Papilles — Refined French food in a flea market chic bistro

By Carole Dixon

Owner Santos Uy was inspired to open an American version of Papilles (translation: taste buds) after a trip to Paris where he observed the French bistronomique movement while dining at venues such as Frenchie, Le Baratin, Les Papilles, and Le Verre Vole. And here, in a former pizzeria off Franklin, Santos reminds us what it really means to awaken those buds. The charming vibe effortlessly melds flea market style paintings with floor to ceiling rows of reds, whites, rose and sparkling wines – mostly from France. During the evening, patrons are encouraged to walk up and peruse the shelf and pick out a selection ranging from the Languedoc region to Provence. And you can't miss the open kitchen where Chef Tim Carey (formerly of Patina) is on display nightly sautéing dishes.

The Prix Fixe Menu (no a la carte options here) changes every week, usually on a Friday, but sometimes on a Thursday, depending on which market fresh ingredients they run out of. Which means on any given night, you might order seabass but be served salmon. Either way, you won’t mind when the food is this fresh and well executed. The emphasis is on simplicity, so you will only find two options for each of the three categories: two appetizers, two mains, a cheese selection and a dessert. Items you might find on the menu include smoked black cod brandad with heirloom eggplant, crispy duck breast, roast chicken or a ribeye for two with bone marrow and roasted garlic. One thing you will always find is a soup – whether it’s a piping hot traditional French onion or a chilled creamy vichyssoise with potato. There is always a cheese on offer and a more tradition dessert such as a Harry’s Berries strawberry tart for the ending, but otherwise it’s an open playing field. The wines by the glass also rotate weekly and there is a small European craft bottled beer selection.

the crowd

Mostly Beechwood Canyon locals, couples on dates and young families with babies.

... on the side

Because the venue is so small, the music is turned down low but you will hear the murmur of other conversations going on around you. Pick another venue if you’re sharing family secrets or fighting with your date.


Tue-Fri 6PM-10:30PM; Sat-Sun 5:30PM-10:30PM

price range

$37 (3-course prix fixe)