Encino now has its own branch of Le Pain Quotidien. The rustic and hugely successful restaurant chain opened its doors on Ventura Boulevard and Firmament in August.
The space inside is brand-new and well-lit, with a brighly-colored Spanish tile floor area in the entrance way. Outside, there's a patio full of chairs, tables and palms.
Elizabeth Burt, regional manager for the restaurant, told Patch that the store represented one of the latest in the ever-expanding world of Le Pain Quotidien, which has locations in Mexico, Japan, Russia, France and now Brazil.
The founder of the store, Alain Coumont, started the company in 1990 in Brussels, Belgium.
"Alain was a famous chef in Brussels who started baking his own bread," said Burt. According to Burt, in 2001, the first Le Pain Quotidien opened in Southern California, in Beverly Hills.
The Encino menu is the same as other Le Pain Quotidien menus, with options for breakfast and lunch, and also includes dinner items.
"We're open from eight until eight," said Jorge Larrauri, general manager. Dinner items listed on the restaurant's menu include quinoa cake on a bed of hummus, Morrocan chicken salad, mushroom lasagna, and a selection of small but perfectly-formed tapas-style plates.
The location will soon have a liquor license, and will be serving wine and beers like Stella Artois and Hefferweisen. It also offers a catering service.
Perhaps the most important feature of the store, though, is its 90-minute parking validation for the parking structure under the store (the entrance is on the right as you go up Firmament). That's 90 whole minutes of coffee drinking, tartine-eating good times.
Le Pain Quotidien, 15503 Ventura Boulevard, Encino. Tel: 818-646-2234.