Chez L’Ami Louis is one of Paris’ restaurants that has character.
With the city one of the most visited places on earth, many things have been shaped according to this character.
What they market is the Paris of La Belle Époque, with its magnificence and romance. That’s why everything that’s presented to tourists is old or made to look old. Even tour boats along the Seine still greet you with the strains of Yves Montand and Edith Piaf.
The same can be said about its restaurants. When I say that Chez L’Ami Louis has character, it’s because it has remained its old self and hasn’t been made to look old with decorating tricks.
The tiles on the floor have been corroded… The glitter on the mirrors has faded… The heating is still provided by a stove…If you feel the need to use the facilities, you face an arduous journey via a narrow staircase. You are effectively inserted into the bathroom with a shoehorn and removed with a corkscrew.
L’Ami Louis is truly ancient. That’s why it’s so cute. However, when the anxiety of preserving this trait isn’t combined with the necessities of the modern world, these cute characteristics can sometimes lose their meaning and value.
The food is great. The portions are gigantic. However, they insist you consume the food their way, not vice versa! They practically force you to do it their way. A huge French fries platter accompanies the meat, but don’t you dare consider the possibility of ingesting this huge load with a side of mayonnaise or ketchup – you will not only be turned down but scolded as well! They are of the opinion that this behavior will be perceived as “cute” by everyone since they still brag about having even told Clinton off (thank God it was Bill, not Hillary).
Why shouldn’t we have the right to enjoy mayo or ketchup with our fries?
If they are forcing us to abandon condiments to protect our health, what about the whopping amount of butter and mayonnaise they use in their dishes?
If, perchance, their aim is to show us the correct way to eat fries and they’ve made it their mission to teach us, our only recourse is to seek sanctuary in the comfort of American diners!
Old is good, but is it right to be stuck in the past? You be the judge of that.
But if you ask me if I would ever go back to “L’Ami Louis,” this is my answer:
Oui messieurs dames!