Restaurant Review: Monsieur Marcel
Neighborhood: Santa Monica
1260 Third Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA 90407
Since I've been to Europe, I have been searching for a cute, outdoor bistro where you can eat and drink outside. And, in Monsieur Marcel, I think I found it. Okay, so it doesn't have quite the atmosphere of a café in Paris, but it has the feel just the same with the plentiful assortment of wine and cheese, quiches, fondue, crepes, oysters, croque monsieur, crème brûlée and much more.
They also offer a tapas happy hour special from 3pm to 7pm Monday through Friday - all are served with bread, French butter and cornichons.
Some of the food and drinks can be pricey, especially the wines, but are worth trying out at least once. My husband and I usually share some treats - all vegetarian in our case - but still super yummy. We usually get either the baked brie or a cheese plate to start, which I wouldn't recommend if you also plan on getting the classic soupe à l'oignon or as us Americans call it simply, French onion soup. It is just too much cheese for one sitting in my opinion - which also goes for the fondue. If you want to get the fondue - I would just get the fondue, nothing else cheese-based. After that, we usually go green with a salad to share - they can be on the big side for one person, unless that is all you are eating. Next, we get some foods we can pick at like seasonal vegetables or French fries tossed in white truffle oil and end it with a cheese cake lollypop.
I am not saying this is going to magically take you to the streets of Paris - that would be kind of hard while you are staring at an American Eagle. But, it is a nice break from the usual fast food places that inhibit the 3rd street promenade. Drink wine, eat cheese and in no time you won't mind the homeless man staring at you while you eat that last bite of croque marcel.