Cozy and welcoming, Dominique’s Kitchen offers classic French cuisine in a popular location on Pacific Coast Highway in South Redondo Beach.
Chef Dominique Theval serves generous and affordable portions he creates daily from scratch. Paris-trained, Theval moved to Los Angeles in 2000, and he opened Dominique’s Kitchen in 2012.
Candlelight flickers on the tables and banquettes, making a relaxing setting for enjoying authentic fare and enthusiastic service. A small wine and beer list offers fine choices to pair with a meal, including many European brews, such as a crisp Ayinger Bavarian Pilsner or a lightly sweet Samuel Smith’s Perry Organic pear cider.
As a starter, my partner and I tried a white bean salad with kale, lemon juice and olive oil priced at just $3.99. Fragrant with lemon and topped with Parmesan cheese slivers, the dish was accompanied by several crisp, house-made crostini for dipping. It made a tasty accompaniment to our beers, as did the house-made French baguette, served cut up and warm, fresh from the oven.
Other appetizer choices include marinated black olives, and a variety of French fries such as Mediterranean fries with spicy harissa aioli or garlic fries with mayonnaise. Many diners were ordering a house-made chicken liver pate dressed with baby pickles, olives, arugula and red onion chutney. With a nod to its SoCal location, the chef’s appetizer list also features a California goat cheese with organic honey and toasted almonds.
Perhaps the restaurant’s prize appetizer is the classic escargot imported from Bourgogne, France. The snails are baked in a succulent garlic butter. Chewy, hearty and altogether satisfying, the dish is served in-shell, but with a proper, tiny extraction fork making it easy for diners to reach the meat.
Salad courses include a large, organic mesclun salad simply prepared with olive oil and cider vinegar for $6.99; a smaller portion of this salad or the house Caesar can be added to any of the entries.
A meal itself, the seared yellow fin tuna Nicoise is served with organic greens, organic haricots vert, black olives, anchovies, hard boiled eggs, fingerling potatoes, tomatoes, olive oil and lemon for $16.99.
The warm entries are large and well presented. There are a number of pasta dishes on the menu, including a simple but satisfying penne with sautéed garlic, basil shallots, organic baby heirloom tomatoes, and olive oil; or a linguini with smoked salmon in a creamy sauce. We chose the lobster ravioli in a rich lobster and champagne reduction, the creamy sauce topped with crisp organic broccoli florets and pecans, an unusual combination. The raviolis were substantially filled with chopped lobster.
Diners can also select from meat and fish dishes, such as the popular roasted chicken with olive oil, Provence herbs and sea salt, served au jus, with sides of sautéed spinach and baby new potatoes. We chose an impressively ample organic Scottish salmon, $22.99, served atop an Italian white bean stew with tomatoes, black olives and basil. It was prepared with a juicy garlic and olive oil infusion. Beef lovers may select the 10 oz. Prime strip loin or slow-braised, grass-fed beef short ribs.
There are also a number of lovingly prepared desserts on the menu; for us the standout was the white and dark Belgian chocolate mousse. It was rich, creamy and a lovely mix of chocolate flavor. We also sampled the lime panna cotta with pineapple mint compote, a light but fruity finish. The house Cappuccino was also nicely prepared.
For a homey yet refined setting, unpretentious service, and authentic French dishes at reasonable prices, Dominique’s Kitchen would be hard to top in the South Bay, or anywhere that French food is loved.
They are open nightly for dinner and closed on Tuesdays. (424) 247-9054.