Chef Remi Lauvand: The Love Is Under the Lid At Café Pierre

Foie Gras Spread
Foie Parfait (pear compote, mini brioche)

There’s a clean cut quality about the space and atmosphere inside Manhattan Beach’s Café Pierre that somehow I can’t match up with Chef Remi Lauvand’s unbridled passion for food. But if you are paying attention, you’ll notice that each dish, when brought out to the table, has been handled with the utmost care. No corners are cut on ingredients or preparation.

Foie On Brioche

That is, dish or canister.

The canister beholding the foie gras was one that never closed. Well, neither did the one containing the pigs trotter. Nor the head cheese or duck rillettes. If you have concern for sustainability, no need to worry at Cafe Pierre – they use the entire animal. We only had occasion to slow the rate at which we sampled by having to avoid the tiny bones in the anchovies – also stuffed into an identical glass jar. Presentation may not be everything, but the freshness of the dishes is consistent with their preservation inside the sealed jars. Frisee is often paired with each taste so as to cut through the vibrancy of each animal “cut.”

Grilled Octopus

And if you have trouble deciding which other starters to head off your “starter jars,” go for the Veal Sweetbreads or Cote de Boeuf, complete with bone marrow. The Grilled Octopus is probably the most tender octopus I’ve ever had, with an excellent, mild but intriguing flavor.  The jalapeno veal, while ambitious, was a bit weird. But you’d be remiss if you overlooked the pork at Cafe Pierre. We enjoyed a slice of pork tenderloin (Guess what? It was very tender) from a very special acorn-fed hog by Jude Becker – of which there only exist probably a hundred this round.

Jude Becker's Acorn-fed Hog, Sausages, Brussels Sprouts, Wild Mushrooms

Chef Lauvand described with great detail and passion the exact cut on the Berkshire pig which we were devouring: Above the shoulder, into the belly and part of the rib. For such a rare, free-range pig – much less cut – $28 for the tenderloin is a steal, and is prepared simply yet expertly. And from what it looked like from where we sat, we could only deduce that the chunk of meat was quite a loadful to handle in their tiny kitchen. But that’s par for the course for Remi, who has no qualms about serving only the best meats to his customers. 

The beautiful thing about Cafe Pierre is that Chef Lauvand lets his ingredients speak for themselves in each of the dishes. They’re interesting while preparation is complimentary, not compensatory.

All aforementioned food was hosted.

Further reading:

Hogging the Jars – LAist

Dose of Vitamin P: Jude Becker’s Acorn Fed Hog at Cafe Pierre – FoodGPS

Special Foodventure #154: Cafe Pierre – LA OC Foodventures

Going Hog Wild at Cafe Pierre – Weezermonkey

Restaurant Review: Cafe Pierre – Southbay Rants ‘n Raves

Becker Lane “Acorn Edition” – Sinosoul

Café Pierre
317 Manhattan Beach Blvd
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
310.545.5252