LA is a natural-born party town. Red carpets and afterparties have always been our thing, and if you ever want to dance to a DJ at a sneaker store, all you have to do is go to a sneaker store. But you don’t have to be arm candy to a C-list celebrity or in the market for new shoes to party hard. You can just go to Gigi’s.
The upscale French restaurant in Hollywood is one of our favorite parties in town right now - with good food, a sexy space, and a celebratory atmosphere that, in a restriction-less LA, feels nothing short of euphoric.
The full experience at Gigi’s starts when you turn onto Sycamore Avenue in Hollywood. As any long-term neighborhood local can tell you, this strip had long been an industrial south Hollywood side street that went largely ignored after most studio production moved to The Valley in the ’60s and ’70s. Today, many of those old warehouses have been transformed into a full-on, mini-neighborhood filled with cafes, coffee shops, record stores, and tech company headquarters. There’s a decent chance you had no idea any of this existed, and if you involuntarily mutter, “Wait, what the f*ck?” when you round the corner for the first time, just know, we did too. And in the center of it all sits Gigi’s.
This is not your cutesy neighborhood French bistro where you can curl up with a glass of Burgundy and revisit a kind of problematic Hemingway novel. Gigi’s is a scene. Its patio is filled with actors, well-dressed people who tell their tax guy they’re actors, and others who can’t control the volume of their voice. The art deco interior is loud and cramped, overflowing with groups of friends slamming martinis and discussing what to bring on their Tulum trip. Back in 2019, these elements admittedly could’ve been kind of annoying. These days, it’s just fun to be part of the action - particularly when the food and wine are this good.
You can certainly come to Gigi’s with every intention to feast, but we prefer to use it as a place to hang out, snack, drink some wine, snack, and drink some more. Come at 6pm on a weekday (when it’s still possible to snag a last-minute table) and slurp fresh oysters with a coworker and watch the sunset. Or fill up on mustardy steak tartare and perfectly-crisp French fries with friends before going out in Hollywood for the first time in years.
Gigi’s is the pre-party you’re bummed to leave and the after-party you’re hoping never dies down. It’s the perfect LA restaurant to visit when you’re really ready to get back out there. A spot where everybody can get in on the fun. And that certainly beats waiting in line at Supreme.
A big focus of any meal at Gigi’s should be the cocktails. If you’re in the mood for a martini, go for the Wilmot, which comes with gin, dry vermouth, and a pickled ramp. But if you’re looking to kick things up a notch further, try the Adventure Tiki, with your choice of spirit and an extremely fun glass.
We love the entire raw bar, but the kusshi oysters are a standout because of the briney house mignonette and slightly spicy oyster sauce that comes on the side. You may order a dozen at the top of the meal, and then, a few rounds of cocktails later, order another dozen.
A mustardy steak tartare is a tartare we enjoy, and Gigi’s version fits the bill. Topped with pickled mustard seeds and dollops of gribiche (a creamy sauce made from hard boiled eggs, and yes, more mustard), we love the spicy kick this version has and the excellent salted baguette that comes on the side.
This isn’t the most mind-blowing burger you’ll find in LA, but we appreciate its simplicity (cheese, pickles, and caramelized onions) and the fact it comes with crispy, salty French fries.
Speaking of those French fries, they reappear here in what is one of our favorite steak-frites in LA right now. At $54, it’s the most expensive dish on the menu, but you’re also getting a perfectly medium rare filet mignon, French fries, and a creamy, not-too-peppery sauce to mix it all around in.