Downtown Appetite: Keeping It Kosher at The Fashion Bistro

Nestled in the heart of Downtown, bakery fanatics and foodies alike will be thrilled to find the Fashion Bistro; an impressive eatery owned and run by the even more impressive Serverine Chriki.

The friendly, personable, and incredibly tenacious owner Severine has made this bistro a favorite among Downtown cafes. But it’s not just Severine’s personality that makes this cafe and bistro such a knockout. It’s the quality of food, attention to detail, and extraordinary baked goods that makes the Fashion Bistro stand out.

This bakery is filled with delicious homemade delights with nearly every item being baked in house. Fan-favorites include the classic chocolate chip cookie, nutella brownies or their signature pound cake. Lunch options are available, too, including homemade soup of the day, fresh salads, and breads from La Brea Bakery Bread.

What’s even more impressive than the food is discovering that the talented Severine is completely self-taught. That’s right: this french baker learned how to cook and bake solely from learning through the internet.

Of course, Severine says she hit a bit of a learning curve as bakeries in France are much different than in America. “We don’t do pumpkin, we don’t do tarts, we don’t do a lot of the things like in America.” Yet even still Severine mastered the learning gap and now delivers classic american-style homemade treats that are making waves in Downtown.

Ironically, Severine recounts how owning a restaurant was just about the last thing she would have imagined for herself. Growing up, she swore she would never step foot in the restaurant industry as she watched her mom, who worked in restaurants, struggle to find work-life balance. “She was a single mother and she was working in the restaurant and I would almost never see her,” Severine says.

Then Severine moved to Los Angeles and saw that she could operate her own business and keep the hours a stable 9-5 and stay closed on the weekend. The passion for food had always been there and so Severine taught herself how to cook and bake.

But Severine’s favorite part about owning Fashion Bistro isn’t the food or the stable hours, instead it’s her customers. Seeing the same people in and out every day, learning their names, hearing about their lives, that’s what makes owning the Fashion Bistro so important to Severine.

With Covid-19 continuing to ravage our nation, small business owners like Severine have been hit especially hard. However, Severine reports that one tool has been a saving grace: social media. It has been instrumental in wielding against Covid-19, getting the word out there, and more importantly has helped her to keep in touch with her loyal customers.

In the meantime, Severine waits for the day when Downtown will fill back up with busy commuters and workers so she can return to making people happy with her food and baking. “All I can do is keep walking,” Severine says, “and hope that soon I can see my customers again.”

Join the buzz and help support this local business The Fashion Bistro happily serves from Monday through Friday from 9am to 3pm and is located on 908 Santee street. Follow Severine on Instagram at Thecrazyfrenchlady_ for news updates. @thefashionbistro

Author: Colleen Glennon

Writer for Downtown Weekly LA I Food I Arts, and Entertainment I Walking her tortoise around sunny Los Angeles l