French Miso Café Brings French and Japanese Cuisine to La Plaza

Just don't call it "fusion food."

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PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY FRENCH MISO CAFÉ

At this quaint café in the heart of Palm Springs, you’ll find both French and Japanese cuisine on the menu — but don’t call it fusion. “That sounds like a gimmick,” says Eric Bovy, who owns and operates French Miso with his wife, Tomoko Jones.

Rather, it’s a natural reflection of their origins: Bovy is from the south of France and Jones a native of Japan. Both are former fashion designers with a love for beautiful details — evident in their décor and on the plate. “With us, everything is visual … and also with cooking,” says Bovy, who runs the kitchen and creates the lunch and dinner menus. (Tomoko manages the dining room and curates the wine list.)

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You won’t find takeout or sushi here, just “comfort food” like pork ginger, Japanese curry, kalbi (marinated short rib), and the popular bento box that Jones “has carried from childhood memories to the menu,” Bovy says.

French specialties include steamed mussels, quiche, and chicken paillard, most of which are served all year during brunch (starting at 9 a.m.) and lunch (11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday). From 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., come for la formule, a prix fixe dinner that typically consists of a trio of options for each course: appetizer, entrée, and dessert.

“I like to make sure there is diversity in the menu,” Bovy says.

All can be enjoyed inside the dining room or on the patio, where French-modern décor (“happy colors,” Bovy says) complements La Plaza’s Spanish Colonial architecture — terra-cotta roof tiles, white stucco walls, carved wood accents — against the backdrop of two majestic mountain ranges.

An Ikebana vase at each table ties in Japanese traditions and symbolizes all the elements working together harmoniously.