Chef Laurent ‘LQ’ Quenioux fights fierce competition
By Frier McCollister READ MORE HERE

If there is a classically trained, fine dining chef in Los Angeles who was best positioned to weather the turbulent exigencies and uncertainties of the pandemic, it is chef Laurent Quenioux.  

A native of the Loire Valley’s Sologne, Quenioux has been pivoting masterfully since he arrived in Los Angeles in 1981. 

Quenioux has had a successful run since moving to LA — the 7th Street Bistro in Downtown Los Angeles opened in 1983; the small and eccentric Bistro K in South Pasadena; and the lauded Bistro LQ, which closed in 2013. He anticipates tastes and trends without sacrificing quality or his vision of French cuisine with a fresh California spin on it. READ THE ALL ARTICLE HERE


For the past 5 years, Chef Laurent Quenioux and his team “LQ Foodings” has resided in Highland Park, featuring their “Ma Maison” dinners. Chef Laurent invited guests into a private home and featured a tasting menu that has been called some of the best underground dining in Los Angeles. Over the years the team has focused on seasonal menus with produce from local farms and purveyors. 

With the current change in the economy and unforeseen circumstances, the team had no choice but to look into a new location. Of course, Chef Laurent started to look into homes within the LA area but the options were beginning to dwindle in order to find a viable space to use for the Ma Maison pop up dinners, but that was also within the budget. Unfortunately, the market in LA was not going to work out. So the tough decision came to venture out east. After many months of searching and finding funding, a new location was finally procured.

The new location is situated between the 71 and 91 freeways 20 minutes from Irvine (at the county line). Many people are unfamiliar with the area, but the space and location fit all of the needs for the team. We are excited to be entering a new market but are also hoping that our LA customers will make the trip out to the new location. Although it seems far, because again people are unfamiliar with the area, in comparison to the traffic that we deal with in LA the traffic and distance isn’t that much further off. Most Los Angelenos are used to spending up to 1 to 2 hours in traffic daily to get anywhere within the LA borders, why not spend that time and venture to a new area?  

The new space will allow the team to feature much more than ever before. The inside seating will allow guests a first-hand look at the kitchen as well as limited kitchen bar seating at the Chef’s Table. The space will be very interactive and give guests an insight to how the team creates and cooks such a wonderful tasting menu. During the summer our patio area will invite guests to enjoy a beautiful view of the surrounding hills and vibrant sunsets – also separate seatings will be available. Being in such a new and creative space, the team is excited to share new menu items as well as take-home items that will be available for purchase in our pop-up shop after dinner. As we do understand that some people may be driving further out, we want the experience to be nothing compared to other LA eateries. We truly do hope as a team to flourish in our new location, and that it becomes an inviting space for our guests, collaborations, cooking classes and so much more.

“House-made Breads”

As part of our new creative outlets we have begun to experiment with more bread making from scratch. The team will be using their own starters along with a variety of different styles of breads from different cuisines.

“Promo Codes + Discounts for Returning Guests” 

We understand that the majority of our existing customer base is from further out in Los Angeles, so we would like to extend to our returning guests an incentive to visit our new location. We will be looking into discount codes with Uber directly for guests who are willing to travel together to split costs.

“Extended Tasting Menus + Additional Desserts + Vegetarian tasting once a month” 

Since this new location is a new venture for us, we would like to use the opportunity to make a change ourselves. Being a group of creative minds, we would like to entice guests with new menu items, extended tasting menus and even additional desserts. We want guests to experience something different than the traditional restaurant setting.

LQ has been a pioneer on many occasions, and in numerous locations. His vision has proven him right and others have followed where he first trod. In 1983 he opened 7th Street Bistro in Downtown Los Angeles. Most people thought he was insane to open a restaurant in that location, but it turned out to be a huge success from day one until it closed 10 years after fighting the metro rail construction. Then came Alhambra and South Pasadena, leading the way in to the San Gabriel valley in the early 2000s, followed by the opening of Bistro LQ on Beverly Boulevard, revamping the area and paving the way to many trendy eateries in the area today! 

Of course then came @ MaMaison pop-up at the home in Highland Park and once again, 10 years prior to the trendy area that Highland Park became. Once again LQ was ahead of the curve! He now believes that the future of the most interesting new food trends will come from the 91 corridor, from Costa Mesa to Riverside via the Pomona area including Claremont and the surrounding towns. This will become the best place to enjoy great foods and local gastronomy!

OC Register Brad Johnson review 2021

Review: French bistro from the ‘00s comes back to life as delivery service

Critic Brad A. Johnson reveals how to get a 4-course French meal delivered to your home from a popular bistro that no longer exists.

LQ Interview Green Bar Distillery Owner Litty Matthew

April 2018

A few months ago, I had a chance to visit Greenbar Distillery in downtown. Litty Mathew, one of the founders and makers, had invited me for a personal tour after enjoying a cassoulet night at LQ Foodings.  Cassoulet night can do that!

As Los Angeles’ original distillery, she and her husband, Melkon Khosrovian, have been making spirits since 2004. They make pretty much everything you can think of – vodka, gin, rum, whiskey, amaro, liqueurs and even bitters.

What makes these organic spirits interesting to a chef is the use of real ingredients, just like in cooking. I was intrigued so we collaborated on a cocktail pairing dinner with Greenbar Distillery earlier in the year. It was really fun and we’ll be doing it again.

I had a chance to ask Litty a few questions about Greenbar Distillery’s unique approach to liquor and I thought you’d enjoy the answers:

Laurent: So Litty. Welcome to my blog.

Litty: Thank you, Laurent! No one’s ever invited me inside one.

Laurent: What struck me on our distillery tour was how you look at everything as if it were a cooking ingredient. You talked about the wood you use to age your SLOW HAND whiskey as an ingredient. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Litty: It’s true that we have a culinary approach to making spirits, even whiskey. For Melkon and me, the act of eating and drinking shouldn’t be separated. Therefore, there’s got to be certain tasty harmony. And regarding the six woods we use in the SLOW HAND whiskey, each one has a unique taste that reminds me of stuff we eat. The hard maple wood tastes like butterscotch and the red oak tastes like clove and cinnamon.

Laurent: Are you trying to replace wine at the dinner table?

Litty: Don’t get jealous, wine. Cocktails made with Greenbar Distillery spirits add a dimension to the meal because you can mix flavors from the meal into the cocktail. Remember at our first cocktail pairing dinner, you made a sea urchin chawan mushi, which is like a Japanese style savory egg custard? We paired that with a cocktail made with TRU lemon vodka and shiso leaf. You can’t add shiso leaf to wine is all I’m saying.

Laurent: Okay. That was a nice drink. It is fun to change things up because it’s like being on an adventure.

Litty: Adventures in flavor.

Laurent: What I like about you guys is you’re bringing life to something commercial. Alcohol used to be more about lifestyle and entertaining. You’re changing the boundaries of what is acceptable at the dining room. Do you see yourselves that way?

Litty: Thanks! We are trying to change the way people think of spirits. There’s such a disconnect between eating beautiful, locally grown food yet consuming vodka that came in a plastic jug. I hope we’re helping to take the blinders off.  When folks try Greenbar spirits, they’re delighted by the taste. Our spirits do belong on the dining table because that’s the place we  had in mind when created them.

Laurent: So when you’re not making spirits, what are you doing?

Litty: Eating! Ha ha. I adore coming to your dinners because you have, how do you say in French, and I’m sure you’ll correct me if I say it wrong…ouverture d’esprit. You’re fearless with flavor. I admire that.