One of my favorite little cafes in LA is the Little Next Door which opened a few years ago. I used to frequent this place when it first opened, when I was completely enamored with the cute Parisian/Moroccan decor, handsome friendly French waiters and delicious sandwiches and wines. After a year’s absence, I went to have lunch with some friends, and it reminded of why I fell in love with this place to begin with. The decor is still cute, with the striking cobalt blue walls, quaint front patio, and high ceilings; the wait staff are all wearing white long sleeved shirts with blue horizontal stripes, and the majority speak French- Sacre Bleu!! Am I in a Paris? Oh, and did I mention that the waiters are cute, friendly and attentive? Yeah, and the food is still great.
They have sandwiches, soups, salads, crepes, quiches, entrees (pasta dishes, steaks, grilled chicken, lamb shank), homemade pates and terrines, cheeses, wines, coffees/teas and desserts. Anything to please your taste buds. It’s very relaxing to sit on the patio while sipping cafe au lait and doing some people watching.
We opted for soups, deli salads and sandwiches since it was lunchtime. I got the ‘Little Next Deal’, which includes a soup, half sandwich, 1 deli salad, and a macaroon for dessert.
The french onion soup was very traditional, packed with caramelized onions, soaked baguettes in veal/beef stock, and a heaping mound of gruyere. I got the chicken and lentil soup, which to my surprise was packed with large tender chunks of savory vegetables. I was expecting a somewhat bland and simple brown lentil soup with maybe some bits and pieces of chicken, but this was a very hearty and satisfying soup that made me want to cry out for my maman.
I got the smoked salmon sandwich, with tzatziki and arugula on a brioche bun, with a side of triple beet salad. It was wonderful. My friend got the smoked chicken sandwich, likewise on a brioche bun, with a side of celery root salad. Very simple flavors, but delicate and delicious.
For dessert, pistachio and lavender macaroons. They also had dulce de leche, rose and chocolate.
And what’s more, you can enjoy this brief escape to the streetcorners of Paris with the perks of LA food culture- I got my cafe au lait with soy milk. What’s not to love about this place? A tout a l’heure!
Random debate: So are macaroons cakes or biscuits? Well, they are considered to be more like biscuits, since they don’t rise when baked, like cakes do.