Updated: Mar 9
House-made pastries and classic French cooking methods set Café Bohème apart from other laid-back beach cafés in the area.
By Jenifer Antonelli
If you’re looking for a new favorite breakfast or brunch spot, consider visiting the French-inspired Café Bohème in Playa del Rey at the corner of Manchester Avenue and Pershing Drive. Owner Pierre Mewissen and his business associates, Ivan and Deva Kodeh, turned to their Belgian and French roots for inspiration for this charming café. Pierre lives within walking distance of his restaurant in the quaint little beach community just north of LAX, and when the commercial space became available, he jumped at the opportunity to provide locals like himself a unique place to have breakfast, lunch, or a beverage. “PDR was lacking good breakfast spots,” he says of his beloved beach community. “We opened our own in an effort to add value to the neighborhood.”
Pierre and his colleagues spent a lot of time taste-testing to develop the menu, which incorporates classic French dishes and offers freshly baked pastries, savory galettes, omelets, and sweet crêpes. Well-known French standards populate the menu, too, including French onion soup, croque monsieur, steak au poivre, and ratatouille, as well as modern, original creations, such as the new crêpito—Café Bohème’s French version of a breakfast burrito. Because the owners married French spirit with local SoCal beach culture, you’ll also see items on the menu like tartine aux avocats (avocado toast), which isn’t something you’d normally find at a Parisian café.
Café Bohème opened in September 2021 and is currently serving breakfast and lunch from 7am to 4pm daily. On a recent visit, Maureen and I enjoyed their egg croissant (pictured) and steak au réveil. It’s easy to kick back and relax in the bright, bohemian atmosphere, with its high ceilings, whimsical light fixtures, wooden accents, and beautiful tile work. Pierre explains that the airy indoor dining area was set up to be intentionally roomy, affording visitors plenty of personal space to help alleviate pandemic concerns.
If you’re itching to travel and explore after a daunting two years in relative isolation, Café Bohème is a welcome escape from your normal routine. In just a few minutes’ drive down the coast, you can feel as though you’ve been transported to France. I personally live within walking distance of the café and have returned to try the Nordique galette, the French onion soup (pictured), and the macarons. Each of these dishes was delicious. On my next visit, I plan to pick up a sandwich baguette and salad for lunch or for an impromptu beach picnic.
For those planning a business meeting, birthday party, or baby shower, Café Bohème also offers catering options including pastry, smoked salmon, sandwich, waffle, and brunch boards to feed a crowd. We can’t think of a better way to welcome folks back to the office or celebrate a milestone than with cuisine that is elevated and special, yet accessible and cmforting.
Café Bohème is located at 8428 Pershing Drive in Playa del Rey. To view the menu and current specials, visit cafebohemepdr.com. Bon appétit!