty of wine at Verjus, an adorable restaurant and wine bar owned by a couple from Seattle. Verjus is in the 1st arrondissement, almost down a secret alleyway at 52 rue de Richelieu. We ordered everything that was on the bar menu and I felt like I was back home in San Francisco. The food was modern with elements of Asian fusion and just totally reminded me of something I could find in the Bay Area. Verjus has the most amazing fried chicken. Seriously, the chicken is so tender and batter has got a great crisp to it. I’m guessing they put plenty of baking powder in the batter to give it that perfect texture. I also LOVED the shoestring fries. Again, it was like a mini love affair between me and the fries. Normally, shoestring fries are cooked to a crisp and are just like julienned potato chips. But at Verjus, they’re crispy, but the potatoes also have a nice consistency. Wait, don’t let me forget about the chicharrónes. Chicharrónes are basically high-end pork rinds, but Verjus serves them piping hot (THEY’RE ON FIYAH) with smoked curry mixed in. Talk about a flavor blast!
Verjus has a restaurant upstairs with a 60 euro tasting menu. The menu is different every day because they use seasonal, local produce. After trying all the bar food, I’m adding that on my checklist of places to eat. I loved the cute atmosphere and friendly service. I highly recommend Verjus and I thank Diane for introducing me to her favorite place in Paris!