I have read reviews that describe this restaurant as "tiny". By American standards, it is, in fact, on the small side. But if it were any larger, it wouldn't feel as authentic.\r
I went to Cafe Pastis for my birthday, so I was able to sample many of the dishes. The steamed mussels were delicious, if a tiny bit overdone for my taste (I'm sure the chef would adjust the cooking time upon request). The fries served alongside were perfect. I highly recommend the roasted lamb with baked lentils. The meat could be cut with a spoon, and the lentils tasted like they had been made a few days earlier. \r
For dessert, the tarte tatin's deeply caramelized apples melted in my mouth, and the creme brulee was perfection. And this after having had awesome creme brulee at Pacific Time last week. This was better, the custard was cold and had an intense vanilla flavor, and the crust was generous and golden-brown.\r
The chef, who cooks up his creations in plain sight of the clientele, is always eager to lean over the bar and have a conversation, and he let me stumble over my French and didn't switch to English.\r
When we left, a table full of French people were the only customers left. If it weren't for the fact this restaurant is in a strip mall, I really would think I was in France.\r
My only regret? That none of the dishes on the menu actually contain Pastis.