Bistro de la Gare from “Modern Family”Mar 2nd, 2010 | By Lindsay | Category: TV Locations
This past Sunday morning, while grabbing some coffee with my parents and the Grim Cheaper at my new fave coffee house, Kaldi’s, my mom asked me if I happened to remember what day it was. Looking at her with what I’m sure was a completely blank expression on my face, I told her that I had absolutely no idea. It was then that she reminded me that it was exactly ten years prior, on February 28th of 2000, that my mom and I had waved goodbye to our little house in San Mateo and begun the five hour journey south to meet my dad – who had moved a few months ahead of us – at our new home in Pasadena. Yes, this past Sunday was my family’s ten year anniversary of living in Southern California. And while in some ways it seems like that journey occurred just yesterday, in other ways it feels like a lifetime ago. And as I sat there and reflected on my past decade in LaLaLand, I’m not sure what surprised me more – the number of things that had changed in my life, or the number of things that hadn’t. Over the last ten years, quite a few of my life circumstances have remained constant – I am still a struggling actress who makes zero dollars each year off her craft and I still dream each day of “making it big”, I still attend acting school – albeit a different one than the one I was attending when I first moved here, and I still live in Pasadena, although I finally moved out of my parents home two years ago – at the tender age of 30. Ha ha. But while so much of my life is pretty much exactly the same as it was the day I moved here, there have also been some huge milestones. I met the Grim Cheaper and after eight and a half years of dating finally got engaged last May. I have made some amazing new friends and, sadly, also lost a few. I was voted valedictorian at one of my acting schools. I starred in a commercial for State Farm Insurance. And I became a blogger, which along with my fiancé and my friends and family, has been my saving grace over the past two years. Just when I thought my frustrations with the acting industry were becoming too much to bear and that I was ready to throw in the towel, I found another, entirely different, creative outlet that I have as much love for and am just as passionate about as my acting career. And while it’s definitely true what they say, that the more things change, the more they stay the same, what I’ve found is that while I was happy ten years ago, I am far happier now. So, I want to thank you dear readers and fellow stalkers out there, for helping me to find a new – and, as I am quickly discovering, far better – path in this crazy world called show business. Anyway, now that I’ve digressed for an entire paragraph, let’s get to the stalking! Once I heard that it was my family’s ten year anniversary of being in L.A., I suggested that we go out to eat to celebrate the occasion. And what better place to do so than Bistro de la Gare, the little South Pasadena restaurant that was recently featured in an episode of Modern Family.
Bistro de la Gare, which roughly translates to “the restaurant by the train station”, was opened in October of 2005 by French restaurateur Eric Ulmer and quickly became a local favorite. And, yes, it is in fact located adjacent to a train station – the Metro Gold Line’s Mission Street stop. The bistro is an absolutely adorable little place, with dark red walls, a carved mahogany bar, white paned windows, French music playing on the stereo, and little signs with French sayings posted most everywhere, my favorite of which was the one which stated “Entree Des Artistes”, aka “Artists’ Entrance”. The Bistro de la Gare staff could NOT have been nicer and not only answered all of my silly little questions about the filming of Modern Family, but also let me take all the photographs of the place that I wanted. Oh, and did I mention the food? Our meal was absolutely EXCELLENT and incredibly reasonably priced – my rosemary chicken entree was only $12.95 and our total bill for four people – with drinks – was a scant $120.00. Not bad for a fabulous meal in a charming setting in Southern California.
As I mentioned last week, Bistro de la Gare was featured in the Season One episode of Modern Family entitled “Moon Landing”. In the episode, Claire (aka Julie Bowen) meets her former work frenemie Valerie (aka Minnie Driver) for a drink in the bar area of the tiny French bistro.
The two later move into the restaurant’s main dining room to grab a bite to eat and to try to make each other jealous over their respective and very different lives.
Bistro de la Gare has also appeared in an episode of Brothers & Sisters in a scene featuring Rob Lowe and Calista Flockhart, but because I have never seen the series, I am unsure exactly which episode it was. And despite its remoteness from the West Side where most movie stars live, quite a few celebrities have been known to stop into the restaurant from time to time. Actor Troy Evans has been spotted there on occasion and even has his autographed headshot displayed in the bistro’s entryway. Ron Howard also recently patronized the place. But when I asked our waiter if my girl Jen had ever dined there, he winked at me and said “I’ll never tell.” 😉 Bistro de la Gare is a fabulous, very inexpensive little restaurant and I am happy to report that it was the perfect spot to spend our “ten year anniversary”. I honestly can’t recommend stalking the place enough.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Bistro de la Gare, from the “Moon Landing” episode of Modern Family, is located at 921 Meridian Avenue in South Pasadena. You can visit their website here. Kaldi’s, the coffee shop that appeared in that same episode of Modern Family, is located just a block away at 1019 El Centro Street.