Crepe De Ville – The City of Lights Makes It Way To The City of Angels
Ever since I began my job writing for a national food blog that focuses on mobile foods I’ve been searching for a food truck offering crepes, in particular authentic French crepes.
But I’m happy to report that my search ended when I discovered Crepe De Ville.
Not so much a food truck but a mobile kitchen/food stand – Crepe De Ville owners Sylvie and Gene set out to replicate the sidewalk café dining experience.
This style of al fresco of dining is common throughout Europe especially in Paris but the fact that they’ve managed to recreate it stateside ~ and on the busy streets of LA (and from a food cart no less) is worthy of acknowledgment.
The owners and creators of Crepe De Ville are both master chefs de cuisine, having worked in some of the best restaurants in France as well as the US.
The Perfect Environment:
I had the opportunity to learn the history of their joint venture from co-creator Sylvie while marveling at Gene’s crepe making technique. I made a point of watching very closely as he swirled dollops of either buckwheat (for the savory crepes) or white sweet crepe batter (for the dessert crepes) across his black cast iron griddle with the skill and artistry of a painter.
Having never witnessed authentic Parisian crepe making I was truly in awe of the entire experience.
On Today’s Menu:
After briefly perusing the menu it took mere moments before my eyes landed on the Crepe Parisienne ($8.50) made with Chicken Béchamel, a combination of mushrooms, cheese, tender cubes of chicken in a creamy sauce.
He begins by preparing the grill making sure it’s properly heated to the perfect temperature before pouring a small amount of buckwheat batter to the heated circular grill.
Using a wooden utensil resembling a smooth paddle he spreads the buckwheat batter in a circular motion across the smoldering cooking surface until it completely covers the griddle top creating a thin pancake.
As the crepe batter starts to firm and bubble he gently ladles the Chicken Béchamel mixture in the center of the crepe and then begins folding it in an envelope fashion designed to contain the savory blend.
Soon after the crepe begins to brown Gene uses a spatula to remove the finished product from the crepe grill before placing it in the serving container.
The dish is finished with a salad comprised of pickled cauliflower pieces, thinly sliced carrots, onions and fresh herbs.
In a word ~ Crepe Parisienne – Très Magnificent!
The filling was creamy with the perfect amount of slightly sharp cheese, the chicken so tender you could eat it with a spoon and of course the mushrooms were perfectly cooked, not the least bit watery.
Actually the consistency the crepe reminded me a chicken potpie with the only exception being the use of a thin pancake instead of piecrust.
The buttery buckwheat crepe was surprisingly light and fluffy and contained the Chicken Béchamel filling perfectly; and even though it appeared to be sturdy enough to hold like a sandwich – I didn’t dare.
Admittedly I wasn’t particular confident about the taste of the buckwheat crepe predicting that the flavor might be a little intense for my taste, but once I took that first bite any concerns I had were laid to rest.
The chilled pickled veggie salad was truly the perfect accompaniment to the savory crepe and for me that’s saying a lot since I’m not a fan of anything pickled other than cucumbers.
At the end of the day I could find absolutely nothing wrong with this meal, other than I didn’t have room to try other menu options. Keeping that in mind I’ll have to return as soon as time permits to sample other menu items.
In the meantime I will shamelessly tempt you by sharing a little about the other crepes I discovered on my initial visit like the Crepe La Lyonnaise (Ham & Cheese – $7) and the Crepe La Provencale - $7.50 (tomato with fresh garlic, basil and cheese) and finally the Crepe La Bretonne - $7. 50 (spinach, mushroom and cheese).
Either of the choices made my mouth water ~ of course if they’re anything like today’s selection I have no doubt they will be equally impressive.
So I suppose you’ll just have to keep checking the blog to find out when I do my next update.
Until then if you’d been paying attention to any of my reviews then you know that I can’t conclude a truck review without satisfying my insatiable sweet tooth and Crepe De Ville will not disappoint.
The Crepe De Ville menu was designed by it’s owners in two parts, one savory ~ the other sweet. For example all of the savory crepes are buckwheat based while the dessert crepes are referred to as “sweet white” and Crepe De Ville offers four sinfully delectable options.
The first selection on the dessert menu was the Crepe La Citronee – filled with sugar and fresh lemon and the Crepe La Cannelle – filled with cinnamon sugar, both $4. But I didn’t opt for either on this visit, I decided to try a recommendation from co-owner Sylvie who suggested their signature dessert crepe called the, Crepe La “de Ville”.
The La “de Ville” is a sweet white crepe filled with creamy Nutella ~ a chocolate – hazelnut spread and sliced bananas then folded once.
Next it’s topped with fresh raspberries that have been cooked to the consistency of preserves then folded a second time.
After the finished product is removed from the crepe grill he places the crepe into a to-go container where it’s finally topped with a generous dollop of fresh whipped cream.
Eating this crepe made me feel like a very happy kid on Christmas morning.
Imagine a doughy envelope filled with layers of warm rich Nutella and fresh ripe bananas encased inside a pancake like housing that just oozes sweet and yet slightly tart warmed raspberries ~ one bite and you forget any troubles you might have, well – aside from the extra pounds you might gain.
But when you experience something this decadent extra pounds be damned.
Anyway what owners Gene and Sylvie have created offers something so traditional and yet so unique to us stateside that you may become inspired to hop a plane to gay Paree.
But of course if long distance travel is not your thing, or you don’t want to deal with having to learn a new language or pony up the plane fare you really don’t have to ~ not any more because Crepe De Ville offers something just as authentic. Of course with much better weather!
Where to find them:
Stitch gives Crepe De Ville it’s rating of five plates.