My Place moves to a new level

When Antranik Zadeyan opened My Place in La Jolla, he wanted the restaurant to offer the local crowd a casual atmosphere and food that had a unique French flair.

Now My Place has new ownership that is ready to take the informal French Bistro to the next level. Using the original blueprint, the new menu takes its French cuisine even more seriously, and the result is magnifique! You can enjoy French classics at My Place for lunch (through 5 p.m.) and then for dinner (starting at 5 p.m.). Both menus give this intimate dining spot on Girard Avenue a decidedly French accent.

Fresh fish is a staple on the menu, and not just the usual varieties. You’ll find grilled trout with a white wine caper and calamata olive sauce ($15.50) on the dinner menu, along with wild salmon - served with truffle mashed potatoes and garlic and herb butter ($18). Order them for lunch or dinner for a memorable meal.

Other specialties include steamed mussels in a garlic and white wine broth (served with fries or salad). Mussels are available on the dinner menu for $14 ($8 as an appetizer) and $12 for lunch (or $8.75 as an appetizer). Shrimp scampi is served with white rice and seasonal vegetables for dinner ($17) and $14 for lunch. Clams come with fettuccine, sweet onions, and oven dried tomatoes (under the pasta section). This dish costs $10 for dinner and $13.75, if you order it on the lunch menu.

Traditional Nicoise - a popular French salad that features tuna, green beans, Nicoise olives, potatoes, and hard-cooked egg ($12.75) - is a great choice for lunch. It’s so popular, Nicoise also made its way to the dinner menu.

To read the appetizer menu, you would think you’re in Paris, with escargots ($8), tomato and parmesan gratinee ($7), an assorted cheese plate ($10), and country pate ($6) among the starters. Needless to say, French onion soup ($6.50) and fresh fish soup ($8 for a small bowl and $15 for a full meal-sized serving) are also available for lunch and dinner.

Dinner entrees run the gamut from rack of lamb with rosemary fig polenta ($26) to roast duck breast ($21). The restaurant’s signature steak (filet mignon, $26.50) and tender New York strip steak ($21.50) are also popular dinner items. Chicken fanciers can opt for chicken provencal ($15.50) or chicken with forest mushrooms ($15.50). Of course, coq au vin is a specialty as well ($15).

The large lunch menu abounds with omelets ($8.50 - $9), sandwiches (including fresh fish, grilled chicken, and prosciutto and manchego cheese. They start at $8.50 and are served with fries or salad. You can also select a half sandwich with soup du jour or traditional French onion soup ($8.50 and $9.50, respectively).

What’s a French-style restaurant without crepes or quiche? Both are standards on the My Place menu. The crepes and quiche are served with a house salad. Both the ham and cheese and the spinach and goat cheese are priced at $8.50.

There’s a nice wine list available with lunch and dinner, and the servers are friendly and knowledgeable.

My Place adds a few daily specials to the menu, and serves its appealing food in a casual interior with French touches. Alfresco dining on the front patio is the best place to enjoy La Jolla’s balmy days -- and to catch up on your people-watching.

My Place French Bistro is located at 7777 Girard Ave. For more information call (858) 454-3535.