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May 2, 2014updated May 06, 2014

Chef William Bradley Opens New Bijou French Bistro

By Chris Boyle

Chef William BradleyAward-winning Chef William Bradley is lending his culinary might to the new Bijou French Bistro, a French inspired venue opening mid-June in California at the former site of Amaya La Jolla, in the heart of La Jolla’s bustling shopping and dining district.

Bradley, the acclaimed executive chef of the Five-Star, Five Diamond Addison at The Grand Del Mar, will serve as culinary director, while Shaun Gethin, former sous chef of Addison, takes charge as chef de cuisine of this newly reinvented La Jolla dining venue. Evoking a casual yet classic European style, the restaurant encompasses 10,000 square feet – including a new wine bar, main dining room, wine cellar room, private dining room and bar lounge – and will serve French bistro fare for lunch and dinner daily as well as offer live music in the lounge.

Showcasing Bradley’s signature culinary style, the menu features the refined simplicity of classic, much-loved French home-style cooking, with contemporary California nuances. Chef Gethin has worked with Chef Bradley at Addison for the last three years, and shares Bradley’s penchant for French techniques and culinary sensibilities – as well as a devotion to enhancing the finest California products in their prime growing season.

Parisian-inspired and global French bistro favorites will be on the menu at the new dining venue – from appetizers such as Steak Tartare, Quiche, French Onion Soup and Paté De Campagne to main dishes of Steak Frites, Coq au Vin, Rainbow Trout and Veal Paillard. Salad choices include Warm Asparagus, Salad Niçoise, Endive Salad and Smoked Salmon. There are also comforting sides like Pommes Frites and Mushroom Ragout, as well as tastes of well-loved French cheeses. Freshly made French desserts, prepared daily by pastry chef Michael Luna to include delights such as Crème Brûlée, Macarons du Jour, Beignet, Fruit Tart and of course Chocolate Soufflé with Grand Marnier.

Bijou’s wine program will offer selections from France as well as distinctive regional and global choices. Craft beers and ingredient-driven cocktails round out the beverage list.

The restaurant, designed by Warren Sheets Design, Inc., still retains the beautiful European-crafted accents and fine finishes that the design team employed when the space was Amaya La Jolla. It remains chic and warm with an appealing palette of gold, ochre and aubergine. New fine touches imbue a lighter and airier atmosphere, and include fresh table linens, beige and butter-hued ceilings with hand painted frescoes and borders and customary French-style table lamps – with carefully thought out new details such as antique mirrors and redesigned wrought iron chandeliers.

What was once a front veranda will be transformed into a wine bar, designed for wine tasting and mingling. Furthering the feel of a beloved French eatery, the front façade is accented with cubic stone moldings hand-carved by a multi-generational family of artisans – including arched lunettes above the windows. 

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