France: La Môme

The beauty of doing AirBnb when you travel is that it can force you to explore a neighborhood that you might not otherwise have done if you'd stayed in a hotel close to the city center.

Thanks to AirBnb, we were able to find this little gem right next door to our rented apartment:


We'd been eyeing La Môme for days, but we couldn't figure out what it served.  There was no menu posted in the window.  All we could tell was that a lot of people dined there.  So finally, on our last night in Paris, we decided to give it a go.

We didn't have reservations, but luckily a party was running late, so we were allowed to steal their table:


Our server, who was most likely also the owner, was brusque, but patient.  She didn't give us a hard time for sharing three entrees between four people.  She softened toward us as the meal went on and we proved to be profuse with our praise.  Which wasn't lip service at all.  No siree.  The food was really that good.  We cleaned every plate and I think she appreciated that too.

The chalkboard menu was completely in French as we expected.  It was divided into sections, so we decided to randomly pick something from each.  We didn't know that we were in a Moroccan restaurant when we walked in, but once the food started arriving, we slowly figured it out (kinda).

From the pastilla section, we went with the pastilla au confit de canard (17 €) because well, we love duck and we recognized that vocab word at least:


We had no idea what a pastilla was.  When it arrived, we were all a bit confused by it.  Now that I'm home and have access to Wikipedia, I can tell you that a pastilla is a traditional Moroccan meat pie.

At the time, however, I only knew that it was a flaky pastry filled with magic:


Yes, magic.  None of us expected the burst of cinnamon flavor, nor the sweet versus savory battle on our tongues.  I was blown away.  Even the salad was fantastic.  It looked so underdressed and harmless on the plate, but it was amazing in its simplicity.

From the tajine section, we ordered the tajine d'agneau aux beignets d'aubergines (14 €) because 1) it contained lamb and 2) it had eggplant:


Unfamiliar with tajines, we stared in awe when the interesting looking lid was lifted to reveal this rich lamb stew.  So flavorful and delicious.

The grillade mixte (13 €) with merguez (a spicy sausage) and brochette de poulet (chicken skewer) was a little less awesome, but by no means anything to laugh at:


Even the couscous was fluffy and well, perfect:


Toward the end, we just dumped the remaining couscous directly into the tajine to soak up all the lamb goodness.

For dessert, we were presented with yet another chalkboard menu.  We chose the tarte framboise (6 €):



This frozen raspberry tart was exactly that...frozen.  As in frozen solid.  It was definitely yummy, but we created quite a ruckus with the amount of force we had to employ to stab our forks through the tart.  We kept looking up guiltily every time our forks clanged into the plate.

Sometimes the best experiences come on less beaten paths.  Don't be afraid to take risks and step into the unknown!


La Môme
16 Rue Stephenson
75018 Paris, France
+33 1 42 23 35 64

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