Cafe La Boheme

$50 - $75 Top 10 Recommended Special Offer

La Bohème rhapsodizes with a quintuplet of dazzling crystal chandeliers looming majestically overhead in a large, yet intimate two-tiered dining space. The semi-private booths downstairs and the rock star booths upstairs, along with the opulent ruby-red décor glimmering softly under the glow of two huge open fireplaces make this seductive bistro one of the a romantic destinations in L.A. Guests are also welcome to dine on the Garden Patio, Café La Boheme’s own al fresco paradise, where they can bask in the warmth of a beautiful fireplace framed by roses and greenery. For more casual diners, the bar lounge offers a separate menu of tasty treats like the crispy fried calamari with Serrano aioli. This longtime retreat from the bustle of Santa Monica Boulevard boasts moderate prices and a globe-trotting menu that sweeps culinary terrain from comfort food to exquisitely sophisticated dishes. Executive Chef Christine Banta enhances her Californian Mediterranean cuisine with European and Asian flare, creating favorites like savory Japanese Pumpkin Ravioli and Ahi Tataki, while specialties like the Red Caviar Spaghetti, the Lobster Saffron Risotto, and the Berkshire Pork Chop offer a fine balance of familiarity in flavor and innovation in vision. Come to Café La Boheme, where patrons will receive a warm welcome, excellent service, and unrivaled cuisine. Be prepared to stimulate all of your senses at this prime establishment.

An LA Story for Almost 20 Years

Arguably, different time zones use different measures of time. For instance, a New York minute is much shorter than an L.A. minute, or a cell phone-anytime minute. Regardless of location, when a restaurant thrives for 18 years, that's a feather in its cap. That feather is huge, indeed, if the establishment can stake that claim in the rapidly shape-shifting, restaurant-centric L.A. scene. That is exactly why we must stick a huge feather in the La Bohème chapeau. They're in their 19th year of operation -- an imposing feat in a city whose historic buildings, as Steve Martin irreverently and hilariously exaggerated in “LA Story”, are only around 25-years old.

This easy-to-find eatery is nestled into a storefront along L.A.’s well traveled, and world famous (thank you, Sheryl Crow) Santa Monica Boulevard, in the West Hollywood section. Kozo Hasegawa, the owner and motivational force behind La Bohème, is a mover and shaker not only in the L.A. restaurant scene but also in his native Japan where he owns seventy restaurants. His L.A. staples include Gonpachi, Monsoon Café (in Santa Monica), and La Bohème.

As she did at Hasegawa’s other L.A. restaurants, designer Margaret O’Brien has created a mesmerizing space, at once opulent and comfortable. Five grand chandeliers suspend from the high, wooden-planked ceiling into the sunken-level dining space below, and softly illuminate ruby-red walls punctuated by two huge open fireplaces. The high walls make for low-decibel dining, which is another plus that enhances the intimate ambiance. Along two of the walls there is a contiguous series of curtained alcoves, each one with a central table paralleled along three of its sides by a plush leather banquette; each alcove also sports a beaded curtain to allow diners the option of. Cantilevered directly above the main-floor alcoves is a balcony lined with several additional dining alcoves. These balcony alcoves sport an even more intimate look. Each one is lushly appointed with white chairs and affords a marvelous panorama of the dining area below, while ruby-red curtains drape down each side. Besides these seating options, there’s also an outdoor patio area sexily illuminated and enticing, and framed with ubiquitous flowers and greenery. The patio is also used as a segregated space for private parties. Guests rapidly discover that, despite being engulfed in lavish digs, pomposity and pretention are absent.

Appreciation begins at the hostess station, where Michele greets each guest with a sincere smile. The entire staff is down-to-earth, knowledgeable, and accommodating. Each member skillfully shares insights and views on the restaurant, food preparation, personal preferences, nuances of the various dishes, etc. In a nutshell, La Bohème fields a team of professionals that cheerfully conveys a sense of joy in its métier, as well as a refreshing sense of accountability and pride in its workplace. Just as the play’s the thing in theater, food and libations are the thing in gastronomy. And under the leadership of Executive Chef Christine Banta, La Bohème shines in these all-important categories.

The wine list has considerable reach: a couple dozen wines, mostly from California, are offered by the glass, and some 90 bottles are available either by the bottle or by the half-bottle. While many of the selections are Californian, the list also features several imports from France and Australia. Besides wine, there are several interesting signature cocktails. I recommend the Cantaloupe Martini: a liberating mixture of Absolut Mandarin vodka and melon liqueur splashed with orange juice and lime juice.

Menu choices sweep through an impressive swath of culinary terrain, with a decided lean toward Asian and French traditions. Among the appetizers are the Steamed Chicken-Mushroom Dumplings -- five plump coquille-shaped dumplings on a large white oblong dish. Golden-browned at the center, lucid white at the tips, the tender pockets of dumpling waft steamy sweetness from a fluffy, colorful bed of orange carrot strands and green watercress. The natural juices and crunch of the veggies complement the smooth texture of the dumplings as they release their earthy payload of chicken and mushroom.

Similarly, Maryland Crab Cakes browned and clad in angelically light bread batter arrive almost filler-free. The binder is not only practically invisible, it’s also practically non-existent. Each bite brings only the taste of sweet crab meat. The accompanying spicy house-made remoulade stokes each yellow and brown forkful with subtle curry and paprika clout. The Ahi Tartare and Steamed Mussels provide other appetizer choices.

The Chef’s fresh ingredients and ground-to-table philosophy really sing in her salads. The Asian Pear Salad adds the lively, almost musky, power of potent Roquefort blue cheese to the concentrated perk of dried cherries and the dulcet crunch of candied pecans. The fruit delightfully fills out this bouquet of tastes and textures. The Roasted Beet Salad beckons with colors: the scarlet-red beets, the deep moss-green fresh avocado, and the beige-white fresh trout. Slices of trout and avocado pedestal atop the beets, and the power trio of components is drizzled with a champagne vinaigrette that makes the ensemble harmonize marvelously.

The Pasta and Risotto menu section dips deeply into the Japanese tradition. In the Japanese Pumpkin Ravioli, the Chef deftly sweetens puréed pumpkin, avoiding the heavy-handedness that besets inferior versions. Brown butter and brown sugar team in a sweet sauce that clads the ravioli. The Red Caviar Spaghetti plates a panoply of Japanese favorites: red sushi grade ikura, nori, julienne scallions, and bottarga, with spaghetti in an unusual dish. The Lobster Saffron Risotto and Pad Thai Noodles provide some other choices in this category, as well.

Entrée selections split evenly between meat and sea, and there’s also a vegetarian creation: Sesame Crusted Tofu Steak. Carnivores might like to try the Braised Lamb Shank. Perched atop a large white ironstone plate, the lamb shank towers above a creamy white puff of polenta. Redolent of rosemary, the fork-tender reddish meat is slathered with a spicy lamb braising jus that pools in the periphery of the plate.

Lastly, Chef Banta makes all the desserts. I recommend the Crème Brûlée or the Boffo Chocolate Cake. In her five years at La Bohème, Chef Banta’s mastery in creating coherent dishes that blend and fuse Japanese and French cuisine obviously pleases most of the people most of the time. She can never strike an item from the menu without protest. In fact, some of the items on this menu have been here for almost five years. That’s a true accomplishment in restaurant circles, especially in LA.

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Reservations


 Photos


 Deals & Special Offers

Deal:   Every day from 5pm-8pm enjoy discounted appetizers and drink specials at Cafe La Boheme. This fabulous hot spot is always the place to be so make sure you don't miss out!

Valid: April 19, 2013 - Dec. 31, 2016

Days Available: Daily

Time Available: 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Rules: Offer may not be combined with other promotions or special offers. Offer not applicable towards group reservations. Gratuity should be calculated on the full amount before discount.No take-out orders at these prices.For your convenience a 20% gratuity will be added to parties of 5 or more on bar/lounge checks.


  Restaurant Info

  • 8400 Santa Monica Blvd
    West Hollywood CA 90069
  • Address: 8400 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood CA 90069
  • Cross Street: Orlando Street
  • Location: Central / Downtown LA | West Hollywood
  • Cuisine: American | California |
  • Cost: $$$ | Moderate | $50 - $75
  • Category: Fine Dining
  • Star Rating:
  • Reservations: Recommended
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Meals Served: Dinner |
  • Parking: Street | Public Lot | Valet Parking |
  • Payment Options: VISA | Amex | Mastercard | Discover | Diners Club |
  • Corkage Fee: N/A
  • Staff: Jill Jennings | Event Coordinator
    Christine Banta | Executive Chef
  • Phone: (323) 848-2360

  Business Hours

Monday
Main Dining Room | Happy Hours 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Tuesday
Main Dining Room | Happy Hours 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Wednesday
Main Dining Room | Happy Hours 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Thursday
Main Dining Room | Happy Hours 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Friday
Main Dining Room | Happy Hours 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Saturday
Main Dining Room | Happy Hours 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Sunday
Main Dining Room | Happy Hours 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Features

Occasion

 


  F.A.Q. - Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Café La Boheme is a BYOB restaurant, and charges a $20 corkage fee.
The restaurant has a ‘casual elegant’ dress code. Suit jackets and collared shirts are recommended for men, and skirts and dresses are recommended for women.
Café La Boheme offers a California/American Cuisine menu.
They do not have a private room, however, it is possible to reserve the terrace and that will seat up to 35 people.

 Menus

Happy Hour Menu

SANDWICHES

FUN BITES

Happy Hour Specials

Signature Cocktails

Dessert Menu

House Made Desserts

Beverages

Dinner

Soups & Starters

Salads

Pasta & Risottos

Entrees

Sides

House Made Desserts

Wine by the Glass

Bubbles

Whites

Reds

Bar Menu

Signature Cocktails

777 Martinis

Wine Flights

Tax Break Prix Fixe Menu

Starters

Mains

Desserts


 User Reviews

Can't wait to go back!  

Wonderful service. Beautiful ambience. Dinner was superb! Well priced and delicious!

Great place!  

Great food. Great service. Great ambiance. Loved it!

Amazing experience  

Ambiance was my first impression. Felt like i was in a movie. Experience from service to presentation to taste of food was one of the best I've ever had. Would highly recommend this restaurant for any occasion where you expect the best. Guarantee you wont be disapointed. A+++++

The gangs night out  

Myself and 7 other friends headed out to Cafe La Boheme. We had never been there and we were looking for a different experience. We found it! The service was beyond great. Sterling our server was outstanding, and the manager on duty that night was also extremely helpful. It was like being in your own home. The food was probably the best I have had in a restaurant in a long time. We each had something different and ended up sharing all around. It was definitely worth the drive we had to make! (We had one couple from Moorepark, one from Lancaster, one from Long Beach and my husband and I are in Rancho Palos Verdes) It's a place we will venture to again.

Great dining experience!  

Great food and ambience was very nice.

Excellent.  

This was a very excellent restaurant, I would definitely return to this restaurant.

WE JUST LOVED IT A LOT .....  

GREAT ... GREAT .... GREAT IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE .... WE'LL GO BACK AGAIN MANY TIMES . MY BEST WISHES TO YOU ALL ! OTTO GABOR JOZSA

a Fabulous evening a wonderful restaurant  

This restaurant has an amazing vibe. It is so unique and beautiful. The food is fabulous. I celebrated my birthday here with some friends, it was such a wonderful experience. This was the perfect pick to have my celebration...it was special in every way.

in love...  

Only two words....excellent,delicius...I was looking a romantic place and I find it here...I hope to come back soon ,very soon...

best romantic restaurant  

Go to Cafe La Boheme.. for a perfect night out with some1 special perfect ambience great food and great people

Chic, modern and good price  

Interesting decoration, good food and fair price. A classic.

Cafe La Boheme  

The ambience of the atmosphere is a mix of Goth and Modern style with a romantic twist. The food has a health conscious approach that suits the pallets of both vegan and coniferous tastes in appropriate portions. They have a very casual yet exceptional service.

Excellent restaurant  

Thank you very much for the outstanding experience you have provided us. The restaurant is very beautiful and the service was great. I'd definitely come back again!

Cafe La Boheme Restaurant, excellent!  

I would highly recommend this restaurant in West Hollywood. I'm from Boston or I would go back again and again. The service was great, the one drink I had was great (a martini of some kind), the food was absolutely delicious. The atmosphere was very different, bohemian I guess! An upscale feel while being quirky and interesting. I was on a business trip and my 4 other colleagues all enjoyed the food and atmosphere as well. We especially enjoyed the tomato barrata salad appetizer. I can't tell how delicious it was! With a few minor criticisms from a very particular person such as me, I would give this restaurant a 4 1/2 stars.

Great food, and Outstanding restaurant  

The overall experience was very nice. The food and ambiance of Cafe La Boheme was fantastic. It may be possible that our waiter just had an off night, the fact remains the service wasn't stellar and we were left waiting for quite a long time to order and for dessert menus to be brought over after our plates were taken away. Besides that one hitch, the restaurant is outstanding.

great for a date  

I would definetly recommend this place! Our meal was great from beginning to end. I liked our server as well. Great atmosphere! We were happy for the easy parking in hollywood since its way stressful getting there. They have a nice lot to park. Everyone was getting burgers we noticed. So I'm guessing the burgers are really good. We got a filet mignon and it was perfect! Great date place!

great for a date  

I would definetly recommend this place! Our meal was great from beginning to end. I liked our server as well. Great atmosphere! We were happy for the easy parking in hollywood since its way stressful getting there. They have a nice lot to park. Everyone was getting burgers we noticed. So I'm guessing the burgers are really good. We got a filet mignon and it was perfect! Great date place!

Awesome food and location  

Great food, and the decor is really unique. Highly recommend.

Would eat here again. Great food.  

Good location. The lighting and fireplace were very nice. The food was fantastic. Nicely prepared, great flavor. The Host lacked patience when I gave him my name because I gave him the first part of my hyphened name instead of the second “We have to remember the name we gave with the reservations”. Not a friendly first impression. The waiter was very good but came to the table too many times to ask how things were. He should only check in a few times during dinner, not with every bite. The room had a warm and quiet feel but was surprisingly very loud. all in all it was a nice experience.

New look  

Overall the food was excellent, the service was great and the resturant presentation was beautiful. Looking forward to coming again.

Recommended  

The restaurant will make you look good and score points with your date, guaranteed. The atmosphere is dim and romantic with fireplace and chandeliers. The waiters and servers were attentive, always making sure everything was good. We went on a thursday and it wasn't so busy, that might explain the telepathic sense they had when we needed something. The calamari- taste is average nothing special. The pork chop I got was much better tasting and it went well with the house red wine. The complimentary bread was delicious, I ate so much I couldn't finish my pork chop dinner. Price is good for the overall experience and atmosphere. I would recommend the restaurant to a friend.

La Boheme  

The restaurant had good food for a great price. My wife and I had a nice romantic supper and then we went to the bar for a few drinks.

Serene Romantic Atmosphere, Delicious food!  

I took my girlfriend to La Boheme for her birthday and was very satisfied with the service right from the start. The bread was a kind of spongy ciabatta served warm with a kind of plain cold hummus which complimented perfectly and set the palate for the flavors of the food to come. We ordered coffee and Layer Cake red wine. both fantastic and full flavored.

For an appetizer we got the spring rolls with plum sauce. very nice presentation and the surprise was the ginger covered with wasabi in the center which went very well with the rolls. the plum sauce sweet but offset by a small but potent amount of hot mustard. We also got the caesar salad which on first look was very simple. only romaine, croutons, and sun dried tomatoes were visible on the plate. but for what it lacked for in sight it made up for in flavor. Each leaf was perfectly coated in the delicious dressing which is very hard to get right. and the sun dried tomatoes were both sweet and tangy.

For entrees she had the pan seared scallops which were perfect in texture and had a delicious buttery lemon flavor. I had the sesame crusted tofu steak with brown rice and broccolini which was piping hot and fried in a kind of sesame soy sauce. Very good texture for tofu and not bland at all considering the plainness of the meal. Only recommendation would be to serve less in the portion. It was very filling and i could barely eat half the steak.

For dessert we had the chocolate chip bread pudding that was served with a candle in the ice cream for my Girlfriends birthday without my request (kudos to the service) very delicious and pretty solid for a bread pudding which i enjoyed. The cinnamon ice cream was a great topper.

Overall a very satisfying experience. we passed over 2 hours in the restaurant and never once felt like we were dawdling. I recommend La Boheme for a romantic evening for 2 or an intimate party of no more than 4.

Good experience.  

Don't be fooled by the photo posted here. The atmosphere was very dim for our evening reservation, and in their fireplace a nice little blaze was going. The place is pretty beautiful, you can take in a lot while waiting for your food that you won't even notice the time passing. Lots of reds and browns, kind of felt like I was in Dracula's bedroom. We ordered the crabcakes, she had the miso glazed salmon, and I tried the lobster saffron risotto. The crabcakes were rich, strong with lemon and probably the best I've had so far. Her salmon was cooked perfectly, although she's not a fan of rice, it complemented the fish pretty well. The lobster saffron was good, but was missing that 'wow' effect. Aside from that it was good, the lobster was tender, and the grana panado really brought it all together. We waited about 5 minutes and received our water. 7 minutes in we were served bread and wine orders taken. At 10 minutes our glasses came. Then when 20 minutes had passed our appetizer was served. Just as we finished it, the two entrees came to us. So all in all we waited 30 minutes from the initial order to eat. Staff was prompt and polite and accomodated us thoroughly. I recommend this place if you don't need large portions to enjoy a meal.

Decent Spot  

The food was delicious, but the price to portion ratio seemed a little high.