smoked salmon crepe and mesclun saladA Cow Jumped Over the Moon is an unlikely delight: a completely kosher cheese shop and French cafe hidden in the bowels of a Rodeo Drive shopping complex. It's on the lower level of the Rodeo Collection, adjacent to the valet parking stand. With construction on the collection (a new restaurant is going in) and some of the escalators under repair, it's tricky to find, but worth the search. The modern orange and chrome cafe with tables outside reminds me of eating at the cafes in Les Halles shopping center in Paris -- not much of a view, but authentic nonetheless. There's a small but judicious selection of kosher French cheeses, kosher chocolates, wines and of course, He' Brew gourmet kosher beer. The cafe menu is the real treat though -- everything from salade nicoise to a raclette plate, fondue, smoked salmon salad and pan bagnat. I tried a crepe with raclette cheese, pickles, potatoes and smoked salmon. For just $8, I got a nice sized crepe made with hearty buckwheat, a big mesclun salad and half a just-baked yeasty baguette. Such a deal!
The patrons provide some choice people-watching too: a man whose head is covered in hairdye wanders in wearing a robe, asking for his usual smoked salmon sandwich to be delivered to the hair salon; a group of young Orthodox college men wonders whether smoked salmon is the same thing as lox and orders a cheese plate; a French lady doctor who works upstairs tells me she's thrilled to find a healthy cafe nearby with good food. Indeed, anyone looking for a reasonably-priced quick lunch in Beverly Hills should be happy with A Cow -- you don't have to keep kosher to like it.
A Cow Jumped Over the Moon
421 N. Rodeo Dr. (in the Rodeo Collection)