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CLOSED: Madeleine Bistro

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 39 reviews )


Contact 818-758-6971

18621 Ventura Blvd (at Reseda Blvd), Tarzana, California, USA, 91356

In addition to the a la carte menu, this all vegan restaurant also offers fresh pressed juices and organic & bio-dynamic wines from around the world. Parking in the rear or on street. Location is between Optics By Serge (with yellow awning) and Medcare Supply stores. Reported closed to HappyCow.

Category: Vegan, American, Organic, Juice bar, Beer/Wine, Catering, Gourmet

Reviews (39)

First Review by JJJones

Amazing tastes - Edit

Went for lunch at Madeleine Bistro. It was pretty empty and they didn't have everything on the menu but every single taste was amazing. The food was really gourmet and well prepared.
The only reason why they don't get a 5 is that the prices were similar to Millennium in SF but the atmosphere was nowhere near close.
Updated from previous review on Sunday October 28, 2012

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Madeleine Bistro - Edit

My bf made reservations here for my birthday and confirmed Friday reservations with a female employee. We drove all the way up to Madeleine's from Santa Monica during traffic (so this took a long time) only to find that the restaurant was closed. My bf was let down and upset because he confirmed the reservations for Friday with an employee. Normally I wouldn't write a review because of this, but this was a pretty significant birthday and this was a huge let down. Be sure to double, or even triple confirm, reservations and times they're open with different employees. Thank goodness Follow Your Heart was near by, but it certainly wasn't the fancy meal my boyfriend wanted to buy me for my birthday. I will never attempt to go to Madeleine's again after this, total let down.

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Love this place but... - Edit

This place is all about the food. I love the food it's innovative and very delicious. But do they give you grief if you walk in without a reservation. Every time I've gone the place has been dead. Multiple empty tables. But you go in when they open and don't have a res they start looking around the room as if they were scrambling to find you a seat amongst there empty tables. I usual do have a reservation simply because the future of this place always seems to be hanging in the balance. But the give me a break with the emotional tyranny.

Pros: Fantastic food, Never packed

Cons: Staff can have an attitude, Under threat of closing, Been under threat for years now.

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Creative Vegan Food - Edit

I had read about this place on happycow, and here's my Madeleine Bistro review.

I've eaten here several times over the years. Mostly of the times we've enjoyed our meals, though I was a bit taken aback to see the raise in prices... a sandwich for $14? A dinner main entree for $18-20. I guess that's not so bad for fine dining in LA, but we are vegetarians and vegans who watch their wallets.

It's fine dining with white table cloth, and the head chef is usually always around to supervise the kitchen, which is nice.

The dishes I've tried: the beet tartare (good), the club sandwich (greasy), the nori rolls (good), the rosemary seitan entree (okay), brunch omelette (tasty), chickn and waffles (good), mac n cheese (decent), the oyster dumplings (greasy), chocolate souffle (good), and a few others.

It's all vegan, and the food presentation is very nice.

Pros: creative cuisine, all vegan

Cons: ventilation could be better

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My Vegan Dream Come True - Edit

Madeline Bistro is the kind of restaurant that you go out of your way for. I'm so happy this place exists on the planet and I can't wait to eat here again.

The food was exquisite. The organic coffee with soy creamer, french onion soup, reuben sandwich, Thanksgiving pre-view meal and a to-die-for chocolate souffle with vanilla ice cream. All highly recommended. This is a 5-Cow chef!

The wait staff was extraordinary. We were greeted warmly and given attentive but not overbearing service. Our water and coffee cups were never empty. The flow was perfect with beverages, soup, entrees then dessert coming out in perfect timing. Flawless service.

I loved the atmosphere. It's the type of place where you can feel comfortable if you're dressed up or if you're in jeans. It hints toward upscale but it's not pretentious. Most importantly, they got the spacing right on the tables. Often restaurants with small dining areas will try to pack in the tables which makes for an awkward dining experience when you can hear every word the table next to you is saying and vice versa. Not here.

Madeline Bistro reminded me of Green Zebra in Chicago only Madeline has a better menu, chef and atmosphere. To the owners of Madeleine Bisto, my only request is that you open a restaurant in Chicago so I can eat here all the time.

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Food is Great - Edit

Madeline Bistro is similar to being in NYC. The food is great and presented beautifully. The vibe is relaxing but energetic at the same time. I have not had anything on the menu that wasnt great.

Pros: excellent food , great service , great presentation

Cons: a bit pricey

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Amazing Valentine's Dinner - Edit

We got the 6 course dinner they offered for Valentines weekend and everything was amazing! I highly recommend going here for a nice vegan dining experience. Great place for date night. You must order "twix" for dessert.

Pros: excellent food, friendly, unique dishes

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Needs new management - Edit

Like most people, I like the food a lot but think that the location, service, and portions do not warrant those outrageous prices.

There is another problem, which is much worse, and that is the management. Last year, my wife and I (both of us are vegan) were planning our wedding. We loved the food at Madeline, so we wanted to have our reception there for 40 people. On the website, they have a section on 'catering your special event', so we were thrilled.

My wife emailed many times, and left phone messages, neither of which was ever answered. We got a little nervous about that, so after a week or two we actually went down in person to talk to the owners. We waited a while and then Chef Dave came out. He was very nice, and we had a pleasant talk about a few of the details and were told that his wife, who actually runs the business, would be giving us a call. Dave had never heard of us, nor our many messages, and the best he could come up with was that his wife had been busy with the kids. Not exactly what I want to hear from a supposed high-dining restaurant who is supposed to cater my wedding.

So, we did later get a call from Dave's wife, and talked for a few minutes. She emailed us a very vague menu and quote with nothing specific on it, with a note that she would be calling us. No call came. So, we emailed back asking for the specifics. No reply. We called and left more phone messages. No reply. We emailed and called some more. No reply.

Skip to the end: We had our wedding almost a year later, and did the reception at another restaurant. We still have not heard back from Madeline. Shockingly unprofessional.

It seems to me that with the mishandling of the business, they throw away tons of money. And to compensate they just raise the prices to the breaking point. Whatever it would cost to hire a new business manager would come back to them ten-fold.

Pros: Best Vegan Food in LA

Cons: AWFUL management, tiny portions, Outrageous prices for portions/location

4 Responses

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vegangirly1234 11 Oct 2012 - I understand your annoyance but Molly and Dave DO have a life just like you. They have children that are in school that take priority so don't be so judgmental. ALSO the reason that they do not answer their phone 24/7 or in a 24 hour wait, is because they are NOT THERE until the day they open and are getting ready to open. They check every voice mail, every single weekend they are open and write down every reservation. Then they contact every single person that made a reservation all before they open. Before you judge so harshly, think.

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Veganismo 11 Oct 2012 - vegangirly1234,
I have no ill feelings toward Molly and Dave. This site is dedicated to judging restaurants, and all I did was explain my experience. They totally dropped the ball and left me and my wife in the lurch for our wedding reception. I don't see how it is judgemental to bring that up in a review that might be read by others looking to have their own catering done by MB. After my experience with them, I can't possibly see how you can defend them by saying they "contact every single person!" THEY NEVER CONTACTED ME and I count as a single person, don't I? What information do you have to prove that they contact every person anyway? You could only know something like that if you work for them, in whcih case your review is too biased to count for anything.

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Veganismo 11 Oct 2012 - While I'm at it, I did go back to MB recently to give them another shot. The food was great, BUT...
The restaurant itself is not being taken care of. The floors were so dirty it was unvebelieveable. You could see black dirty footprints ALL OVER the floor. This was weird because we were the first people to eat there that week (5pm on Saturday). It is as though nobody cleaned it all week. Also, the side wall of the restautrant, which has nice photos haning on it, is painted a greenish color. Well, at the height of all the chair backs, there is a huge long band of stripped paint which has come off the wall, presumeably from being scratched by the chair backs. It is a huge gash, running for 10 or 20 feet, showing with white drywall underneath. I can understand how this can happen, but the presentation is just awful. It looks like a construction site. There are also tables which have a wood booth on one side. Well, the veneer is chipping off in places. The restaurant also seems to have some kind of "office" ceiling, which is unattractive. Next time you go to MB, go near the big window and look where the window meets the ceiling at the front of the restaurant. Totally filthy with dirt and grime.
None of this affects the quality of the food, which is very good. But how can you put up the pretense of FINE DINING and OUTRAGEUOS PRICES when you keep the resurant looking so shabby? It's insulting to the clientele.

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happycowgirl 22 Feb 2013 - Interesting to read your review. I had a similar encounter. I'm in from out of town so this was my first experience with Madeline Bistro. I called to make reservations and rec'd a msg that says, "If you'd like to make reservations, pls leave your name, # and requested date and time and we'll get back to you." 24 hrs passed and they didn't get back to me. In my msg, I left my name & said my phone # twice. I requested a time then said if that time is not available we'll take any time they have open. In other words, it is not possible that they didn't get back to me b/c they didn't catch my # or b/c they were unable to accommodate my request. It was not a good first impression.

I called back later when the restaurant was open and a friendly staff member easily made me a reservation. Long story short, Madeline Bistro, if u can't return ppl's calls it's best not even to offer the "leave a message" option. Better yet, what about using opentable.com to accept reservations?

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Madeleine Bistro - Edit

Great Food, Great environment, great customer service. This place is awesome and close to my house. This is where you can go and get a gourment vegan meal, dessert, drinks and much, much more. I wish they were open at least five days a week. Oh the chef prepares his own protein fresh daily. It is not frozen.

Pros: Excellent Food, Healthy Food, Friendly Staff

Cons: Pricey Sandwiches, Small Portions, Not Open Enough Days

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Insanely Good - Edit

All I can say is crazzzzzy good! I've tried the Bigger Macque, and Fillet-No-Fish as well as the French Onion soup. The soup was quite good, while the sandwiches were truly amazing! We stopped by here after going to WorldFest earlier this year as it was less than 10 minutes away. Must go! You will not be disappointed.

Pros: Crazy Good Vegan Food

Cons: Pricey, May need quarters for parking

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Upscale Vegan Eatery - Edit

I went specifically for the Phillet No Phish sandwich (minus the vegan cheese), & it was good. I also got their donuts, which were melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The next time that I'm in L.A. I'd like to venture back their way to try more of their menu items.

Pros: Good vegan creations

Cons: easy to miss if unfamiliar w/the area , not the cheapest tool in the shed

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Best vegan restaurant in the country - Edit

I've had the pleasure of dining here so many times I have lost count. It surpasses meals I have had at other top American restaurants such as Candle 79 or Millennium. The presentation is always spectacular. The servers couldn't be nicer. The chef is an artist who is constantly developing new items, each one better than the last. I can't recommend Madeleine Bistro enough for a fine dining experience. Brunch is equally as good as dinner and both are worth checking out. Their prix fixe menus on holidays are very expensive but worth experiencing at least once. Recommendations: Everything. But especially the Red Beet Tartare, the Bigger Maque, the Mac and Cheese, any of their soups, etc etc etc.

Pros: Everything

Cons: Price

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High end vegan dining - Edit

I see a lot of complaints about the price, and yet it seems comparably priced to non-veg bistro dining, if not cheaper, so I don't see what the fuss is about. It's worth every penny for a special dining experience. It's not a corner joint you go to once a week (well, not on my salary). But if I want to impress someone, this is the place. A friend brought me here once for a birthday dinner, and it was me and five 20-something omnivore guys. They were all apprehensive about a vegan place and yet all walked away satisfied. The fried chicken is a crowd pleaser. I have had amazing breakfasts here as well as dinners, and I recommend Madeleine highly for a hot date, or brunch the morning after. ;)

Pros: High quality, Delicious

Cons: Pricey, Parking not ideal

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Pricing themselves out of existence - Edit

First, let me say that I've been going to Madeleine Bistro ever since it opened. I must have eaten there at least a dozen times over the years. David and Molly Anderson are very nice people and David is a truly great chef. But their policy of constantly raising prices for their food - without a corresponding increase in service quality, atmosphere, or exciting new menu items - has soured me. My wife and I went here a few weeks ago and it was $100 for two people. Without drinks. That $100 went to two appetizers (delicious vegan mac & cheese, but $13 for a small plate? Sorry, folks, you don't get away with that price when Veggie Grill now serves up equally good m&c for $3.50 a serving), two mains, a shared dessert, and tip. And from my standpoint, when you're spending $100 for dinner for two, that's "special event" territory. And for that price, a couple could have a wonderful vegan meal at Inn of the Seventh Ray, or Akasha, or even Street - with drinks. All places with vastly superior service and more ambiance than Madeleine's sad little Ventura Blvd. storefront, which was nearly empty on the night we went - a sign that more and more people may be taking their business elsewhere. David and Molly, a note: Your food is incredible, but you're not good businesspeople. If you're not pulling in the number of customers you desire, the answer is NOT to cover your costs by jacking up prices to an insulting degree, while offering totally average service and menu items that are no longer new or challenging. If you want to fill your restaurant, lower your prices and get some professional servers. Make a meal at Madeleine a true experience.

Pros: Delicious food

Cons: Prices are now a ripoff, Inattentive service

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Don't forget about brunch! - Edit

We couldn't make it out to Tarzana for dinner, but we did get the benefit of Sunday brunch - and it was amazing. The menu alone almost made me cry, as the vegan options were almost unheard of. Beignets? Crispy, delicious cinnamon donuts with compote?? Fantastic! We also loved the tofu eggs benedict and the phenomenal French toast with vegan whipped creme. The one complaint was the coffee, which was poor. Otherwise, this was a first class brunch. A little pricey, to be sure, but worth the trip.

Pros: Great food

Cons: Poor coffee, pricey

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Excellent food - Edit

I have been to this restaurant after many weeks of reading reviews, so I had great expectations. Started with French lentils salad which was really delicious, my friend had the clam chowder which was really good, but nothing to do with clams, then we got the famous red beet tartar, really good! and tofu scallops, excellent! I think the best part were dessert: chocolate souffle and creme brule. They were to dye for! This could have been a great experience, unfortunately the service was lacking. We were the only table the waiter was serving and it took him more then 5 minutes to come and take the empty plates from our table, same thing for the dessert, we asked for 2 dessert, he said the souffle would have needed about 15 minutes for cooking, OK, but when we received it, it took him about 5 minutes to serve the brule, so we were forced to share desserts, we didn't want to. The worst part was seeing him talking with a waitress and texting on his cell while we were waiting for him to take care of our table. The restaurant is pricey and I can understand it because of the food, but for what I pay $100 in two, I expect a better service!

Pros: Food, Decor

Cons: Service

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THE Best Vegan Restaurant I've Ever Been To - Edit

You won't believe the menu. Every time we go here we get stuck on something that is just too good to not get again. The staff is so friendly and helpful though they've encouraged us to try OTHER things which then became our favourites! You won't believe the Phillet No Phish...truly unbelievable!!! Also love the Beet Tartare and Mac N Cheese. The staff is also so nice that they found out I was flipping out over the topping on the cheesecake and brought me a little bowl with more of it. Isn't that the sweetest??? If you're vegan/vegetarian, it's worth traveling the distance from wherever you are...this is by far the best restaurant you will ever go to.

Pros: AMAZING menu, A fav for vegan AND carnivores!, Pro, helpful, kind staff

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Really good, but a bit over priced. - Edit

I took my friend there for his birthday a few hours ago and we had an overall good experience. The service was good; he remembered to bring the complimentary birthday ice cream. The food was delicious and some of the dishes are very hard to find vegan, but the portions were definitely too small considering the price.
We ordered the Macaroni and cheese, which was good. It is one of the rare vegan mac and cheeses that doesn't have a nutritional yeast taste. It was a nice change of pace, but it wasn't that flavorful. The "bacon" on top was really good! It was a ridiculously tiny portion.
We also had the fish-no-fillet which was a normal sized burger. That was very good, it was light, crispy, and had tangy tartar sauce. MMM!
We got the large portion of the Asian tacos. They were amazingly good, though a bit oily. Using wanton skins for the taco shell gives them a really interesting texture. They are pretty small though.
The deserts were SOOOOOOOOO GOOOD! The creme brulee was just the right size because it was so rich. Where else can you get vegan creme brulee? The chocolate souffle far exceeded my expectations of what a vegan souffle could ever achieve in lightness and creamyness. That alone would be worth going.

Pros: Desserts , Service , Quality

Cons: Price , Portions

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Our favorite restaurant - Edit

Madeleine's is easily our favorite restaurant. Since we don't live close by, we generally just go for special occasions (brunch or dinner) and we have never been disappointed. The chocolate souffle is to die for. How does Chef Dave do it? The cheese plate is no longer on the menu, but it had smoked gouda. Smoked Gouda! I get the mac and cheese each time, but the red beet tartare is excellent as well. The rosemary seitan with crepes is amazing. The chicken-fried seitan is great comfort food. We can't rave enough about this place. Unbelievable vegan food. We'd be broke if it was closer to us.

Pros: the best vegan food, nice atmosphere, chocolate souffle

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I live for this place. - Edit

They have the worlds most delicious food. I think it is well worth everyone (including regular eaters) to travel out to this restaurant. They intimate setting and great wine selection really sets it apart from any other veggie oriented restaurant I have ever been to. I always order: The Bigger Macque, Red beet tartar, and any of their desserts are especially yummy. Their caesar salad is to die for as well. I have gotten both of my non-veg sisters addicted to this place!

Pros: food, ambiance, staff

Cons: location, parking

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Madeleine Bistro - Edit

Madeleine Bistro is owned and operated by a classical French-trained vegan chef and his wife (who is the restaurant manager). It's a true mom and pop restaurant that serves up incredibly innovative, fresh, seasonal fare. The brunch setting is more family-oriented (vegan donuts are nothing short of divine), while the dinner service is romantic with dim candle light. Each dish is replete with imagination and attention to detail.

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Reviewer Avatar


We are so lucky to have this restaurant in SoCal, let alone The Valley! I would literally road trip hundreds of miles to eat there, but luckily it's only a few miles from my home.

The food is so exquisite, so imaginative, and best of all, so tasty! I love salt and spice, and I never find myself wishing to add either to any of there dishes. The flavor profiles are so perfectly balanced.

I discovered this place only two months ago, and I've been there six times so far. All the dishes I've had have been nothing short of transcendent. The beet tartare is one dish to surely not be missed. There are so many dishes to sing the praises of that I can't even begin to list them!

Do yourself a favor: make sure to have brunch there on the weekend and never miss one of their special "tasting menu" nights... You will be over the moon in culinary ecstasy!



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My favorite restaurant - Edit

I've been to literally dozens of vegan and vegetarian restaurants and Madeleine remains my favorite. I haven't loved every item I've eaten there, but I've had many more amazing dishes than run-of-the-mill ones. My favorites are the macaroni and cheese, tamales, red beet tartare, chicken and waffles, oyster mushrooms, breakfast omelette, and the donut. We've celebrated many birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's days, etc. at Madeleine and always leave satisfied (if a little poorer). The one drawback is definitely the cost.

Pros: Innovative excellent food, good ingredients, good for special occasions

Cons: Expensive, Not the greatest location

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Super Souffle - Edit

Finally, a restaurant that serves upscale vegan food in the Valley! My BF and I celebrated our anniversary here on September 13th. We came with big expectations and even bigger appetites. Like a lot of people, we almost drove past the place as their already dark sign was not lit up. We walked into a candlelit room that appeared to have been converted from an office space. My BF thought it could benefited a bit from a designer's touch; perhaps some drapes and lighting fixtures. We could tell, that they had made an effort, however. On to the food. We were very impressed with their organic wine list and happily ordered a bottle of Sofia sparkling wine from the Coppola winery. Next came bowls of french onion soup and the cauliflower bisque. Both were tasty, but the french onion was the favorite at our table. We then split both the macaroni and cheese appetiser and their signature lemon-rosemary seitan for our entrees. We were blown aware by how much the mac and cheese sauce reminded us of gruyere -- amazing! The roasted veggies that came on the side were very fresh, with the flavor of an outdoor barbeque. The seitan was juicy had a fresh lemonly flavor and the creamy asparagus crepe that accompanied it was a triumph! It would fool a carnivore any day. We were having so much fun that we ordered 2 desserts to share. While the bananas foster was sinfully delicious, the chocolate souffle had our eyes rolling back in our heads. How do they do it? Seriously, it was one of the best souffles I have ever eaten, vegan or not, and I've eaten many. One last note: for those of you who are a members of Aadvantage Dining, we ended up with almost 400 fequent flier miles, as a bonus to our great meal. We'll be back for brunch!

Pros: delicious food, friendly service, good organic wine list

Cons: decor, hard to find

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Simply the Best Vegan Restaurant on the Left Coast - Edit

I've been going to Madeleine Bistro since they opened. I've traveled up and down the west coast and I've yet to find a restaurant that compares to it (SF's Millenium included. Chef Dave (Vegnews Chef of the Year) is a most creative chef and produces combinations that blow the Vegan mind. I just tried a new dish there that revolves around Shitake Mushrooms, delicate tortellinis, greens and 2 sauces. I hate mushrooms. I loved this dish!

The food does cost a little more than your average fare Vegan restaurant in Los Angeles, but if you're paying attention the dollar has been seriously devalued, gas has more than doubled, and everything in the economy relies on transportation costs and the value of the dollar. Most restaurants I've been going to have had to raise their prices. Have you seen the prices at Real Foods Daily lately? They charge around the same, have made the side dish now an added cost and their food is not even in the same ball park as Madeleines. Yes it's more expensive that Native Foods (which I like - but I notice all their sandwiches lately have been trimmed...), but how can you compare the two? Native Foods is great fast food, Madeleines is a culinary experience.

Madeleine's food is Haute Cuisine. The place is not perfectly located, but it is most certainly the best in Los Angeles and probably the west coast. The Beet Tartare is sublime (and it's been imitated - but not nearly as well), the Bigger Macque is crazy with pickles and a special sauce, the Lemon grilled seitan (my personal favorite) is utterly delicious and melts in the mouth. The cheeses that Dave has created are some of the best in the Vegan world. There's the Mac and cheese which is most addictive and if you're very lucky they will have the cheese platter available.

If you get a bad waiter on a bad day, of course you will be disappointed, but that is not the norm at Madeleines. As you probably can tell, I really, really like the food at Madeleine Bistro!

Pros: delicious, creative, vegan

Cons: location

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2 out of 3 - Edit

4/24/08 Birthday Dinner for 2: $66.03

The food: Excellent
The ambience: Perfect
The attitude: Inattentive/borderline Rude

Why?: I booked reservations, reserving desserts as well for an anticipated wonderful first experience at Madeleine Bistro.

Upon mentioning that I had reservations for a birthday dinner, this information was not acknowledged. Tea was ordered to start with. The crumpled teabag packets were still on the table by the time we left.

The restaurant wasn't that busy (4 tables max), yet for some reason throughout the course of our meal, our used plates and utensils were left on the table significantly longer than other tables who either were a) larger parties or b) ordering more food - which equals c)it appeared they were treated better for spending more money.

Drinking water, usually brought at the beginning of a meal, made it to the table about half way through dinner.

The bill was brought to our table without being asked if we were ready for it, or if we would like to order something else. I needed to then pull the server aside, reiterate that it was a birthday and that I was informed there was a small slice of cake and ice cream w/ a candle generously provided by the restaurant.

I received a questioning look, and was told that there was no cake, but a small dish of ice cream with a candle. I accepted, and informed the server that we also wanted yet another dessert. At the mention of us ordering more, the attentiveness quickly escalated, but too late.

Last, but not least, I discovered that I was charged twice: the second charge having $20 extra added to an already $66.00 bill.

As a veteran of the restaurant business, I always hold a soft spot for restaurant employees, and at the same time understand the level of service that is to be expected as a customer. I believe this experience to be a fluke, and for now, will not judge the overall excellence of the restaurant.

However, it is not the quantity, but the quality that determines repeat customers.

Pros: Excellent Food, Completely Vegan, Next time will be better, I hope...

Cons: Inattentiveness, Charged Twice

1 Response

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The Veggie Cook 22 Feb 2013 - Hi David,

I was also shocked to learn that they only offer tap water if you don't want their $5 bottled water. You'd think a place of 'high' caliber as it's trying to be would use filtered water! The waitress told me that they use tap water for everything, including ice teas & soups!

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French Vegan Cuisine... mmm... - Edit

I really enjoyed the ambiance of Madeleine's when compared with the average Vegan restaurant in LA, which are mostly casual. I went there with my boyfriend and it was a perfect date atmostphere with the candles. I only ate there once, but thought it was wonderful & talked about it for months, I LOVED the banana split & so did my non-vegan boyfriend; although he didn't enjoy his entree which was some Asian tacos, which seems very strange anyway, since it's a French restaurant. I'd definitely go back, but only on a date, too romantic for an evening with friends, but probably during the day is a bit more casual.

Pros: romantic, good service, banana split-mmm

Cons: not everything on the menu is great

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Finally, A Vegan Restaurant - Edit

Our first visit to Madeleine's Bistro could have been a disaster. There was something wrong with the Tempeh and we asked Dave, who we had never met, to try it. He admited there was something wrong, it was too salty. Dave was horrified, comped the meal and sat down with us. Four hours later, with Molly asleep on the couch, we were still talking. I have been back to Madeleine's at least 50 times since. I have had some of the best meals ever there, never a bad meal, and always an enjoyable time. I won't bother to describe the food, since we all have our own tastes but the concept is hard for some vegetarians/vegans to get used to. They serve excellent quality and tastes you can find no where else. Dave designs his food and then uses his exceptional skills to create them. If you want a lot of food for little money, this place is not for you. If you want a culenary experience, then stop by. For my girlfriend and myself, we are usually around $50 and we don't drink alcohol. It is 100% vegan and the service is good. It is the kind of place that you can take anyone to without having to apologize for anything. The menu changes regularly and depends on what is in season. The desserts are mouth watering. If you want to have all you can eat for $15 this is not your place. It is dark and quiet, which I like. It is hard to find. Their sign is unreadable at night so you have to have the address. Their hours seem to change with the wind and they like to take off for national and some not so national holidays, so calling for a reservation is a great idea. We are too lazy to call for reservations and always manage to get in anyway. They are closed Monday's and Tuesday's. Their weekend brunch is something that should be experienced. Try the french toast.

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If no Donald Trump, come hungry, leave broke! Hype - Edit

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.

Pros: Tasty, Vegan

Cons: Not cheap, Not large portions, Dark inside

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Very good - Edit

Being from the San Francisco Bay Area, I was fortunate to have Madeleine Bistro recommended to me by someone local to their area. I was more than enthusiastic about this experience. The food was excellent, the service was excellent, and the price was certainly reasonable for this great experience. Two thumbs up. It was a high point of my trip to Southern California, and I will make it a point to return some day soon.

Pros: excellent food, good service, ambience pleasingly calm

Cons: difficult to find address from outside

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Delicious and Creative - Edit

On a recent trip to LA, I had the pleasure of indulging in a wonderous meal at Madeline's Bistro. The food was delicious and creative, both attributes that I appreciate as they are not always present in vegan restaurants. The service was excellent and the owner was welcoming. I will eat at Madeleine's every time I am in LA.

Pros: Delicious, Reasonable cost

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Overrated - Edit

I have eaten here several times and can't really rave about much. For an average of $30-40 per person it isn't all that great, just fancy. The beet tartare is very good, as is the chicken fried seitan, but the pu-pu platter (asian tacos) isn't very good and the cheese plate and truffled mac & cheese are tiny. The bananas foster split dessert is ok. The creme brule is disappointing but I recommend getting a side of chocolate sauce with it - that made it better. The risotto is good, but the italians do it better. I dare say it - Real Food Daily is better.

Pros: organic, gourmet, ambience

Cons: inconsistent service, too pricey

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the best thing about living in los angeles!!! - Edit

Sometimes I wonder why I live in Los Angeles. During these moments of crises, my friends only need to remind me that, if I didn't, I couldn't eat at Madeleine's. This is enough to make me all doe eyed and lovey dovey about my adopted city again. Madeleine's is beyond amazing. If you are visiting Los Angeles, this is a MUST SEE. People will tell you that you don't want to go all the way to the valley to eat. They are wrong. I have eaten at great vegan restaurants all over the country and this is one of the absolute finest. In fact, their chocolate souffle is reason enough to visit Los Angeles in the first place. The menu is incredibly diverse and brilliantly creative. I have never tasted vegan cheese that is so delicate and flavorfull or that has such incredible texture. And as for the deserts--there isn't even room in this space to explain how amazing it is to be a vegan and get to experience creme brulee again. Absolute perfection! Special recommendations: the country fried seitan. It is the yummiest of comfort food. And they will give you extra vegan gravy upon request!

Pros: Breathtaking deserts, Super friendly staff, Creative menu

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Delicious! - Edit

I was treated to the best food I can remember eating at the Madeline Bistro. I was surprised to read some of the luke-warm reviews, as my experience was top-notch! Perhaps I lucked out. I'll be going back again, that's for sure. The lemon-rosemary seitan was outtt of this world, melt in your mouth juicy goodness. I started my meal with asparagus bisque that tasted so fresh and rich, it was unbelievable. My partner had the southern fried seitan, it was also amazing. Perfec t and yummy experience.

Pros: excellent food, nice staff, healthy cuisine

Cons: too far from my house.

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Madeleine Bistro has it all! - Edit

Madeleine Bistro not only has spectacular food, but a great selection of organic wines and beers as well. The servers are all very knowledgeable about the food and are extremely pleasant as they help you out. I've eaten there probably 25 times since they've opened, and the food is always excellent. They have great sandwiches for lunch,(cajun caesar, chicken club, bigger maque) the Sunday brunch has a great variety of healthy and delicious items (fresh juices, ultra light waffles and bignets), and the dinner menu is always changing to include some innovative new dishes to go with the staples (chicken fried seitan, raw primavera, asian tacos). The deserts are incredible and the new souffle is a chocolate lovers dream come true. An overall great dining experience every time!

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