CLOSED: Madeleine Bistro

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 39 reviews )



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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i could only come for lunch and they served me dinner. this is the best veg food I HAVE EVER HAD. eat here before you die. seriously.

Pros: quality, ambiance, service

Cons: menu changes, parking/hours, expensive

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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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Delicious but expensive and small portions - Edit

Many people like this restaurant, and it is fancy at night. The portions are small and it's more expensive than many nearby ethnic vegetarian options.

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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

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 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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