La Boheme -25 Years and Going Strong

I invited a friend to join me at La Boheme for dinner recently. She asked, “you mean the restaurant in West Hollywood? It’s still open?” That is what I had thought when I was invited to check it out as well. And the answer is yes! For twenty-five years, La Boheme has sat on Santa Monica Blvd in the heart of West Hollywood.

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From the street, there is something eye-catching about the building of concrete and stone with glittering lights and interesting ornaments.

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But when you walk inside, it is utterly mesmerizing. The 4,800 square-foot space is eye-catching with high ceilings, magnificent French chandeliers, a fireplace and red everywhere – the curtains, walls, ceiling, tables, chairs….everything! It is a bit eccentric and leans towards Gothic. It is like a set from of Moulin Rouge or Phantom of the Opera.

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Just outside is a lovely garden patio with a fireplace and both lounge seating and tables and chairs. Perhaps one of the loveliest patios in Los Angeles, this is where we sat for the night.

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While the restaurant is twenty-five years old, there is a new chef at the helm. Chef de Cuisine Leonardo Daniele was born and raised in Sicily and worked in Las Vegas and Orange County before coming to La Boheme. He specializes in authentic Italian dishes which he incorporates into the globally inspired menu.

As we sat under the stars on a typically warm Los Angeles night, here is what we enjoyed:

Baked Eggplant Tower – The classic dish of eggplant Parmesan is updated to a fresh appetizer of baked eggplant with tomato sauce, burrata cheese, fresh basil and Pecorino Romano.

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Lobster & Avocado – A light salad with big chunks of fresh lobster on top of a layor of avocado and served with arugula, crispty shallots and heirloom cherry tomatoes and topped with a lemon vinaigrette.

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Burrata & Prosciutto Salad – The burrata and prosciutto are the stars of this mixed green salad but the fig, candied pecans and balsamic syrup add both texture and sweetness.

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Lasagna Bolognese – Baked-to-order in a skillet, the lasagna is made with layers of pasta, ricotta, mozzarella, Bolognese sauce and just the right amount of bechamel so as to not be too rich or creamy.

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Duck Breast – Perfectly cooked duck breast with crispy skin is served with cipollini onions, purple potatoes and a pomegranate & red wine sauce that adds a tart finish to the end of each bite.

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Australian Lamb – We ordered a half order which came with four meaty lamb ribs, baked and served with grilled vegetables and fresh herb oil. A simple dish but cooked to perfection.

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Dinner at La Boheme is well-priced with main courses between $17-$32, salads between $9-$16 and starters between $8-$16. But there is a great deal offered nightly: a three-course pre-fixe menu for $25 ($34 on Friday and Saturday).

Want to dine outside? Looking for a romantic destination? Head to La Boheme.

La Bohème
8400 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069

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