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Cafe Maurice

Café Maurice enjoyed a successful 11-year run in Los Angeles before relocating to South Beach -- more specifically, to the spot held by longtime local bistro L'Entrecote de Paris. Owners David Meunier, Jean Michel Collet, and executive chef Maurice Azoulay have left L'Entrecote's laminated bar and back-room mural and mirrors intact. The rest of the walls are lipstick-red. This place feels just like a real Parisian bistro, right down to the laissez-faire attitude of an inattentive wait staff. Country pté was coarse but tasty and one of the only items on the menu that requires any culinary skill. Of the dozen or so entrées, about half are composed of grilled chicken breast surrounded by one sauce or another. Other options are grilled salmon, grilled lamb chops, grilled steak, a few pastas, and shepherd's pie(?). Steak-frites is the best thing we tried. All main courses are under $20, and the wine list is kept affordable as well. Cafe Maurice's finer attributes become apparent later at night (it is open until 5 a.m.), when a vibrant cabaret scene is likely to break out, with singing, swaying, and dancing to Gypsyish music.