The once nondescript Sycamore Avenue in Hollywood, near a cluster of post-production studios off Romaine Street, now features some of the hottest restaurants and shops in town. One of the newer dining patios and bar options is Mr. T by Parisian restauranteur Guillaume Guedj.
The global-flavor menu utilizes French techniques and a few dishes from its counterpart restaurant in Paris’ Marais District, including the flambéed mac ‘n’ cheese and the lamb kebab. The L.A. kitchen is helmed by République alum chef Alisa Vannah, who trained with Mr. T partner chef Tsuyoshi Miyazaki in Paris, where they collaborated on several dishes unique to the West Coast location, such as Thai tuna crudo, croquettes monsieur, and bucatini à la tequila.
We decided to find out from Guedj how a French restauranteur navigates the L.A. food scene when missing his Gallic roots.
What are some of your favorite spots in L.A. when you are not working and homesick for France?
I love exploring the wealth of sushi options in L.A. or visiting just a classic steakhouse. If I am missing France, then I always go to Bicyclette (on Pico by chef Walter Manzke, who also owns République).
Any foods or ingredients that you particularly miss—and any tips on where can you find them?
In France the best ingredients are the vegetables. I most miss the very juicy tomatoes from the South of France and the wonderful fruits available like peaches. Here in Los Angeles the closest you can get is the Santa Monica Farmers Market. Chef Alisa always sources from there and the produce is very fresh.
Any local French restaurants for a special occasion dinner?
Bicyclette is my personal favorite. I order the beef bourguignon and the onion pie.
What about a lingering brunch or casual lunch with friends?
I love stopping by Tartine and supporting a delicious spot in our neighborhood—it’s just down the street from Mr. T.
Have you tried chef Ludo Lefebvre’s omelet at Petit Trois?
Yes, it’s fantastic that Ludo brought the real French restaurant omelet to L.A.—I love it!
What makes your steak frites stand out from others versions in town?
The quality of our ingredients and the authentic French technique we use to cook the steak—we drench the meat in butter to really capture the flavors.
We know you have an extensive Bordeaux and Burgundy wine list at the restaurant. What are a few of your favorite vintages from France at the moment?
I have a few 2009 and 2012 bottles that are my favorite right now. They are not too old or too young. It’s the perfect time to drink them!