Ohlala French Bistro
Baguette – Butter
Royal Charcuterie – Bayonne Ham, Saucisson, Smoked Duck Breast, Coppa, Foie Gras, Boudin, Jambon de Paris, Bresaola, Mustard, Cornichons
Le Tout Cheese – Chevre, Brie, Reblochon, Mozzarella, Cornichons
French Onion Soup – Onions, Vegetable Broth, Gruyère Cheese
Escargots – Snails, Parsley Butter, Shallots, Garlic
L’Endive Salad – Belgian Endive, French Blue Cheese, Candied Walnuts, Vinaigrette
Sole Meunière – Pan-seared Sole, Brown Butter, Garlic, Capers, Lemon, Asparagus, Parsley
Carbonara Pasta – Fettuccine, Bacon, Onions, Cream Sauce, Raw Egg Yolk
Rack of Lamb – Garlic, Rosemary, Sautéed Zucchini
Double Espresso – Ice
Chocolate Liegeois – Chocolate Ice Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream, Homemade Chocolate Ganache, Homemade Vanilla Whipped Cream
Described as a modern French Bistro near Desert Shores in Summerlin Ohlala has done a remarkable job of accruing good word of mouth for nearly two years despite a lack of advertising, its shopping plaza location not really standing out save for Nittaya’s Secret Kitchen though that may actually be part of the reason as such a space allows for both modest prices and expectations.
Not exactly a “destination” part of Sin City, the proliferation of chains in an HOA-heavy ‘burb well-suited to moneyed clientele that likely feels the epitome of dining in Paris is a smoky Café along the Seine, Ohlala French Bistro is operated by Richard Terzaghi who last owned an Osteria in San Francisco, the owner’s “half French-half Italian” background announced unprompted when explaining why the Restaurant features Mozzarella on its Cheese Plate and Tiramisu on the Dessert Menu.
Filling a prior Restaurant space next to Starbucks, the décor a mish-mash of Pier One ideas, chandeliers and seating ranging from steel bar stools to plush leather banquets, it was shortly after 7/8 of the group was seated that Beverages were poured and Specials described, Richard himself a charming front-of-house sort that genuinely seems to care about customer experience.
Offering a smallish Wine List divided between France and California with fair markups and Food that focuses on France with occasional diversions it was after the final diner arrived that two sharable plates were served alongside outsourced Baguette, the “Royal Charcuterie” a great value allowing all to get a taste of eight different Meats for just $27 while “Le Tout Cheese” brought only one highlight in the “stinky French” Reblochon that apparently warranted three mentions, the rest nothing better than one might find at Walmart and not done any favors by the lone condiment of Pickles.
Most impressed by the smoked Duck amongst the Meats, a plate of Escargot ordered by someone who feigned knowledge of “real” French Food but only ate one Snail smothered in Butter and Herbs also showing well, suffice it to say that although edible the French Onion Soup is in desperate need of some Salt or Beef to match-up against the likes of Bardot or Andre’s while “L’Endive” Salad is far more bitter than it reads thanks too questionable “candying” of the Nuts and Mustard in its Dressing.
Sharing Appetizers but ordering Mains separate, the lack of Duck on Summer’s menu a disappointment to many, it was after considering $32 Lamb which others seemed to enjoy that the decision was made to instead select Sole Meunière, the Escargot-ordering aficionado declaring it “too buttery” while three others including this writer found it nicely prepared and well-balanced by Capers and Citrus, though the limp Asparagus would have benefitted from a little less cooking time.
Allowed to taste another diner’s Fettuccine Carbonara before moving onto Dessert, the heavy use of Cream and thus unnecessary Egg Yolk creating something far richer than delicious and utterly confusing as relates to “authenticity,” it was with a Double Espresso from Illy washing the palate that a Sundae of outsourced Ice Cream and housemade toppings was served in a Jar, nothing about it remarkable or worth $9 but still a fine Sundae.
THREE STARS: Positioned in an area lacking for quality Restaurants Ohlala capitalizes by serving French Classics at a fair price, the results generally good and service exemplary though most dishes fall short in one way or another while décor and ambiance leave a lot to be desired compared to Andre’s or Marche Bacchus , let alone Bouchon and Bardot.
RECOMMENDED: Royal Charcuterie, Sole Meunière, Escargot.
AVOID: French Onion Soup, Pasta Carbonara, Le Tout Cheese.
TIP: 11a-10p Tuesday through Friday, 5p-10p Saturday and Brunch 10a-2p Sunday in addition to Dinner. Free Dessert available via Yelp! Check-in.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.