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“Almost like being in Paris ... but ...”

Left Bank - Larkspur
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Ranked #4 of 44 Restaurants in Larkspur
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$20 - US$35
Cuisines: French, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Ward St.
Transit: Golden Gate Transit across the street. 5 minute cab ride from the Larskpur Ferry Terminal.
Description: Left Bank is an authentic Parisian-style brasserie located in the historic Blue Rock Inn in charming downtown Larkspur. Built in 1895 during the railroad era, The Blue Rock Inn was a popular weekend destination for San Franciscans to come dance and picnic under the stars. Open since 1994, Left Bank continues to be a destination for folks from all over the Bay Area to enjoy a casual snack on the sunny terrace, a glass of wine or hand crafted cocktail at the lively bar, or an elegant dining experience near the fireplace. At Left Bank, you are sure to capture the true feeling of the Rive Gauche in Paris. Nineteen years of working with local organic farms allows us to bring you the best seasonal ingredients available. Chef de Cuisine Fabrice Marcon offers an often changing, French brasserie menu of hearty, rustic, and authentic dishes featuring a diverse selection of natural meats, sustainable seafood, fresh local vegetables, salads and sumptuous desserts.
Reviewed 29 May 2014

Left Bank is a very nice cafe-like (at least based on Parisian standards) place in downtown Larkspur which has both sidewalk seating as well as indoors. The menu is classic French and you could well be on the left bank except that everyone is speaking English. The food is very good generally and the menu is sufficiently broad to accommodate a variety of tastes, both for lunch (which this visit was) and for dinner (which took place a while ago). The only criticism I have is that today they served an asparagus soup that consisted of mainly pureed asparagus and the flavor and texture were excellent -- except that there were hard strings of asparagus in the soup. It should have been strained. We called this to the attention of the server and he apparently agreed because he comped our desserts. I also had with it two pates -- one a country and one rillettes both of which would have done any Paris cafe proud.

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Thank Michael F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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99 - 103 of 152 reviews

Reviewed 28 May 2014 via mobile

The Left Bank's casual indoor and outdoor seating should not fool you into thinking that the food or service are similarly casual. The menu is seasonal and tres French, expertly prepared and served. On Mothers Day I had mussels in a white wine broth, the best since St Malo. House made charcuterie and their excellent cheese selection made a picnic for my family, and desserts were fresh and French sized. The servers were attentive and cheerful, as always.
Larkspur is worth the 30 minute drive from San Francisco!

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Thank Judith C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2014

Since I live in Napa it has been several years that I have had lunch here. It was just as good as I remember. My friend and I both had the Salad Nicoise Ahi Tuna salad which was great. The service was very good and they went with our slow pace. After lunch we shared the les Profiteroles which we divided on the 2 plates that were provided.

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Thank Napamel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2014

Always a pleasant experience. We find the atmosphere to be very Parisienne, especially at night since the front dinning room is much more open and light compared to most comparable restaurants in Paris. But the layout of the restaurant including the bar, dinning rooms and sidewalk cafe style outside dinning are all tastefully done and very comfortable.

We particularly enjoy Paris (but I prefer the food in Italy) and travel about 100 miles to Larkspur from the Central Valley just for a taste of Paris. We have never been disappointed.

Everything about this restaurant can be described as a class act. You are met with a pleasant greeting at the door (but no one offers a cheerful "Bon jour" which is a mistake--one grows so fond of this greeting in France). We have always been seated promptly and the service starts immediately with water, great bread (two distinctive types of French), room temperature butter and a subtle but enthusiastic review of specials. After a reasonable time to make our decisions our waitress returned as if reading our thoughts.

On this visit Anne enjoyed escargot which were served without the shell in a wonderful herb/garlic butter sauce laced with Pernod and not cognac. They were as good as any we have enjoyed in France and better than most. I ordered oysters which were served on ice and seaweed with two great sauces and additional cream horseradish. Outstanding, but I wish the oysters had been somewhat larger.

For her lunch entree Anne had the Salade Nicoise which she described in superlative terms. She asked if she could have the seared tuna cooked to medium which was accommodated without a snide remark or facial gesture as one might experience in some Paris bistros--the only comment was "certainly, but it will take a little longer."

I had the asparagus and fire roasted tomato omelette which was prepared somewhat differently than any I had before. Rather than folded or rolled it was served flat and somewhat thick, more like a frittata or Spanish tortilla. Nevertheless it was very good, subtly seasoned and with the rich scent and the distinctive taste of butter . . . but not greasy. Just right for my taste.

Small touches impressed us. Out waitress was most attentive without being overbearing or artificially courteous--just nice, prompt and efficient. After just a few bites a managerial type stopped by our table to determine if everything was to our liking. All too often in comparably priced U.S. restaurants today this happens only towards the end of the meal when it is too late to correct a problem. Some very good Sancerre added to our dining enjoyment . . . and our mood and memory.

As for dessert? Pas du tout! We enjoyed too much bread and butter to even consider it but the selection was outstanding.

Unless you are really into traditional French regional cooking (organ meats, frog leggs, rabbit dishes, whipped salt cod, etc.) we strongly suggest you experience this particular Left Bank for an outstanding taste of Paris without spending hours and hours in airports and in a plane. Bon appetit!.

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Thank Randall-Anne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2014

Very friendly waiters. Beautiful little town to visit with lots of interesting shops. Parking lot right in front of the restaurant. Terrace for out door eating.

Thank Chiffonnette1936
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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