Respond to Review of CLOSED: Madeleine Bistro
by Devin J.
Review: We drove down Ventura Blvd. right past Madeleine Bistro the first time because it looked very dark outside and inside the restaurant. In fact, we initially wondered if the place was out of business. It doesn't look very attractive from the street. When we stopped and got closer to the restaurant, we realized that it was open. When we walked into the restaurant, it was very dark inside. It was too dark for our tastes. The host was very friendly and informed us about various dishes and suggested some dishes to try. The female server was also very friendly and suggested some of her favorite dishes. After waiting too long for the food, we started off with the beet tartar appetizer and were quite disappointed that it was very small for its $13 price. It tasted pretty good but was too tiny for us to feel satisfied. We felt it was overpriced. We also had the seitan fried "chicken" with potatoes and vegetables (around $16 or $17) and the grilled lemon-rosemary seitan with some kind of small crepe (also around $16 or $17). Both of these dishes tasted very good but were not filling enough for us. We were still very hungry but didn't want to spend a lot more money for not enough food. I guess we wanted to cut our losses. After all, if you're not fairly affluent, the food is not cheap, given the portion sizes. For example, if a couple gets only two tiny beet tartar appetizers and two main-course dishes (and no drinks or desert), the bill will run about $76 with tax and tip. If you also get drinks and desert, you know the bill is going to sharply rise. And if your party has more than two, the bill is obviously going to be much, much higher. We came, we ate, we transiently enjoyed, we left feeling hungry and ripped-off. We don't mind paying a premium for fine food, especially fine vegetarian/vegan food. But when we leave, we want to feel satisfied and full and that it was worth the extra price. Unfortunately, when we left Madeleine Bistro, we left very hungry and feeling that it was not worth the price we paid. So, the food is very good if you're fairly affluent and don't mind spending a lot of money for many different dishes to fill you up. But if you don't have money to burn, then you'll leave hungry or broke. Or go to Native Foods (e.g., in Westwood) or Follow Your Heart, eat large portions of very good food at very reasonable prices, and leave feeling very satisfied and that is was well worth it. Madeleine's: Come hungry. Leave hungry & broke. Overrated.