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Bastide, in a class of its own

by Irene Virbila
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Under chef Walter Manzke, the Melrose Place restaurant's third incarnation is quite the experience.

champagne-cork-popping.jpg The blue door, shuttered for more than a year and a half, is open once again, and the stage is set for Act 3. Step in, and you're welcomed with the offer of an aperitif in the enchanting garden where a pair of gnarly olive trees cast lacy shadows on the wall, water falls into a basin, and the air is scented with lavender.

Order Champagne and the sommelier waltzes over with a double magnum of vintage Champagne one night, pours an unusual Sacy rosé another time. You might be served breadsticks with transparent gold potato chips and spiced nuts or slender, cheese-laced churros that taste like New World gougères. The effect is somehow so civilized, you find yourself relaxing into another rhythm.

Bastide is back.

Read article in the Los Angeles Times...

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