The Bistro GardenAug 12th, 2010 | By Lindsay | Category: 90210 & Beverly Hills, 90210 Filming Locations
A couple of weeks ago, while searching online for different filming locations from The Office, I came across some information about an area restaurant which not only appeared in The Office, but in countless other productions over the years, as well – the Bistro Garden in Studio City. So, I, of course, dragged the Grim Cheaper right out to stalk it that very weekend! And I think it is safe to say that we both pretty much fell in love with the place immediately upon arriving! The Bistro Garden was first opened by Carolyn Niklas Pappas, the daughter of famed restaurateur Kurt Niklas (who founded the enormously popular celebrity hotspots Bistro and the original Bistro Garden in Beverly Hills) and her husband Gregory Pappas in 1990. Two decades later, the place is still one of the Valley’s most popular restaurants – and definitely its most romantic! According to this 2009 Los Angeles Times article, restaurant reviewer Max Jacobson said of the Bistro Garden that it “may have been the most beautiful restaurant he had ever dined in”. And he wasn’t exaggerating – the place is exquisite.
The Bistro Garden, which according to its website was modeled after a “European Wintergarden”, features a central indoor courtyard with a huge, peaked skylight roof, large French doors, and a perimeter of potted trees covered in twinkle lights, all of which give off the feeling of being outside in some sort of magical garden oasis. And I swear they must pump some sort of rose fragrance through the air conditioning vents, because the place smells like fresh cut flowers – it’s AMAZING!
The restaurant’s wood-paneled mahogany bar area, where the Grim Cheaper and I ate, definitely evokes a feeling of Old Hollywood, especially with the Michael Buble and Frank Sinatra music that plays in the background. Love it! The staff also could NOT have been friendlier and answered all of my silly little questions about the filming that has taken place there over the years. Oh, and the food was absolutely incredible, too! And even though the restaurant is a bit pricey, the Grim Cheaper thoroughly enjoyed himself and said he can’t wait to go back! That in and of itself is a testament to how good the place is.
In the Season 6 episode of The Office titled “Double Date”, the Bistro Garden stood in for Paparazzo’s (LOL!), the Italian restaurant where Michael Scott (aka Steve Carell) hosted a birthday luncheon for Pam’s (aka Jenna Fischer’s) mom, Helene (aka Linda Purl). It is there that Michael decides that Helene, at age 58, is far too old for him and promptly breaks up with her . . . in the middle of her birthday lunch.
Steve Carell also filmed a scene from 2005’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin at the Bistro Garden – the scene in which his character Andy attends a Date-A-Palooza speed-dating event.
Randomly enough, The Office’s Mindy Kaling also made an appearance in that scene.
In 2010’s Valentine’s Day, the Bistro Garden was the spot where Julia Fitzpatrick (aka Jennifer Garner) confronted her boyfriend, Dr. Harrison Copeland (aka Patrick Dempsey), after finding out that he was married.
In 1997’s Liar Liar, the Bistro Garden was the spot where Jerry (aka Cary Elwes) proposed to Audrey (aka Maura Tierney).
Bistro Garden has popped up twice in Desperate Housewives. In the Season 2 episode titled “Remember (1)”, the restaurant’s bar area was where Gabrielle Solis (aka Eva Longoria Parker) discovered (wrongly) via a newscast that her husband Carlos (aka Ricardo Chavira) had died in a car accident.
The restaurant was also where Zach Young (aka Cody Kasch) unveiled himself to be Gabrielle’s secret admirer in the Season 3 episode of Desperate Housewives titled “Not While I’m Around”.
The Bistro Garden also showed up twice on fave show Beverly Hills, 90210 – first in the Season 8 episode titled “Toil and Trouble” as the spot where Cooper Hargrove (aka Christopher Orr) gifted Valerie Malone (aka Tiffani Amber-Thiessen) with a diamond necklace.
And second in the Season 10 episode titled “Laying Pipe”. But in actuality only the exterior of the Bistro Garden was featured in the “Laying Pipe” episode.
As you can see in the above screen captures, the interior filming took place elsewhere. The restaurant was also featured in an episode of Melrose Place, but because I didn’t really watch that show, I am unsure of exactly which episode.
Bistro Garden is also something of a celebrity hotspot, as well. Just a few of the celebs who have been spotted dining there recently include Taylor Lautner, Taylor Swift, and Steve Carell.
On a side note – I will not be publishing a new blog post for tomorrow, or for the next two Fridays. Because of my upcoming wedding, I wrote all of my August blog posts in advance and unfortunately was only able to get enough done to publish four each week. But I will be back on Monday with a whole new post.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Bistro Garden is located at 12950 Ventura Boulevard in Studio City. You can visit the restaurant’s official website here.