Picture a French cafe situated in the midst of both high-end business and the pulse of West Hollywood – cue La Conversation. La Conversation is a cafe that is so dear to me, I even wrote a short film about it (really). This is a cafe I was taken to almost 20 years ago for a cappuccino and my first “real” film meeting with a Director. I still, to this day, remember how good that cappuccino was. Before I go any further, allow me to take you into this bakery that transports you into a dream-like world of stainless steel coffeemakers from days of ole, miniature furniture placed strategically along the walls, wallpaper that seems as if the nostalgia of the Parisian streets have found a home, and the piece de la resistance – the pastries and desserts. The smell of fresh eclairs penetrates your nose, enticing it with childlike sweetness. This however doesn’t even hold a candle to the menu itself. A menu that has only gotten better with time. A menu frolicking in fresh ingredients and uncompromising in taste and simplicity.
So upon parking in the tiny and quaint (and often packed) parking lot behind the restaurant, just off of Doheny, you enter from the street side. Tables and chairs adorn the street as well as a full restaurant inside the painted red and blue doors. Once seated, I encourage you to look around. Every little detail was well thought out by Founders Steven Carson and Michael Carmona who began their journey in Philadelphia after having had studied in Paris and the success of “Conversation” and “Carmona’s Birthday” (Bakeries in Philadelphia and Los Feliz). La Conversation is precisely as it suggests: A quaint little stop that will transcend you to the cafe’s in Europe with fare that is both invigorating and satisfying. And, as it were, I have had some of the most relevant conversations of my life there – as have many others, including celebrities. This Cafe is unlike any other and it is apparent from start to finish. I would highly recommend venturing in for any meal: breakfast and lunch (or an early dinner).
Breakfast: Their fresh fruit and oatmeal is beyond good (which seems basic but trust me, this is worth it), as are the egg white scramble with fresh vegetables, pumpkin (yes, pumpkin) pancakes, Egg Florentine, basket of fresh pastries (brought out at the start of the meal), and pretty much everything on the menu. That said, the real savory treat are the Belgian waffles. Heaven in a light, perfectly crisp waffle. Oh, I’m serious – heaven. Everything on this menu is worth recommending.
Lunch: They make incredible breakfasts, but their lunch menu is also highly impressive. Soups that are unique to them, salads like the Niçoise or Ahi, grilled cheese which is not an ordinary grilled cheese (just imagine your favorite grilled cheese – now stop. Try theirs. I am certain it will become your new favorite), and of course it must be said (again) that the coffee is superb.
Like every good Bakery, La Conversation’s desserts are breathtaking. If you crave any, and I do mean ANY, kind of sweet treat or culinary masterpiece by way of dessert, this is the place. Every piece is made with love and care and it shows when your mouth sinks into that croissant, pastry, or tart. I have never been able to put my finger on precisely why La Conversation is my all-time favorite place to eat in Los Angeles but it is. Perhaps it’s because I have only ever had positive experiences – AND the staff always remember me regardless of how many years pass; Or that the fare is fresh and honestly, there isn’t anything like it in all of Los Angeles; Or it could be the charming ambiance. Either way, La Conversation is a masterpiece in and of itself which is why it is still happily prospering at the corner of Doheny and Nemo Streets, one block north of Santa Monica Boulevard, on Doheny Drive, in West Hollywood. My suggestion, wake up early and head over there straight away. This is one of those restaurants that you can’t afford to pass up.
638 N Doheny Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90069