Best French 

The look of buzz-worthy newcomer JOëL is very L.A., but there's no mistaking the Gallic accent in chef Joel Antunes' urbane twist on bistro classics. Typical French favorites -- tuna tartare, terrine of foie gras, beef bordelaise -- are given new leases on life when paired with unusual, exotic flavors. Peruse the wine menu carefully to find relative bargains among the lofty prices, and don't skip the inventive desserts by pastry chef extraordinaire Philippe Givre.

3290 Northside Parkway. 404-233-3500. www.joelrestaurant.com.

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