Trois Mec & Petit Trois | 99 Essential Restaurants 2015

Trois Mec & Petit Trois

photo by Anne Fishbein

The little strip mall at the corner of Melrose and Highland is perhaps one of the least likely locations for a serious hub of French/American gastronomy, yet Trois Mec and Petit Trois, the sister restaurants from Ludo Lefebvre (along with investors/co-masterminds Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo), are more charming partially because of their behind-a-gas-station disguise. Two years in, Trois Mec remains a thrilling place to dine, the tiny room — in what looks like a Raffalo’s Pizza — the staging area for tasting menus as inventive and umami-focused as food can be. Over your five courses you’re likely to find delicious oddities such as roasted eel atop a white chocolate mousseline and Granny Smith apples, or Carolina Gold rice pudding topped with a shower of matcha green tea powder with a cured golden egg yolk nestled at its center. It will cost you around $100 per person including tax and tip (bought ahead of time as a nonrefundable ticket), the music will be loud, there are no menu choices. It’s a total blast. Next door, the no-reservation tiny French bar that is Petit Trois serves up escargot and croque-monsieur that are somehow better than you had in Paris, and the fluffy, creamy, impossibly light omelette has already gained cult status. These restaurants are as unconventional as it gets, and it helps to give up any idea of how an eatery should behave before you get there. Tradition be damned. Long live fun.— Besha Rodell